herald

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Gardai hold seven over plot to rob transit van

Seven men arrested in relation to an alleged attempted robbery of a cash-in-transit van at a shop in Killester were still in garda custody last night.

One of the men was recently cleared of charges in relation to a serious gangland crime.

All seven men were being detained for questioning in four different north Dublin garda stations after being arrested in two separate cars in the Rosemount Avenue area of Artane, Dublin, at around 1.30pm on Friday.

It is believed the men had been involved in a long-running plot to target a cash-in-transit van that was due to deposit a large sum of cash in a local supermarket.

Detectives, backed up by the Emergency Response Unit, made their move following an extensive surveillance operation.

It was the first major garda operation by the newly-formed Organised Crime and Drugs unit.

Armed officers first swooped on a van containing three men in which a loaded firearm, balaclavas and other weapons were recovered.

Another three were arrested in a car, including a 43-year-old criminal, who has convictions for burglary and assault.

A seventh man was arrested at a location nearby.

The suspects are aged from their early 20s to mid-50s and are understood to include a father and son.

"This was one of the biggest operations against organised crime this year and it took weeks of planning," a source told the Herald.

evidence

"Investigators are particularly delighted that the 43-year-old is in custody, and even though he was not caught with a gun there is evidence to link him to this crime."

The Coolock-based criminal has built a fearsome reputation after two decades of being heavily involved in organised crime and has convictions for burglary and assault offences.

He was closely associated with veteran crimelord Eamon Kelly, who was shot dead in December 2012, and was a prominent mourner at his funeral.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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