100 bottles of champagne and €130k of cigs seized in city raid
Gardai and customs officers seized 100 bottles of champagne and €130,000 worth of cigarettes and tobacco in an operation in the Citywest area of the capital that led to the arrest of a 27-year-old man.
Separately, gardai yesterday announced they had arrested 35 people in north Dublin on six separate days in the past four weeks as part of Operation Thor, the force's crackdown on burglary gangs.
Thirty-one of those arrested were charged or taken to prison due to outstanding warrants. The charges included burglary, theft and fraud offences.
Some 105 vehicles were also seized as part of Operation Thor for a number of offences - including targetting drivers with no insurance or driving while disqualified.
Officers also located a large amount of stolen vehicle parts from high-end cars when they searched a number of containers in a storage yard.
The raid was carried out as part of Operation Waste, a major garda probe that has been ongoing for almost two years.
Before yesterday's raids, gardai had recovered more than €2 million worth of stolen luxury vehicles as part of the probe, including 74 that were seized up until the end of August.
The estimated value of the vehicles recovered this year is now at about €1 million.
Gardai said that the 27-year-old who was arrested yesterday was being held in Tallaght Garda Station.
"During the course of this search a large amount of stolen vehicle parts were discovered," a garda spokesman said.
"At this early stage it is difficult to put a value on the car parts but gardai are confident they have located the component parts of at least five high-end vehicles, along with other vehicle parts yet to be identified."
The two-officer team running Operation Waste is assisted by the Garda Stolen Motor Vehicle Investigation Unit and the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
The unit was originally set up in September 2014 with the aim of monitoring the export of vehicles to destinations such as the UK, Africa and Poland.
Officers previously established that dozens of high-end cars that were stolen here over the past year have been moved out of the country hidden in shipping containers underneath scrap, tyres and discarded computers, or even disguised in bigger vehicles on cargo ships from Dublin Port.
Sources say that a number of "kingpins" have been identified, including a Nigerian criminal who is based between Dublin and London, and a Lithuanian crimelord based in the Tyrrelstown area of west Dublin.
It has emerged that a notorious Co Meath-based Traveller criminal, who is originally from Finglas, has been acting as a "middle man" in the massive enterprise and is suspected of making tens of thousands of euro each week from the operation.