Moment armed gardai swoop on two suspects in €30k cash van raid
This is the moment heavily armed gardai swoop on suspected members of a prolific cash-in-transit theft gang linked to raids across the country.
On Monday, detectives arrested three men in their 30s following a €30,000 cash robbery in Clonee, Co Meath.
The gang is also being investigated over similar raids in south Dublin and Carlow in recent months.
Our exclusive image was taken moments after the Clonee cash raid as members of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) arrested two of the gang along the N3.
Two of the suspects can be seen handcuffed and lying on their stomachs as heavily armed gardai watch over them.
A second vehicle was also stopped and another man was arrested, while all of the cash, an imitation firearm and an electronic signal-blocker were recovered.
The men arrested are aged 30, 33 and 35 and all have links to the Finglas area.
All three suspects were arrested on suspicion of organised crime offences and were being held under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007 at Finglas and Ashbourne garda stations.
The garda operation was led by members of the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, who have been monitoring the gang's activities from some time.
The gang are the chief suspects for a botched cash-in-transit robbery in Tullow, Co Carlow, in late November, in which they failed to get any money.
In that botched theft, a brave security worker fought off an armed robber and refused to hand over a case of cash when he was held at gunpoint.
After the worker refused to let go of the case, the robber ran back to the getaway car, which was found burned out a short distance away.
The gang are also suspected of a successful €26,000 heist on Taney Road, Dundrum, at 10.35am last December 13.
No injuries were reported, and no arrests were made at the time.
Sources last night said the cash raid gang has links to the leader of a crime family based between Meath and Dublin.
The leader of that mob, aged in his late 40s, is suspected of orchestrating dozens of armed raids across the country in recent years.
He has been a target of the Criminal Assets Bureau and is also a fixer for many of Dublin's crime gangs.
"The three in custody are known to gardai and would have worked with the leader of this crime family," the source said.
"He would have sought out the jobs and they would have carried them out.
"The arrests are a major capture for gardai, and those in custody are also being questioned about other similar cash raids."