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Monday 5 December 2016

Gardai seize €1.7m in stolen jewellery from city business

Operation Thor was launched by the garda in November Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Operation Thor was launched by the garda in November Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Gardai have recovered €1.7m worth of stolen jewellery from a Dublin city "cash-for-gold" business.

The jewellery was stolen by travelling gangs from victims' homes and eventually recovered following a three-month operation by officers from the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.

Most of the organised gangs involved in nationwide burglaries trade mainly in cash and jewellery, and the special operation was set up to target receivers of their nightly hauls.

The number of burglaries has dropped since the launch of the garda's new initiative, Operation Thor, in November.

Most garda divisions have recorded a drop over the past three months. However, two major blackspots remain in Dublin west and in the south east of the country.

The bureau's breakthrough against the burglars arose out of an interception of items being handed over by members of a gang to a receiver. The handover took place outside a fast-food premises in west Dublin.

Undercover detectives had placed some of those involved under surveillance for several weeks and closed in when they spotted the haul being moved from one vehicle to another.

Burglary

It was later established that the intercepted haul had been stolen two hours previously in a burglary in south county Dublin.

Follow-up inquiries led officers to a wholesale jewellery business being run by two brothers from a "cash-for-gold" shop in the capital.

Gardai raided the premises and recovered documentation relating to over a thousand items, which were later valued at over €1.7m.

The wholesalers are unable to account for the jewels in their paperwork, and inquiries are currently under way to establish how many of the items were stolen.

The positively-identified items were taken in 20 separate burglaries by travelling gangs from households in Galway, Limerick, Kerry, the Midlands, Dublin and Wexford.

Gardai have arrested and questioned a number of suspects. In tandem with the investigation, inquiries are under way by the Criminal Assets Bureau into the financial affairs of those suspected of receiving the stolen jewellery.

The bulk of the members of the targeted gangs operate out of bases in south and west Dublin although some have moved into counties Wexford and Kildare.

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