Several homes linked to serving gardaí have been searched as part of an investigation into information allegedly being leaked to an organised crime group.
A number of mid-ranking officers are under investigation and were this week targeted in a coordinated operation by the Garda’s National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI).
Five searches were carried out during which more than €500,000 worth of drugs were discovered. Almost €50,000 in cash, suspected of being the proceeds of criminal conduct, was also seized.
The investigation is focusing on whether sensitive information was allegedly being passed on to a crime organisation involved in the drugs trade.
It is believed that this relates to a Dublin-based crime gang and that information on Garda operations assisted the criminal network.
While the homes of a number of serving members of An Garda Síochána were searched, they have not been arrested as part of the investigation.
There have also not yet been any suspensions from the force relating to the inquiry.
One source said: “These were searches to gather any evidence and at this point there has been no disciplinary action taken against them. They are presumed innocent.
“They are well-regarded investigators within the force and have been involved in investigations into organised crime in the past.”
The Garda inquiry is focused on a number of serving gardaí and a retired officer, and has shocked the wider organisation.
On Wednesday, detectives recovered €600,000 worth of cannabis and €47,000 in cash during what was described as an “organised crime related operation”.
A 61-year-old man was also arrested as part of the searches on suspicion of enhancing the abilities of a criminal gang to commit a serious offence.
The man, a retired senior garda who left the force some years ago, remains in custody at Irishtown Garda station and can be held for a period of up to seven days. He must then either be charged or released from custody pending a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Details of the operation were announced yesterday by Garda Headquarters in the Phoenix Park, which said it was an “organised crime related” investigation.
“In the course of the operation 30kg of cannabis herb with an estimated street value of €600,000 (subject to analysis) and cash in the amount of €47,000 was located and seized,” a statement from An Garda Síochána said.
“One male suspect, aged 61 years was arrested in the course of the operation, to date, on suspicion of involvement in offences contrary to the provisions of section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2006, relating to alleged enhancing the ability of a criminal organisation to commit or facilitate a serious offence.
The statement added: “The arrested person is currently detained at Irishtown Garda Station, pursuant to the provisions of section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007.”
While the inquiry is progressing, no further arrests have yet been made.
The investigation by the NBCI has been ongoing for some time, with this week’s searches and arrest a significant development in the inquiry.