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Dublin: 9°C Saturday 27 February 2021

Gardaí believe a Dublin tanning bed salon is being used to wash heroin money

Gardaí, Revenue and CAB are aware of the premises.

Image: Shutterstock/Olivier Bessems

GARDAÍ, THE CRIMINAL Assets Bureau and Revenue are investigating a small Dublin tanning shop as officers probe an alleged link to money laundering and drug dealing.

The tanning shop has, this year, turned over what sources say is an ‘inordinate sum of money for a relatively small business’.

The shop, which is currently operational, has ties to a heroin supplier. This man is a wholesaler for a number of gangs operating in Dublin and Cork.

Gardaí have been aware of his drug dealing operation for more than a year but have just recently established the link between the tanning shop and the drug sales.

The man at the centre of the criminal enterprise owns a number of businesses in Dublin and mainland Europe. Gardaí are also working with the PSNI to ascertain if heroin dealers in Belfast are also connected to the same suspect.

Gardaí believe the directors of the company, who are related, are aware of the extent of the activities which are now under investigation.

Gardaí understand that the shop fell below their radar initially as only small sums of cash were being laundered. However, in recent months, there has been a huge increase in the amount of money coming through its books. Revenue officers will examine how the business turned over a six-figure sum in less than six months, despite offering rates which are cheaper than most of its competitors.

The shop has been bringing in around €1,500 per day on average – meaning it needs 155 customers every single day for six months to sustain that amount of cash.

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Gardaí have observed a number of low-level heroin and cocaine dealers regularly enter the premises. Intelligence has also suggested this shop has been used for the supplier and dealers to hold meetings safely.

It is understood the suspects became aware in recent weeks that they were under surveillance. Illicit trade at the shop has now fallen off and the owners are attempting to legitimise the business.

Gardaí are now investigating a number of other premises they believe are being used to wash money.

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