Gardai deal blow to gang as major player held over drugs
A MAJOR gangland figure with links to murdered crime boss Eamon Dunne was among eight suspects questioned yesterday after two substantial drug seizures.
The man is closely connected to a former lieutenant of Dunne and, although from a Dublin suburb, is currently based in Co Meath.
Gardai are satisfied that the seizures have struck a big blow to an organised crime gang.
Seven men and a woman were taken into custody after the operation led by the Organised Crime Unit, backed up by the National Drugs Unit.
Officers said some of those detained were regarded as significant players on the drug-trafficking scene in Dublin and in the North.
Two of those arrested were foreign nationals.
Armed detectives moved in as a consignment of 30kg of cannabis herb, with a street value of more than €360,000, was being shifted between two vehicles in a car park in Celbridge in north Kildare yesterday evening.
Gardai arrested the prime suspect, who is reckoned to have close links to organised crime in the Finglas area of west Dublin. Also detained were a suspected courier from Cork and two men from counties Down and Antrim.
Shortly afterwards, officers raided an apartment at Castle Gate in Adamstown, outside Lucan, and recovered another 25kg of cannabis herb, with a street value of around €300,000.
All of the drugs had been hidden in suitcases and bags.
Arrested at the apartment were a Dubliner, currently living in the Duleek area of Co Meath, but thought to have been operating in the past around Finglas; an Albanian man; a Greek woman; and another suspect from Templeogue in south Dublin.
Gardai said some of the drugs were probably headed for the North and the rest intended for distribution here. They said the operation was aimed at drug-trafficking gangs feeding the Dublin and Leinster markets.
Further searches were being carried out later in west and south Dublin as well as parts of Co Meath as detectives made follow-up inquiries.
Officers said the seizures resulted from a lengthy operation. Officers said they were also investigating the origins of the seized cannabis and the route used by the suspected courier as he brought the drugs to north Kildare.