Properties linked to cross-border drug dealer targeted in CAB raids
The leader of a cross-border criminal gang who is one of the biggest drug dealers in the north of the country has been targeted in a series of Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) raids.
The gang boss, who is a 34-year-old man from Donegal, is a target of both national Garda units and anti-organised crime units within the PSNI.
He was recently jailed after being arrested over a €350,000 drug seizure being smuggled across the Border.
Senior sources told the Irish Independent the CAB operation targeted a property portfolio that the convicted drug trafficker has recently been attempting to establish.
"He is involved in drug trafficking across Donegal and the North, and is attempting to establish a property empire from what are the proceeds of crime," said the source. "No major assets were recovered but documents relating to the buying of property were recovered, which will be significant for the investigation."
Yesterday, CAB officers assisted by local gardaí carried out a number of raids across Donegal in which five premises were targeted.
The properties searched included three residential homes linked to the gang boss, as well as a solicitors firm and property agent.
A Garda spokesman said: "The CAB investigation relates to a criminal living in Co Donegal and to the ownership of property suspected to be funded through criminal conduct."
The gang boss being targeted was caught with approximately €350,000 worth of cannabis in the North in 2016.
Three men were arrested as part of the PSNI operation in Lurgan, and in April he received a two-year prison term in relation to that drugs bust.
A senior PSNI detective said the crime gang were supplying large quantities of controlled drugs into the Derry and Donegal areas.
They noted that the supply of these illegal drugs "had the potential to cause significant harm".
The man was also previously described in court as the largest drug supplier in Donegal, during a bail application by a criminal associate.
The gang were busted following a lengthy surveillance operation by the PSNI, which was assisted by gardaí.
The drug trafficker has been on the Garda radar for several years and CAB began its investigations into him after receiving intelligence from local officers.