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Officers examining data from phones in wake of searches of homes of serving gardaí

This element of the probe could take several weeks to complete, sources said.

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GARDAÍ TASKED WITH heading up a probe into claims that members of the force have been aiding a Dublin drugs gang are now trawling through a significant amount of digital data in the wake of their operation this week. 

Officers from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI) raided the homes of several serving members of the gardaí in recent days. 

Phones, as well as other devices, were seized by the specialist gardaí. 

Investigators will be examining messages on social media, as well as in WhatsApp groups, during their searches of the devices. 

This element of the probe could take several weeks to complete, sources said. 

It emerged on Wednesday evening that a senior member of the force, who has since retired, had been arrested as part of the wider operation.

He was held on suspicion of involvement in offences that relate to the alleged enhancing of a criminal organisation’s ability to commit or facilitate a serious offence.

No further arrests have since been made as part of this investigation, the Garda Press Office confirmed this afternoon. 

Sources said the homes that were raided are those of highly experienced officers who are very well-respected within the Garda organisation.

The GNBCI operation on Wednesday in which the former Garda was arrested included searches of five locations across Dublin. 

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It also resulted in the seizure of €600,000 worth of cannabis and €47,000 of cash.

The arrested man was taken for questioning to Irishtown Garda Station under section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007.

Gardaí confirmed he was still being held this afternoon. 

It is understood that information about the alleged activities of gardaí aiding the drugs gang came from criminal sources.

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