herald

Saturday 21 September 2019

€320,000 drugs and ammo seized in armed raid on 'monkey gang'

Gardai search a scrapyard as part of the operation in Finglas
Gardai search a scrapyard as part of the operation in Finglas

Gardai have seized €320,000 of drugs as well as designer clothing and ammunition in a raid targeting a west Dublin crime group.

The gang has been a top target for gardai in the capital and recently had a monkey seized from them during a separate bust in April.

Yesterday, gardai in Finglas and Blanchardstown raided a premises on the Ratoath Road as part of an ongoing offensive against the gang.

Around €320,000 of heroin and cocaine was seized along with large amount of stolen property, cash, two Rolex watches, a BMW vehicle and a small quantity of ammunition.

Three people, including two women in their 40s, were arrested as part of the operation.

A garda spokeswoman said: "They have both been charged in relation to the searches and released on bail.

"One man (late 40s) was also arrested and detained under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996 at Finglas Garda Station and has been released without charge and a file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions. Investigations ongoing."

Gardai said the Armed Support Unit, assisted by the Dog Unit, Water Unit and Revenue, were involved in the searches.

Our picture shows detectives at a car scrapyard on the Ratoath Road, which they visited as part of the operation.

Gardai previously recovered a huge haul of weapons and bullets in April, along with the monkey in a cage, when they raided the same area.

The gang targeted also had links to slain criminal Eric Fowler (34), who was blamed for a €50,000 cash theft.

Yesterday's raids came as four men who also had links to Fowler were arrested and questioned about the attempted murder of Lee Boylan, who was shot on March 6 in Blakestown in an alleged revenge attack for the Fowler murder.

Operation

Two of the arrested men, a 40-year-old Blakestown man and a 37-year-old criminal from the Raheny area, were very close associates of Fowler, while a 47-year-old criminal arrested in Limerick has previously served a lengthy sentence for drug-dealing.

As part of the probe, gardai found a jar containing €9,000 buried in a field.

Three of those arrested were released without charge late last night and a file will be prepared for the DPP. The fourth man remains in custody.

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