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18 remain in custody after gang drug raids

EIGHTEEN gangland suspects remain in garda custody today after being arrested in dawn raids in three counties.

Gardai launched 50 raids on properties all over the city and in counties Meath and Louth in the major clampdown.

During the searches detectives seized cash, documentation and jewellery as part of Operation Wireless.

Gardai now plan to press charges in relation to robberies, thefts, burglaries and drug dealing.

Among those arrested are three close associates of one of the south inner city's biggest heroin dealers, Greg Lynch.


Lynch has already notched up a serious conviction for drug dealing.

In 2004, he was jailed for eight years after being caught with €400,000 worth of heroin.

In the Tallaght area, junior members of the gang -- which is controlled by veteran trafficker Paul Rice -- were picked up by armed gardai in the swoop. Rice's mob have been involved in a major campaign of intimidation against drug delaers.

The Rice and Lynch gangs are connected, though neither Paul Rice Snr nor Greg Lynch were arrested in the operation.

Yesterday's raids were carried out in Finglas, Ballymun, Santry, Mulhuddart, Clondalkin, Ballyfermot, Malahide, Artane, Marino, Ranelagh, Tallaght and the north inner city.

Officers from the Criminal Assests Bureau also raided addresses in Drogheda, Co Louth, and Stamullen and Bettystown, Co Meath.

A source explained: "This was a targeted operation and a lot of good intelligence has been obtained. There are plans to have more operations."

Four men and a woman who are wanted on European Arrest Warrants were also arrested.