Tuesday 20 March 2018

Armed gardai target 'up-and-coming' drug gang in swoop on flats

Garda Armed Response Unit
Garda Armed Response Unit

Ken Foy and  Robin Schiller

Armed gardai have raided a flat complex in central Dublin as part of an ongoing investigation into an "up-and-coming" drugs gang.

Two men, including a teenager, were arrested as part of the operation during which three apartments were raided in the Oliver Bond flats complex in Dublin 8.

In total, gardai seized €50,000 worth of a variety of drugs, with the main substance seized understood to be heroin.

The raids were part of an ongoing investigation by officers attached to Pearse Street Garda Station which has also involved undercover operations targeting street dealers.

A source last night said the target of the raids was a teenager who is suspected of being part of a family drug-dealing outfit.

The 18-year-old, arrested on a number of previous occasions in relation to drug-dealing, was one of the two arrested in yesterday morning's raids.

The second man, who is in his 40s, is regarded as a low-level criminal who has previously been arrested for minor offences. The two were last night still being questioned at Pearse Street Station following the significant armed raid.

They are being investigated in relation to a major drug-dealing operation in the city centre. Armed gardai kept a large presence at the flat complex throughout yesterday as officers carried out the raids, but no firearms were recovered.

"Gardai were not well received as they were carrying out the raids. It was part of an operation targeting an up-and-coming drugs gang," a source said.

"The primary target is a young fella who's family have previously been arrested for drug supply in the area," the source added.

The crime gang are suspected of supplying drugs, primarily heroin, in the city centre. The Oliver Bond flats complex is traditionally considered one of the main strongholds of the deadly Kinahan cartel.

However, there was nothing to suggest yesterday's raids are linked to the murderous mob.

It was the latest in a number of garda operations at the flat complex, which have targeted drug gangs operating in the south inner city.

The majority of the raids have been carried out by officers at Kevin Street Garda Station under Operation Thistle, an initiative aimed at targeting the Kinahan cartel.

The most recent significant raid occurred last December when gardai and members of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) searched a number of homes, seizing drugs and arresting a man.

In that case a large quantity of documentation was seized and a small amount of controlled drugs.

In total, six properties were searched in the swoop, including properties in the Oliver Bond complex and Tallaght.

In June of last year, €1.4m worth of heroin was seized, and one man arrested, while that May some €300,000 of drugs were confiscated.

These raids followed an operation the previous March in which 10 homes were raided and €50,000 in cash and €20,000 worth of jewellery was seized.

On that occasion, gardai seized more than €40,000 from the Liberties home of a young criminal who has been acting as a driver and business partner of Greg Lynch.

Gardai also forced entry into and searched an unoccupied property in the Oliver Bond flats complex, which was the family home of cartel figure Daniel Kinahan and where he was brought up as a child.


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