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Mr Big and gangland pals out of pocket as €3.5m cocaine seized


Some of the €3.5m haul of cocaine detected yesterday

Some of the €3.5m haul of cocaine detected yesterday

Some of the €3.5m haul of cocaine detected yesterday

Some of the country's biggest drug gangs are out of pocket after €3.5m of cocaine was seized in north Co Dublin.

The gangs formed a conglomerate to handle 50kg of cocaine that was smuggled from South America.

Among those who are suspected of having 'chipped in' are the Coolock-based drugs trafficker 'Mr Big' and a Co Meath based criminal who was a very close associate of murdered criminal Sean Dunne.


But sources said last night a number of other drug gangs are believed to have been involved in sourcing the cocaine.

It was discovered by detectives from the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) in a container that was full of fruit that had been imported this week.

"If it had worked out for the gangs, the intention would have been to divide up the drugs and then distribute the cocaine nationwide," a senior source said.

"It is fair to say that it is a big blow to these ruthless criminal organisations."

A truck driver (33), understood to be from the south-east of the country, was at Swords Garda Station last night but sources said he may be innocent and might not have known about the haul.

"Investigations will establish whether he is innocent or not - he is certainly not known to gardaí for involvement in organised crime," the source said.

Gardaí yesterday announced details of the bust in Swords.

Assistant Commissioner John O'Driscoll said: "Participation by a number of sections within An Garda Síochána, with assistance provided by Customs Revenue Service in this operation, has resulted in another significant seizure of a substance believed to be cocaine, which prevents further damage being inflicted within our communities."


This is the latest major blow against the 'Mr Big' drugs trafficking network after GNDOCB's officers were involved in a €610,000 drugs seizure also in Swords last week.

Mr Big's gang are the biggest drug-dealing crew on the northside and have also been involved in tiger kidnappings.

They are suspected of organising the gun murders of Real IRA brothers Alan and Vinnie Ryan in 2012 and 2016 respectively as part of extortion-related disputes.

His Co Meath-based business partner, who also cannot be named for legal reasons, has barely any previous record despite being one of the main targets of the international police investigation Operation Majesty in September 2013.

Gardaí released details at that time that €2.5m in cash, €2.5m worth of cannabis herb along with firearms, ammunition, grenades and luxury cars have been seized in Ireland and across Europe in connection with Operation Majesty.

The gang have set up a massive criminal operation importing cannabis from the Netherlands into Ireland via the postal system.

The same drugs conglomerate that was targeted by gardaí yesterday was left millions of euro out of pocket after a raid last October in Co Louth in which €3.2m of cannabis was found hidden in a legitimate load of fresh vegetables.