Gardai quiz seven in swoop on crime gang
GARDAI targeting an organised crime gang, believed to be responsible for high levels of drug trafficking over the past five years, were last night questioning seven suspects, among them a husband and wife.
They were detained during a series of 30 searches of houses and business premises across Dublin yesterday morning and afternoon.
Operation Vulcan, which is spearheaded by the garda national drugs unit, is also aimed at some of the gang members, who have been blamed for a pipe bomb attack on the home of the parents of former pop star and TV presenter Brian Ormond in Clondalkin, west Dublin, at Halloween last year.
Officers believe the house was singled out because one of Brian's brothers is a garda. Nobody was injured in the blast but the front of the house was damaged by a barrage of nails when the bomb exploded.
Three of the six men arrested yesterday were being held last night in connection with the pipe bomb attack.
Aged 17, 21, and 30, they were detained in Clondalkin and being questioned last night under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.
Gardai think that a man released from prison last year was the main organiser of the bombing incident.
The alleged gang leader, who is originally from the northside but now living in Drimnagh, was also among the arrests.
Gardai recovered around €20,000 in cash when they raided a Drimnagh address and arrested a 30-year-old woman on suspicion of money laundering. She was taken to Crumlin station for questioning.
Two other men were taken to the Bridewell station on outstanding warrants.
During the searches, gardai also seized two kilograms of cannabis resin and 250g of cocaine as well as documentation that could relate to money laundering or else be used as evidence to substantiate a case of suspected involvement by some of the gang in organised crime.
Detectives from the national drugs unit were backed up by officers from local drug units, the criminal assets bureau and other sections of the national support services during the search operation.
Senior gardai say the gang has been highly active in criminality over the past five years and has been mainly involved in importing and trafficking large shipments of cannabis and cocaine for the home market.
Detectives scored a number of significant successes against the gang last year when they intercepted drugs shipments at Bettystown, Co Meath, and in Clondalkin, Rathcoole and other parts of Dublin.
In total, they seized 750kg of cannabis and 6kg of cocaine, with an estimated street value of €4.9m.