Gardaí have made what is believed to be the biggest single cash seizure from organised criminals in the history of the State after approximately €4 million was found.
The seizure was made on Wednesday in Co Laois and Co Kerry during a Garda operation targeting a family-based organised crime group involved in the drugs trade.
The gang is headed by two Dublin brothers in their 40s, both of whom have convictions for large scale drug dealing and have spent time in prison in Ireland and Spain.
The group based in west Dublin has also been using the car trade to launder money and has been under investigation by the specialist Garda organised crime units for over a decade.
During that period it has become one of the largest drugs gang in the State and is now regarded as the Garda and other European police forces as a significant player on the international drugs scene.
The Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau seized €4 million in cash during search operations in Co. Kerry and Co. Laois yesterday. The searches targeted an organised crime group believed to be involved in international drug trafficking. pic.twitter.com/YFcqNv6uBB
— Garda Info (@gardainfo) October 1, 2020
Senior Garda officers believed the family-based Dublin gang has sought to capitalise on the pressure applied by the Garda to the Irish wing of the Kinahan cartel since the Kinahan-Hutch feud began five years ago.
The drugs gang the money was seized from has been the subject of major investigations by the Criminal Assets Bureau, with their car business – which sells luxury vehicles – raided twice in high profile operations in the past two years. Both of those large-scale operations were in Dublin, though the group has a national reach with bases in a number of counties.
The latest operation was conducted on Wednesday when members of the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) conducted a number of searches in counties Laois and Kerry.
During the searches at those two sites some €4 million in cash was found and three vehicles were also seized. The Garda has said a more specific value would be put on the money when it was all counted; a process that was still under way given the scale of the cash haul.
As well as the cash being seized and the vehicles being confiscated on suspicion they represented the proceeds of crime a 46-year-old man was also arrested and was being questioned at Tralee Garda station on suspicion of crimes relating to organised crime.
Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll, the senior Garda officer in charge of the investigation of organised and serious crime, said the group targeted was significant internationally as well as domestically.
“An Garda Síochána, through its Organised and Serious Crime (OSC) section continues to target criminal activity associated with organised crime groups with a particular focus on depriving those concerned of the proceeds of their criminal activity,” he said.
“The seizure yesterday by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) of cash, potentially to the extent of €4 million, bringing to €8 million the total amount of cash seized by GNDOCB so far this year, is another important achievement, reflecting our determination to dismantle particular organised crime groups.”