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Dublin: 17°C Thursday 23 September 2021

INLA crackdown: Nine arrested, drugs and cash seized across two days of cross-border raids

The arrests were made today and yesterday.

Some of the items seized in the raids.
Some of the items seized in the raids.
Image: PSNI

GARDAÍ AND THE PSNI have arrested nine people and seized significant quantities of drugs, cash and electronics in a planned two-day crackdown on the activities of the INLA in the north-west of Ireland. 

Working as part of the Joint Agency Task Force (JATF) gardaí carried out seven searches of properties in Donegal and Dublin as part of the operation targeting criminality linked to the INLA.

These searches were conducted by Gardaí in Kerrykeel and Buncrana in Donegal, and in Finglas, Dublin yesterday and resulted in a number of electronic devices being seized.

The search operation involved local detective and drug units, the Special Detective Unit, the Armed Support Unit and the Garda Dog Unit.

Officers from the PSNI’s Paramilitary Crime Task Force (PCTF) arrested eight men and one woman as part of this cross-border investigation in Derry.

These individuals, aged between 27 and 42, were arrested in the Derry and Limavady areas yesterday and today.

The woman has been released on street bail and all eight men remain in custody at this time.

The PCTF conducted eight searches and seized a significant amount of suspected cannabis, suspected Class A controlled drugs, and a substantial quantity of cash in Euros.

Superintendent Goretti Sheridan of the Buncrana Garda District said: “This operation has been ongoing since the summer of 2020 where An Garda Síochána and the PSNI have been liaising and gathering intelligence regarding the unlawful activities of the INLA, an unlawful organisation, and their involvement in the sale and supply of drugs in the North West, on both sides of the border.

“This is a borderless crime and it is imperative we in An Garda Síochána work closely with our colleagues in the PSNI in order to combat the sale and supply of controlled drugs which are devastating our communicates.

The INLA like other gangs involved in drug dealing are making huge profits and benefitting from this legal activity.

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“With our colleagues in the PSNI we are committed to working together to ensure we keep everyone safe on both sides of the border,” she said.

Detective Chief Superintendent John McVea, Head of Criminal Investigation Branch in the North said; “The INLA in the North West are involved in all forms of criminality including the organised illegal supply of controlled drugs. This operation looks to take action against those involved in this illegal drugs supply.

“This operation is a prime example of how the Joint Agency Task Force (JATF) works on the ground to tackle organised and cross-jurisdictional crime. The Cross Border JATF continues to provide opportunities for, and promote real-time collaboration, between An Garda Síochána and the PSNI in our combined efforts to frustrate, disrupt and dismantle the activity of organised crime groups,” he said.

The Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) was set up as a splinter group of the Official IRA in 1974. It had opposed the 1972 IRA ceasefire.

The group came to worldwide infamy in 1979 following the death of Conservative Northern Ireland spokesman Airey Neave. The INLA planted a bomb under his car in the House of Commons car park.

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