herald

Monday 5 December 2016

€500k drugs haul may be linked to pals of 'murdered' crime boss

Det Supt Tony Howard with two of the barrels recovered in Co Meath that contained €500,000 worth of drugs and €70,000 in cash. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Det Supt Tony Howard with two of the barrels recovered in Co Meath that contained €500,000 worth of drugs and €70,000 in cash. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Gardai are investigating if the discovery of €500,000 worth of drugs and €70,000 in cash buried in barrels in a rural area of Co Meath on Wednesday is linked to one of the country's biggest drug barons.

Two men, aged 26 and 33, were arrested after the drugs were uncovered in a search in Bellewstown.

During the course of the search, heroin, ecstasy tablets, cannabis resin and cannabis herb were seized along with the cash.

Mixing agents and other drug paraphernalia were also found.

The two arrested men were being questioned at Kells Garda Station last night.

Sources said gardai are investigating if the seized drugs and cash belonged to a major league criminal who spends most of his time between Merseyside and a property in Co Meath.

Firearms

He has little previous record despite being one of the main targets of the international police investigation codenamed Operation Majesty in September 2013.

Gardai released details at that time that €2.5m in cash and €2.5m worth of cannabis herb - along with firearms, ammunition, grenades and luxury cars - had been seized in Ireland and across Europe in connection with the operation.

The gang being targeted are believed to have set up a massive criminal operation importing cannabis from the Netherlands into Ireland via the postal system.

Operation Majesty was revealed after gardai targeted the gang's boss in separate raids that led to the seizure of €4.4m worth of drugs and tens of thousands of euro worth of contraband cigarettes

The gangster in control of the operation is a 39-year-old who works closely with his younger brother in Liverpool.

They were both close associates of Sean Dunne, the notorious armed robber and drug dealer who disappeared in Spain in 2004

He is believed to have been murdered.

When Dunne dis- appeared, the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) was seeking about €4m from him in unpaid taxes.

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