herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

Psycho dealer using ice-cream business to move drug cash

SICK: Victim tortured and business attacked with grenades

A DUBLIN drugs dealer who is using an ice cream business to launder cash launched a grenade attack on a rival ice cream seller.

The psychotic criminal recently tortured a man, beating and scalding him and he has carried out arson attacks on legitimate businesses in South Dublin.

He and an associate of ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson sent shockwaves through Dublin’s gangland when they abducted and tortured a Derry man earlier this month.

They beat him and scalded him with boiling water before their victim made a daring escape.

The criminal has set up an ice-cream van business synonymous with the laundering of drug money and the ruthless criminal has actively tried to get rid of the competition through intimidation tactics.

"This guy is a nasty piece of work and is fast becoming one of the most sinister criminal figures in the city," a source told the Herald.

"He has been petrol bombing houses and placing grenades at legitimate businesses to drive them out of the market."

Ice cream vans have been one of a number of methods used by gangsters as a drugs front and were widely used by gangs across the UK.

In May 2008, the Criminal Assets Bureau confiscated an ice-cream van from the notorious Keane-Collopy crime gang.

The van, which travelled to festivals around the country, was used to launder drug money, a court was told.

The Dublin drugs boss, who is in his 40s, was arrested early last week after his involvement in a shocking torture and beating.

He is a big target of the Organised Crime Unit and the Garda National Drugs Unit.

He was arrested along with two other men, one of whom is an associate of the notorious 'Fat' Freddie Thompson drugs gang and is related to a number of infamous armed robbers and kidnappers.

This criminal also has strong links to drugs gangs in Birmingham and is associated with one of the gang members responsible for the kidnapping of former National Irish Bank chief Jim Lacey.



Snatched

Lacey was snatched from his home in Grove Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin, in November 1993. It was the last big criminal enterprise by the late Martin 'The General' Cahill.

The gang got away with €300,000 but, due to bad timing, missed out on €8m held in a time-locked vault.

The third man is known to gardai but is a relatively small player in gangland circles.

The three suspects were later released without charge after their victim refused to give a statement.

The victim was heavily beaten and scalded with boiling water, but he managed to make his escape after his kidnappers fell into a drink and drug-fuelled sleep.

He had been abducted from his home in Derry and was then smuggled across the border to a safe house in Dublin.

He was targeted over a botched drug shipment and non- payment of drug money and then subjected to a horrifying ordeal.

He managed to escape from the safe house in south Dublin when his captors fell asleep after taking a number of pills and drinking.

The kidnap victim staggered to a local garda station "half-naked and covered in blood" but refused to make a complaint to gardai.

In a matter of minutes gardai patrol cars were on the scene and the three men were arrested on the spot.

hnews@herald.ie

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