Wednesday 26 October 2016

Notorious ATM gang leader 'The Bee' due out of jail


Michael Berry
Michael Berry

Gardai are formulating a special policing plan for the release of a dangerous criminal who is the notorious leader of a gang involved in robbing ATMs across the country.

Michael 'The Bee' Berry is due to be released from jail in the coming weeks after serving a six-year sentence for the theft of €205,000 in a raid on a bank machine in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, in July 2009.

'The Bee' (39) is classified as "highly volatile and dangerous".

Gardai are awaiting his release in the summer and a special plan will be drawn up on how to keep tabs on the gangster.


Berry's home base is in Bunclody, Co Wexford, but he also has links to a mob of Traveller thugs in the Ballyfermot area of the capital.

"When he gets out, there will be a lot of attention on him that's for sure," said a source.

"The word is that his own gang - who are involved in burglaries and other crimes since he was locked up - will not want him around because of the heat that he'll bring on the crew as he is a high-profile target of garda specialist units," the source explained.

"You can rest assured that when this man walks out of prison, an entire new level of surveillance will be placed on him and his cronies," the source added.

Berry has been in custody since 2011, after he was snared following a lengthy investigation by detectives based in the south east.

He has previous convictions for assault, theft and handling stolen property and he was a close associate of slain Ballyfermot brothers Kenneth and Paul Corbally before they were shot dead in June 2010.

Berry was arrested in July 2011 and charged in relation to the Enniscorthy ATM raid and a spate of other similar crimes.

Just weeks before that it emerged that Berry lost thousands of euro in cash after spending three months lodging money to a frozen account.

The bank account was targeted as part of the special garda operation, codenamed Operation Slope, set-up to target Berry's gang under the anti-gangland legislation which was introduced in 2009.


A total of 58 arrests were made and large amounts of cash and assets, including 4x4s vehicles, were seized.

Bank records showed that sums of between €30,000 and €50,000-a-month were going through an account of one female gang member.

The garda operation also uncovered what is understood to be a highly-sophisticated and extensive money laundering operation between here and Britain. Money was being used to buy and trade horses, caravans, 4x4 vehicles and other equipment.

A jury cleared Berry of a number of other charges including stealing ATMs from locations in Carlow town and Graignamanagh, Co Kilkenny in 2009.

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