herald

Friday 9 December 2016

36 arrests, 17 firearms seized and 129 searches in city murder probes

Top-of-the range cars being seized by gardai and Cab officers
Top-of-the range cars being seized by gardai and Cab officers
Top garda Jack Nolan
Members of the Gardai, Customs, CAB members of the Special Detective Unit remove high end vehicles

Gardai investigating ten Dublin killings which include murders linked to the ongoing Hutch/Kinahan feud have made 36 arrests and seized 17 firearms.

So far this year, ten murders have been carried out in the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR), compared to nine during the same period last year.

The most recent killing occurred earlier this month when David Douglas (54) was shot dead by a lone gunman on Bridgefoot Street in the south inner city.

Assistant Garda Commissioner Jack Nolan, who has special responsibilities for the Dublin Region as well as the South-East Region, said that "progress is being made in all investigations".

In total, 36 arrests have been made and 129 searches carried out, which have led to the seizure of 17 firearms and approximately €1m worth of assets suspected of being obtained from the proceeds of crime.

intelligence

Some 7,626 "investigative tasks" - which include a number of varying operations, from taking witness statements to obtaining CCTV evidence - have also been conducted.

"There are intelligence-driven operations currently ongoing in the DMR, which provide both a proactive and re-active response to serious crime," Mr Nolan told a meeting of Dublin City Council's Joint Policing Committee (JPC).

"While I am constrained in discussing particulars of the cases for operational reasons, I wish to assure this committee that all investigations are fully resourced and are making progress.

"An Garda Siochana is fully committed to identifying the individuals and their associates," the Assistant Garda Commissioner said.

Operation Hybrid patrols, which provide an armed response to organised crime in the capital, have also been successful in preventing a number of serious crimes being carried out by Dublin gangs.

Since February there have been 6,221 checkpoints and 872 mobile patrols, with 2,196 searches conducted under the auspice of Operation Hybrid.

"There have been a number of very significant stops, searches and arrests in relation to the movements of armed criminals in this period," Mr Nolan said.

The Herald previously revealed how a gunman on a bicycle abandoned a planned gangland hit on the brother of Gerry "The Monk" Hutch over the weekend.

A suspected gunman approached the Champions Avenue home of Paddy Hutch Snr (53) but failed to carry out the hit.

Mr Hutch was issued with a Garda Information Message - also known as a GIM form - after gardai received intelligence that there was a credible threat against his life.

Speaking at the JPC meeting, Dublin North-Central TD Maureen O'Sullivan praised the work being done by gardai in her division.

But she raised concerns over the length of time it would take to establish the Special Crime Task Force.

The unit was announced earlier this year by Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald and will specifically target organised crime in Dublin.

Deputy O'Sullivan said that there was a possibility that more "of the most unfortunate crimes" could occur in the time it would take to have the task force fully operational.

Assistant Commissioner Jack Nolan said that the announcement of membership for the unit was "at an advanced stage", and that necessities including accommodation, vehicles and firearms were being finalised.

Dispute

Mr Nolan will oversee the new task force along with Assistant Garda Commissioner John O'Mahoney, who is responsible for national support services such as the Special Detective Unit (SDU).

Mr O'Mahoney previously said that members of the task force could be sent to Spain to target members of the Kinahan cartel as part of An Garda Siochana's investigations into the current gangland feud.

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