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Gardaí have seized up to €2 million worth of drugs in the past week

This week, Gardaí have seized drugs, weapons and cash in five operations in Louth, Meath, and Dublin. They also said they have seized 20 weapons, including five assault rifles and a submachine gun so far this year.

Image: An Garda Síochána

Updated 17.09

GARDAí HAVE SEIZED up to €2 million worth of drugs in separate seizures in the past week in Dublin, Louth and Meath.

Four separate criminal groups were targeted in the raids, which also saw significant amounts of cash seized.

Gardaí have also seized 20 weapons, including five assault rifles and a submachine gun, so far this year. They described the usage of semiautomatic weapons as a “big concern”.

They told a press conference in Dublin this afternoon that, in addition to tackling the high-level gangs, they are focusing on seizing drugs and money from “local role models” for potential recruits to organised crime gangs.

Almost €700,000 worth of heroin, ecstasy, and cannabis were seized by gardaí in separate operations in Dublin and Meath yesterday alone.

A search of a property in the Bellewstown area of Co Meath yesterday saw gardaí seize heroin, ecstasy tablets, cannabis resin and cannabis herb with an estimated value of €500,000.

Cash Meath Source: An Garda Síochána

Audi A3 seized

Mixing agents and other drug-preparation paraphernalia, together with €70,000 in cash was also seized. Two men aged 33 and 26, were arrested in relation to this seizure and are being held at Kells Garda station.

Meanwhile, €190,000 worth of cannabis was also seized in Finglas in north Dublin yesterday, by a special Garda gangland task force targeting organised crime.

Today, Gardaí also raided four houses in south Dublin.

The operation saw the seizure of an Audi A3, €30,000 worth of jewellery including a €15,000 watch, as well as heroin worth €3,000 and more cash and other property.

Kevin St Seizure Source: Garda Press Office

Four major operations

At a press conference in Garda headquarters in Phoenix Park today, Detective Superintendent Tony Howard from the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau described four major operations ongoing in their fight against organised crime – two in Dublin and one each in Dundalk and Meath.

These include:

A spokesman said: “Those seizures have involved multiple kilos of cannabis, cannabis herb, cannabis resin, heroin, cocaine, and we’ve also seized a significant amount of cash, approximately €80,000 between the four operations.

“We have in the last 72 to 48 hours made a number of seizures throughout the country, which will demonstrate the diverse nature – they include firearms, cocaine, heroin, tablets, accompanied by cash, and luxury watches.”

CqtXLZeXgAEM76g Today's press conference at Phoenix Park Source: TheJournal.ie

Significant blow

Detective Superintendent Tony Harte added: “The Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau and the Special Crime Task Force have engaged in four separate intelligence-led operations in Louth, Meath and Dublin.

“In Dublin, we have focused on the northside around the Finglas area. Those seizures have involved multiple kilos of various drugs. We’ve also seized a significant amount of cash, approximately €80,000.

Detective Superintendent Harte said the seizures were a “significant blow” against organised crime in the Dublin area.

The drugs are currently being analysed, but if they come back and confirm what we believe, we’re looking at a combined maximum seizure of €1.5 million to €2 million.

“I’d like to reassure the public that An Gardaí Síochána … have targeted a number of organised crime gangs and networks to get at these networks.

“The focus of these operations is to disrupt and dismantle, and prosecute and obtain evidence if possible against these groups.

It’s important to stress this wasn’t one particular group, I can state there were at least four groupings involved in these seizures.

He said anti-gangland operations have improved considerably since the establishment of the Special Crime Taskforce, who interact daily with the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.

Weapons

Gardai also say they have seized 20 weapons, including five assault rifles and a submachine gun since the start of this year.

Asked by TheJournal.ie if there was any end in sight in current gangland activity, Garda headquarters said recent seizures demonstrate their capability, but that organised crime “would always exist”.

The garda operations are part of Operation Thor, which was launched nationwide last November, primarily to tackle burglaries.

Bellewstown (2) The Bellewstown seizure Source: Garda Press Office

Gardaí said they had mounted a special intelligence-led operation in the Finglas area yesterday afternoon.

Members of the Special Crime Task Force and the Organised Crime Bureau Unit seized 30kgs of cannabis and half a kilo of resin during the operation.

The drugs still need to be analysed but it’s estimated they have a street value of €190,000. A quantity of cash was also seized.

Two men (aged 45 and 56) were arrested in the operation and are currently being held at Blanchardstown Garda Station.

The 45-year-old man was due to appear in court earlier this morning charged in relation with the seizure.

Cannabis Aug 2016 The drugs seized in the Finglas operation Source: Garda Press Office

Garda said these operations use advanced analytical and intelligence methods to disrupt criminals and dismantle their networks.

They said that seizures play a key role in targeting the livelihoods of criminals and disrupting their networks, as well as protecting communities.

Comments have been disabled as a man has been charged in relation with the incident.

With reporting by Cormac Fitzgerald and Cianan Brennan.

Read: Cocaine worth €420k seized in gangland task force crackdown

Read: Gardaí say they have foiled as many as 11 assassination attempts in recent months

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