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Gardai raid halting site in welfare cheat probe

DETECTIVES from the Criminal Assets Bureau and investigators from the Revenue Commissioners were backed up by armed gardai today when they raided a halting site on Dublin's northside.

The raids began shortly after 8am at Northern Cross in the Darndale area when investigators swooped.

A source said the primary focus of the raids is an investigation into alleged social welfare fraud.

"Certain individuals have been running high-profile and lucrative companies, despite claiming the dole -- this morning's operation was designed to target this type of activity," said the source.

The area where this morning's raids happened is in the same locality as where officers uncovered a pipe bomb factory last month.

The halting site was the focus of two major garda searches in October and has been raided before.

It has regularly been searched by detectives from the Special Detective Unit who have been investigating the activities of dissident Republicans.

A month ago at least four shotguns, associated ammunition and two viable pipe bombs were seized in a large-scale search operation at a halting site in north Dublin.


A suspected bomb-maker, a notorious dissident Republican Traveller in his 20s was later released without charge and a file is being prepared for the DPP.

That search operation, carried out by 80 gardai, involved local gardai from Coolock and other stations in the garda's northern division backed by the Special Detective Unit, Emergency Response Unit, National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Garda Air Support Unit and the Garda dog and mounted units.

That operation was launched as part of the investigation into the murder of Real IRA boss Alan Ryan.