herald

Saturday 18 November 2017

Freddie planned 'spectacular' to wipe out King Ratt gang

STING: Drug deal used as ambush

'FAT' Freddie Thompson's gang planned to lure a rival crew to a house for talks and then blow them up with rocket propelled grenades.

Garda intelligence reports in the weeks leading up to the seizure of two rocket launchers signalled a major plot to wipe out an entire rival gang.

The gang were planning a 'spectacular' to eliminate the remnants of a Crumlin drugs outfit whose leader is currently in prison, detectives believe.

Sixteen men have been murdered to date in the bloody drugs war between the gangs.

A source told the Herald: "A peace talks and drug deal meet was being set up. The intelligence was that two rpgs would be fired at the house once the rivals were inside the room there."

The murder plot came as it emerged that a close Co Kildare associate of drug boss 'Factory' John Gilligan was involved in the importation of the rocket launchers, an AK-47 and more that €700,000 of cocaine.

He worked with a 32-year-old Dublin man, a close associate of 'Fat' Freddie, who is based with the gang boss in Spain.

Two of the four men arrested work as runners for the 32-year -old.

Gilligan's associate is believed to have assisted Thompson's gangs to conceal the weapons and drugs at Longtown, Straffan, Co Kildare because of increased garda patrols in the Crumlin area.

A fifth major criminal, with Republican links, is suspected of involvement in sourcing the rocket launchers which were to be used in the attack.

Gardai at the Organised Crime Unit had been monitoring the activities of 'Fat' Freddie's gang for the past month after getting intelligence that an attack of this magnitude was afoot.





RAID

The raid was part of Operation Lamp, which has been targeting members of a drug trafficking gang, based in the Crumlin area of Dublin.

'Fat' Freddie's 32 year old lieutenant is regarded as a major drug dealer and is now based in Spain, fearful of the same anti-gang laws which are ensuring 'Fat' Freddie's self-imposed exile.

It is understood that the two men were coordinating the deadly operation from their Mediterranean hideaways.

The other two men arrested live in Glasnevin and Clonsilla and are suspected of being involved in the collection of a kilo of cocaine from other members of the gang.

The rocket launchers, one of which has been identified as a Russian-made RPG-22, are notoriously difficult to fire but would be very effective if used on a house.

The weapons are fired from an over-the-shoulder launch position and would cause significant damage to a building or vehicle -- but once fired, the launcher cannot be used again.

The raid on the lock-up in Kildare followed the seizure of another kilo of cocaine at the Naas Road, near Rathcoole, Co Dublin, when the organised crime unit stopped two cars and detained four men.

They were being questioned last night at Clondalkin garda station under anti-drug trafficking legislation.

Follow-up searches in four houses resulted in the seizure of a kilo of cannabis and €16,000 in cash at a house in Glasnevin.

Gardai believe the RPGs found in Co Kildare were either bought from dissident republicans or brought into the country as part of a cocaine assignment.

The AK assault rifles and rocket propelled grenades represent a major upgrading of the type of weaponry now available to the drug trafficking gangs.

The weaponry can be bought for as little as €300 on the black market in eastern Europe.

hnews@herald.ie

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