Thursday 27 June 2019

Gardaí smash gang skimming ATMs at eight bank branches

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Allison Bray and Tom Brady

GardaÍ believe they have smashed an Eastern European criminal gang involved in the suspected skimming of ATMs from eight bank branches in three counties.

Gardaí in Kildare, with the assistance of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, swooped on a location in Blanchardstown in Dublin yesterday where they found skimming devices and credit cards.

Two men in their 30s were arrested at the scene and are being held at Newbridge and Kildare Garda stations under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

The arrests came after gardaí worked closely with a "major Irish financial institution in an attempt to intercept the criminals involved", gardaí said in a statement last night.

"It is thought that these criminals form part of an Eastern European criminal organisation and the arrests are seen as a significant development in this case which involved the targeting of eight different bank branches in Dublin, Kildare and Meath."

Detective Chief Superintendent Patrick Lordan, of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, said: "Gardaí are working on a daily basis with the financial institutions to prevent fraud. I would again like to stress the importance of being vigilant in all your financial dealings. Pay particular attention to suspicious activity or unusual items in the vicinity of ATMs."

Meanwhile, gardaí seized €270,000 in €50 notes after a detailed search operation targeting a suspected major drug dealer in Co Louth.

The cash was concealed in a premises and rolled up into bundles of €10,000 each. Also recovered was a quantity of cocaine with an estimated street value of between €5,000 and €10,000.

The operation followed a lengthy investigation by Drogheda gardaí into the activities of an organised crime gang suspected of being involved in drug trafficking in the north-east of the country. Officers from the crime unit and detective unit at Drogheda, Co Louth, backed up by members of the armed support unit, carried out a series of searches in buildings in the Mell area of the town on Thursday afternoon.

Inquiries into the finds were continuing last night, under Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan, as officers extended their investigation into the gang and a rival outfit.

But no immediate arrests were made. The cash and cocaine were taken away for forensic examination. Officers said they were satisfied that the seized money was the proceeds of crime and that their operation had dealt a serious financial blow to the targeted gang.

Irish Independent

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