Bungling ATM suspects caught with €100k - after returning to pick up cash missed by gardai
Bungling gangsters who are suspected of being behind a spate of ATM raids were arrested by gardai after they returned to the scene of a major cash seizure against the mob.
The bizarre development happened late on Tuesday night as a garda surveillance team staked out a location in Moynalty, Co Meath, where officers had recovered over €300,000 just last week.
"They say never come back to the scene of the crime, but this takes the biscuit," a senior source said last night.
Sources revealed that detectives watched in amazement as a 25-year-old criminal who had been released from garda custody only the day before showed up for the meeting, which gardai believed was about retrieving cash not found in the original garda searches.
Also in attendance was his brother (33) and a 37-year-old suspected gang member from Newry, Co Down.
Gardai watched as the trio retrieved a sum of €104,000 before moving in on the suspects.
All three were being questioned under money-laundering and anti-gang legislation at Kells and Navan Garda Stations in Co Meath last night.
The arrests mean that three brothers who have border addresses in the Castleblayney and Carrickmacross areas of Co Monaghan are now in custody, including the 25-year-old who has now been arrested twice in the massive investigation.
Their 61-year-old uncle was released without charge last Friday morning and a file on his involvement in the conspiracy will be prepared for the DPP.
"These individuals went back to the location of major searches by gardai on Wednesday and Thursday of last week in which over €300,000 of cash was seized," a source said.
"It seems they thought the coast was clear, even though one of the individuals had only been released from custody the previous day in relation to the foiled robbery in Virginia, Co Cavan.
"But they were being closely watched and gardai acted as soon as it was evident that they had come back to collect more money which had not been found in last week's searches.
"It is highly unusual to have three brothers in custody in relation to the same organised crime operation and it is certainly very unusual for a suspect to be rearrested after attending the scene of a previous raid linked to the original offence."
The dramatic garda clampdown on the ATM gang began early on Wednesday last week when armed officers intercepted a three-man crew in Virginia.
Gardai believe the gang was "spooked" ahead of the botched raid after noticing garda activity in the rural town.
Before being busted last week, the gang was suspected of up to half a dozen cross-border ATM raids this year.
The 28-year-old suspect, who has been in custody since last week and required hospital treatment for a medical condition over the weekend, is the only suspected gang member who was caught by gardai at the scene.
His younger brother was later arrested in the toilet of a Virginia hotel after spending a number of hours hiding in a wooded area near the town.