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€1m seized by anti-gang gardaí in early morning van stop

The money is alleged to be the proceeds of crime from a West Dublin Crime Group.

Garda seized the €1m when they stopped a car on the M7 in Kildare.
Garda seized the €1m when they stopped a car on the M7 in Kildare.
Image: Garda Press Office

GARDAÍ HAVE SEIZED more than €1m when they stopped and searched a van on an Irish motorway.

The money, sources suspect to be the proceeds of crime of a West Dublin Crime Group, was found by detectives in the operation on the M7 earlier this morning.

Plain clothes gardaí with the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) stopped the van and carried out the search at 6.30am.

It is expected to be in excess of €1m as gardai continue to count the cash which was found in large plastic wrapped wads.

Gardaí arrested a 45-year-old man and has been detained at Portlaoise Garda Station under the provisions of Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act which means he can be held for questioning for up to seven days.

A garda spokesman said that the man was arrested “on suspicion of involvement in participating in the activities of a criminal organisation, to facilitate money laundering, relating to the suspected proceeds of drug trafficking, pursuant to the provisions of section 72 of Criminal Justice Act, 1996.”

Detectives have carried out a series of raids across the midlands and have seized a further €10,000.

Speaking today Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll, who heads Organised and Serious Crime, within An Garda Síochána, said that the operation was part of a broader strategy targeting a crime gang.

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“An Garda Síochána continues to pursue organised crime groups who are believed to involved in supplying illicit drugs within our communities, the motivation for which is financial gain.  We again today have made a significant advance in our attempt to dismantle organised crime groups, by locating and seizing the suspected proceeds of their criminal activity.

“Despite our significant commitment to tackling issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, at this time, An Garda Síochána remains focused on protecting communities from serious and organised crime, including cyber enabled crime, drug trafficking and associated money laundering,” he said.

Sources have said that it is now believed that crime gangs are using isolated rural houses and other properties to hide cash. A recent seizure in Kerry resulted in a similarly large amount of money taken which was linked to a Dublin organised crime group.

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