Friday 23 June 2017

Paranoia rampant in cartel as drugs factory raided by armed gardai

Christy Kinahan
Christy Kinahan
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

The Kinahan cartel is reeling after a major heroin processing factory in a house in Crumlin was busted by armed gardai.

Officers recovered €600,000 worth of heroin, mixing agents, weighing scales, documents and several mobile phones during the intelligence-led operation.

It is believed the house was being used to cut and bag heroin for distribution to street dealers in the south inner city.

Gardai believe the drugs were likely to be linked to the cartel but are keeping an open mind on other theories because the man arrested is not a known gang member.

The seizure comes as the once-untouchable cartel is increasingly gripped by paranoia and suspicion following a string of successful garda operations in recent weeks.

A source has claimed that senior members of the drugs gang are now gripped by panic about informers and electronic surveillance.

Heroin seized as part of operation in Dublin 12
Heroin seized as part of operation in Dublin 12

“They believe their cars and homes have been bugged during garda searches and they will only talk in the open air or in restaurants,” the source said.

“They have even bought jammers, which they used during a recent meeting in a shopping centre in west Dublin to try and block any electronic surveillance carried out by gardai.”

It is believed senior gang members are convinced there are also “rats” within the organisation.

Gardai are increasingly fearful that out-of-control cartel leaders will resort to murdering their own gang members as paranoia takes hold.

Last night, gardai were continuing to question a 25-year-old man arrested following the armed raid.

Officers from Sundrive Road Garda Station received intelligence that the house was being used as part of a drug distribution network, and shortly after 7pm on Monday the property was raided by members of the Armed Support Unit (ASU).

The arrested man is not considered to be a major criminal and does not have any significant criminal convictions.

A source said that investigating gardai were surprised that he was in control of such a large amount of heroin.

One line of inquiry being looked at is that the drugs belong to associates of the Kinahan cartel who are based in the Crumlin and Drimnagh area. However, other avenues are also being examined.

A security source claimed the cartel is using drugs debts to recruit using young men with relatively clean criminal records to store narcotics.

“They are offering to wipe out drugs debts in exchange for storing or moving drugs. It means people who would not be top of the garda list can become heavily involved,” the source said.

A 27-year-old man is due to appear in court this morning charged in connection with the seizure.

The latest seizures could represent another major setback for the cartel.

On January 20, gardai seized cannabis worth an estimated €37m at Dublin Port – more than was found in the previous two years. It was concealed in steel boxes declared as tractor parts and is believed to have been paid for by a number of gangs, who clubbed together.

While the majority of the financial loss would not have been borne by the cartel, it still would have hit the gang hard.

Ammunition

Last week, an assault rifle, ammunition for a number of guns and about €3m of suspected heroin and cocaine were recovered.

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

That followed a major seizure of weapons earlier in the week from a warehouse in west Dublin.

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