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€40k of drugs found in search for missing couple feared murdered


William Maughan and Anna Varslavane

William Maughan and Anna Varslavane

William Maughan and Anna Varslavane

Over €40,000 worth of drugs has been found by gardai in a quarry where officers previously searched for a missing couple feared murdered.

The large haul of heroin and cocaine was discovered by officers carrying out searches after they arrested the chief suspect for ordering the murder of Benny Whitehouse.

This 34-year-old Traveller gang boss, who is facing separate serious charges before the courts, remained in garda custody last night after his arrest in Cloverhill Prison on Monday and a 28-year-old female pal of the violent thug was also still being questioned after her arrest at a house in Balbriggan, north Co Dublin.

Sources said last night that gardai were confident that "great progress" has been made in relation to the murder of Whitehouse (35), who was shot dead at Clonard Street, Balbriggan, at 9am on Thursday, September 25.

The wide-ranging investigation has also shed new light on the massive drug dealing operations of the arrested gangster who has two foreign bodyguards.

Sources said that it will be "extremely difficult" to charge the gang boss in relation to this week's drugs seizure as the drugs were not found on the criminal's property.

This quarry was previously the focus of major searches by gardai investigating the sinister disappearance of Tallaght man Willie Maughan and his Latvian partner Anna Varslavane, who were last seen in the Gormanston area of Co Meath on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 14.

Gardai believe that the couple have been murdered but no trace of them was found in the quarry and no drugs were located there at that time - which means that they had been stashed there since then.

Last night new details of the operations of the arrested gang boss emerged with sources revealing that he has been buying his drugs from another Co Meath-based Traveller gang led by a millionaire.

Apart from being involved in drugs trafficking and a multi-million euro international car theft-ring, the kingpin is suspected of organising a number of armed robberies.

In January, the Herald revealed that the bogus assassination incident that occurred in Clondalkin at the turn of the year was a botched attempt by the arrested gangster to get his bail conditions changed.