Notorious criminal arrested in ATM raid
One of Ireland's most notorious gangland criminals was in custody last night after his gang were caught by heavily armed gardaí.
The 38-year-old gangster and two associates were about to target an estimated €500,000 contained in a security van delivering cash to an ATM.
Drama unfolded in Dunboyne, Co Meath, at around 9.30am yesterday when officers arrested two criminals who were hiding in a 'bunker room' behind the cash machine.
A third suspect was arrested in a getaway car that was primed to be used to speed away from the scene.
All the arrested men were wearing three layers of clothes in an attempt to avoid forensic detection.
At least one of the criminals was wearing a bulletproof vest and officers recovered a loaded semi-automatic handgun which was being forensically examined last night.
A G4S security van, which was believed to contain over €500,000 in cash, arrived at a disused bank in Dunboyne, where there was an ATM machine to be filled.
Gardaí were lying in wait and two men were arrested at the scene. One of the men is a major player who is dubbed 'Mr Tiger Kidnapping'.
Gardaí previously received information that the 38-year-old received military training in Bulgaria by special forces.
"He is a suspect in up to a dozen tiger kidnappings but has never been convicted in relation to any of them, mainly because his gang is so forensically aware.
"They were the first crew here to realise that bleach can get rid of all DNA evidence," a source said.
Also in custody are two of the man's closest associates, including a well-known criminal from Hartstown in west Dublin.
Officers are attempting to establish how the men managed to break into the empty room at the rear of the ATM machine.
The bust was the result of a major surveillance operation that had been ongoing for weeks.
Gardaí had been monitoring the gang as they carried out their own surveillance on the ATM in the lead-up to the foiled crime.