Gang boss now debt collector for drug traffickers
THE GANGLAND boss suspected of being involved in a dozen murders in the past 28 months has now set up a debt collection agency for drug traffickers.
The criminal godfather, who is in his thirties and originally from Finglas in west Dublin, has set up a side business buying debts from the leaders of smaller gangs and then making a profit by collecting them.
Garda intelligence has indicated that he is using his reputation as a ruthless thug and the firepower available to his gang of associates to intimidate those owing the cash for drug deals to pay their debts promptly and add in a lucrative commission for him.
"This man is a psychopath and has grown out of control. He is ruling gangland by fear and the murders in the past week are further evidence that he and his associates should not be crossed," one senior officer said.
"Not content with making profits from his own activities, he has now branched out by capitalising on the name he has built up within the criminal underworld, and collecting the debts owed to others also allows him a closer look at the vulnerability of his would-be rivals," he added.
He has been linked by gardai with 12 deaths since October 2007 and the toll could be 13 if the suspected gunman in a double murder in Dublin's north inner city in January last year is confirmed to be dead.
He has been missing since shortly after the murders, which gardai believe were carried out on the orders of the gangland boss, who then turned his weaponry on his gunman.
The gang boss is also believed to be well-known to the prime suspect in Sunday night's double murder of Paddy Mooney and Brendan Molyneaux in Pearse House in Pearse Street.
The man, who is regarded as a "gun for hire" and is from Finglas, was arrested within two hours of the fatal shootings when heavily armed detectives burst into his home and arrested the suspect and his girlfriend. Two other friends of the suspect were detained in the city centre.
All four were arrested under section 50 of the Offences Against the State Act, which allows gardai to detain them for a maximum of seven days.
Last night, senior officers leading the investigation went to a special sitting of Dublin district court to seek permission from a judge to extend the period of detention for three of the suspects from the initial two days.
The seven-day detention powers for suspects in gangland investigations were introduced last year and have already proved a useful weapon for the gardai.
Justice Minister Dermot Ahern has also amended the legislation to ensure that the court sittings are held in camera to prevent crucial details of the progress of a garda investigation being leaked to criminals.
Mr Ahern yesterday described those responsible for the Pearse Street murders and the fatal shooting of drug trafficking Traveller John Paul Joyce, who was abducted last Thursday, as part of "an insidious cancer".
He promised that the full legislative powers of the State would be used to bring them to justice.
He said the legislation was now in place and it was up to the gardai to get the evidence.
He said gardai had already secured some significant successes and there was also anecdotal evidence that the new laws were leading criminals to flee Irish shores because of fears of the legislation.