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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 22 August, 2019
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Gardaí target Dublin online drug supplier who uses 'hundreds of SIM cards' a year to evade detection

The supplier himself does not want to be seen buying these SIM cards and instead pays younger people to do it for him.

Image: Shutterstock/Tremendous Shots

GARDAÍ TARGETING AN online drug supplier are tracking the movements of suspected dealers who are buying up hundreds of SIM cards every year for use in his trade. 

Officers investigating an alleged online drug ring are aware of a number of teenagers being solicited by a drug supplier to buy SIM cards in bulk from supermarkets and shops. 

The supplier – who pays the youngsters to stock up on the cards for him – then uses the SIM cards to set up parcel delivery services. It is believed each SIM card is used once and then destroyed so it, and the dealer, cannot be traced. 

The dealer initially used SIM cards from one supermarket network but has since switched up and is using as many available networks as possible in a bid to evade detection. 

Gardaí in pockets of Clondalkin and Blanchardstown in west Dublin have stopped and searched a people who had a number of unused SIM cards in their possession as part of their investigation. 

As there is nothing illegal in the mere purchase of the SIM cards, gardaí are unable to seize them but instead make a note on the internal Garda PULSE system about who was carrying the SIM cards, and when and where they were observed to be in their possession.

Gardaí believe that there are dozens of young people across Lucan, Clondalkin and Ballyfermot who are holding drugs for the scheme’s mastermind. Detectives believe he is choosing this method of storing the drugs in order to reduce his exposure to legal risk.

Drugs units based in the west of the capital are liaising on this investigation with national units such as the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI) and the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.

Raids

Gardaí raided the suspected supplier’s house on one occasion a number of years ago but found nothing of interest. Offices suspect that he is using a number of safe houses to store, split and distribute the drugs. 

Officers have arrested a number of people in recent months who they believe are involved in the online drug business. However, none of these arrests have been able to garner intelligence on the main supplier. 

Gardaí, along with revenue officials, have been attempting to stem the flow of drugs coming into the country. 

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