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Tuesday 30 May 2017

Kinahan mob hid €3m drugs and AK47 in house after raid

Gardaí from the Armed Support Unit at the scene of an arms and drugs haul in Sallins, Co Kildare. Photos: Fergal Phillips
Gardaí from the Armed Support Unit at the scene of an arms and drugs haul in Sallins, Co Kildare. Photos: Fergal Phillips
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

Gardaí believe that the gang who hid firearms and drugs in a Kildare house did so because they believed it was a safe location after it was recently raided.

Officers discovered an AK47 assault rifle, ammunition and €3m of suspected heroin and cocaine during the raid at the house in Sallins, Co Kildare.

The detached dormer bungalow in a quiet cul-de-sac in the Sallins Bridge estate was the focus of Garda attention last Tuesday, the same day that a massive haul of guns was discovered in a unit in an industrial estate in Baldonnell.

The raids were part of an ongoing operation targeting the Kinahan drugs cartel, currently embroiled in a murderous feud with the Hutch family based in north inner city Dublin.

Members of the Gardai at the scene. Photo: Gareth Chaney / Collins
Members of the Gardai at the scene. Photo: Gareth Chaney / Collins

Four people were arrested on foot of the Baldonnell raid, and three have since been charged with gun possession.

The Sallins house was raided again on Saturday night by officers connected to the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.

"This house had been under surveillance for a long time, and maybe this gang thought that because it was raided last week the gardaí would be finished with it," a senior source said.

"But the surveillance did not end there and there was activity at the house since so it was raided again and the drugs and gun and ammunition were found."

Gardaí believe that using the same house which was already raided shows how desperate the gang has become in moving and hiding their weapons, cash and drugs,

"The gang is under huge pressure and this is evidenced by panicky behaviour as they try to find out where gardaí are getting their success from," said the senior source.

The property in Sallins has been rented for five years.

Neighbours said they were shocked to learn that the raid could be connected to the ongoing murderous Kinahan and Hutch feud.

"It's hard enough to get your head around the fact that there's a gun and drugs and bullets in that house, but what if someone wanted to target whoever brought them here, in a quiet cul-de-sac full of children," said one young mother.

"I know it's a cliché you read all the time that the places where these things happen are quiet neighbourhoods, but this is just that, a quiet street," she added.

The Garda press office confirmed that gardaí from the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, supported by the Special Crime Task Force, seized a firearm along with large quantities of suspected controlled drugs during in an the operation.

An assault rifle similar to an AK47, ammunition for a number of guns and approximately €3m worth of suspected heroin and cocaine were recovered during the operation.

The drugs were wrapped in 1kg blocks and it is believed 20kg was cocaine and 30kg was heroin.

The house remained sealed off yesterday and guarded by members of the armed support unit.

The Garda technical bureau carried out a forensic examination of the property and a number of items of evidence were removed from the house.

No arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing.

Irish Independent

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