Wednesday 18 October 2017

Tracking devices seized during garda raids 'used to monitor drug deliveries and criminal rivals'

Search of Marrowbone Lane. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Search of Marrowbone Lane. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Gardai remove evidence after inspecting a premises during raids in which sniffer dogs were utilised

Ken Foy

Tracking devices which were seized during garda raids in the south inner city were to be used to monitor cars transporting drugs.

The devices were found during the searches of homes belonging to two criminals, who are linked to the Kinahan cartel.

Five GPS tracking devices were located in two properties, one in the Liberties area and another in Inchicore, by officers in the second wave of raids against the gang this week.

Gardai believe that the devices are also used by the gangsters so they can track the movements of their rivals.

Up to 80 gardai were involved in searching 10 homes in Dublin's south inner city, Inchicore and one property in the north inner city yesterday.

More than €50,000 was seized, including more than €40,000 from the Liberties home of a young criminal who has been acting as a driver for convicted heroin trafficker Greg Lynch (31). Gardai believe that this cash is "cartel drug money" and that it is directly linked to key cartel member Lynch, whose home was not targeted in yesterday's raids.

Gardai remove evidence after inspecting a premises during raids in which sniffer dogs were utilised
Gardai remove evidence after inspecting a premises during raids in which sniffer dogs were utilised

Assassination

Lynch - who survived an assassination attempt in October, 2013, which has left him facially disfigured - is one of Ireland's biggest drug dealers and has multiple death threats against his life.

Lynch was just 19 when he was jailed for six years in 2004 after he was caught handing over €400,000 worth of heroin in the car-park of the Red Cow Inn on the Naas Road in Dublin.

Just under €10,000 in cash was discovered and taken by gardai in Inchicore when they raided a property in which a very close associate of convicted cocaine dealer Gareth Chubb resides. Gardai also seized small quantities of drugs in yesterday's searches - but the purpose of the raids was to gather information on the gangsters rather then drugs busts.

"Quantities of cannabis for personal use were found in several of the homes that were raided," a source explained.

More than €20,000 worth of jewellery was also seized by officers yesterday, including a number of top-of-the-range Rolex and Breitling watches.

A large amount of financial documentation was also seized. It's understood these papers will be analysed by CAB specialists in an investigation into the mob's "bogey business fronts".

There was one arrest during the raids when a 28-year-old criminal was picked up at the McDonagh House flats complex on foot of an outstanding bench warrant and brought to jail by gardai. This suspect is considered an "enforcer and manager" for the Kinahan cartel's drug- dealing operations in the south inner city.

He is very closely linked with 'Fat' Freddie Thompson's brother Richie Thompson (40).

Disrupting

No firearms were seized but gardai said they were satisfied with how the high-profile operation went.

"It is all about disrupting this gang and the raids certainly did that. These individuals were far from happy to be woken from their beds at 7am," a source explained.

"The financial documentation will now be analysed and this will be done in conjunction with documents that were seized on Wednesday in the operation against Liam Byrne and his associates in Crumlin and Bluebell," a source said.

Properties linked to a number of high-profile criminals were targeted yesterday. This includes an Inchicore property linked to Eoin 'Scarface' O' Connor (33), who is a first cousin of Regency Hotel murder victim David Byrne and gangster 'Fat' Freddie Thompson.

Also targeted was a northside house linked to Dean Howe (31), who was previously arrested by gardai investigating the non-fatal shooting of Martin 'The Viper' Foley at a Kimmage gym in January 2008.

At one address in the Liberties area a sniffer dog was brought in to assist in the search of a house which had multiple CCTV cameras on it.

Gardai were equipped with battering rams and were prepared to enter homes by force if necessary - but it is understood that this was not needed.

The south inner city home of a 33-year-old criminal, who is currently facing serious charges before the courts, was also searched but gardai found little of evidential value there.

He is the suspected gunman for a number of shooting incidents, including the attempted murder of car dealer Michael Frazer in Islandbridge in November, 2014.

He was also arrested by gardai in a major operation in July 2011, in which a viable pipe bomb was seized, but escaped charges in that case.

Targeting

Yesterday and Wednesday's raids targeted close ­associates of drug dealer David Byrne (34) who was shot dead in the Regency Hotel gun attack on February 5.

Wednesday's operation led to the seizure of €100,000 in cash as well as property worth well over €1 million.

A number of Rolex watches and other high-end jewellery items, 29 cars and jeeps as well as six motorbikes were seized when gardai raided 12 homes and six businesses in a series of dawn raids on Wednesday.

The cars included high spec Mercedes, BMW, Golf GTI, Lexus and Landcruiser models and two of the six motorbikes are each worth in excess of €30,000. They are now at a secure Co Kildare location.

Herald

Independent.ie Comments Facility

INM has taken the decision to remove the commenting facility on its online platform Independent.ie to minimise the legal risk to our business that arises from Ireland's draconian libel awards system.

We continue to look forward to receiving comments through direct email contact or via social media, some of which may still be featured on the website Independent.ie


Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News