Friday 24 November 2017

Gang known as 'The Family' behind €5m cocaine and heroin seized by gardai

Ken Foy Crime Correspondent

Gardai have seized more than €5m worth of drugs and five firearms controlled by the dangerous west Dublin gang known as The Family.

Gardai seized heroin and cocaine with an estimated value of €4.9m during a planned search at a premises in the Bluebell Industrial Estate on Tuesday.

A 39-year-old man who was arrested on Monday in the first phase of the operation was still being questioned by officers at Clondalkin Garda Station today about the biggest bust on an organised crime gang this year.

“This is of course very serious. This is a huge amount of drugs. The feeling is that someone is going to pay a very heavy price for this,” said a source.

Read more here: Almost €5m worth of drugs seized in Dublin 

The Herald revealed yesterday that the man in custody is a key member of the gang. The first raid, at a Ballyfermot house, happened after the vehicle he was travelling in was stopped in Clondalkin at around 4pm on Monday. The suspect was searched and found to have €4,000.

Three sub machine guns, a pistol and 3kg of cocaine were found in the house. Officers also discovered one kilo of suspected heroin as well as a quantity of ammunition.

The total value of the haul was €360,000.

Gardai believe the seized weapons had come into the country with a drugs shipment from Spain.

Sources said that the mob are not involved in any “active feud” and had been stockpiling the weapons.

On Tuesday, Clondalkin Detective and Drugs Units carried out a planned search of a premises at Bluebell Industrial Estate in Dublin.

During the search, 32.5kgs of heroin and half-a-kilo of suspected cocaine were discovered and seized. Gardai said the total value of the second bust was €4.9m.

A handgun and a quantity of ammunition were also seized during the search.

The leader of The Family mob is a 37-year-old career criminal from Clondalkin who was previously jailed for six years for possession of almost €2m worth of heroin following a massive investigation by the Garda National Drugs Unit (GNDU) and international police agencies.

A court heard from a senior detective in that case that the dangerous gang “had in the past used fatal shootings of anyone who compromised their business.”

The Family gang are hugely feared in the communities they operate in and have been previously linked to a number of shootings.

The traffickers who have been targeted by the Criminal Assets Bureau in the past are described as “a highly unusual but very effective crew” and some even work everyday at tough blue collar jobs.

Sources say that the mob’s stronghold is the Ballyfermot, Clondalkin and Tallaght areas and their speciality ‘product’ is heroin but they have strongly moved into the cocaine market in recent years.

It is understood that The Family have been flooding Dublin with heroin and other drugs for almost two decades and have built up allegiances with a number of other dangerous drugs gangs but they consider themselves better than them.

kfoy@herald.ie

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