The brother of a professional Irish sportsman was in Garda custody last night as officers tried to dismantle a major drugs operation in Leinster.
The 26-year-old was being quizzed at Naas garda station under drugs trafficking legislation after his arrest yesterday morning by armed officers.
Senior sources said the Co Kildare mob targeted have links to the deadly Kinahan cartel, but have built up their "own unique operation" and have been making lots of cash. They have now become targets for profilers for the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).
Gardaí are probing whether the gang have been using a used car business to launder the proceeds of their criminal activity.
"They have been getting bigger and bigger all the time but these raids will cause them huge hassle," a source told the Herald last night.
Yesterday's major search and arrest operation happened after gardaí seized €50,000 of cocaine, €15,000 of cannabis herb and €50,000 cash at an apartment complex in Naas on Saturday, August 1.
No arrests were made on that occasion, but sources say that a car linked to that seizure was connected to the business that was searched yesterday.
A major investigation began and yesterday dozens of officers were involved in raids on three premises in Naas.
"Gardaí from the Naas District, supported by Kildare Divisional Drugs and Detective Units, the Criminal Assets Bureau and Armed Support Unit, conducted searches of three premises (two domestic premises and one commercial garage) in the Naas area," a Garda spokesman said.
"A 26-year-old male was arrested during the course of these searches and this man is currently being detained at Naas garda station. Documentation and a small quantity of suspected cannabis herb (pending analysis) was also seized."
Sources said that investigations into the prolific drugs gang will continue as it emerged that one of the main players in the mob is a 39-year-old "extremely violent" Naas criminal who has links to notorious veteran criminal Troy Jordan.
Jordan (50), who is originally from Tallaght, previously ran a debt collection agency with Martin 'The Viper' Foley and has been living in Co Kildare for years.
He has been officially warned on numerous occasions by gardaí of an active threat against his life.
Meanwhile, in a completely separate operation in the capital's south inner city, a Brazilian man in his 40s was being held at Store Street garda station last night after gardaí, assisted by Customs Officers, seized around €100,000 worth of drugs.
"On Monday two apartments in the Dublin 8 area were searched. Cocaine, methamphetamine and GHB (Gamma-hydroxybutyrate) worth an approximate €60,000 was discovered and seized," a Garda spokesman said.
"Analysis of a seized mobile phone alerted gardaí to a package due to be delivered to Ireland from the UK yesterday.
"Revenue Customs Officers were notified and a package containing €40,000 of methamphetamine was intercepted."