herald

Sunday 22 April 2018

More arrests planned as fingerprints found in €4m cartel drugs and gun bust

Drugs were seized
Drugs were seized
A pistol was seized
A sawn off shotgun

Pressure continued to mount on the Kinahan cartel last night, after it emerged that officers had obtained fingerprint and DNA evidence from a house where €4m of drugs and firearms were seized.

Cannabis and heroin, along with drug paraphernalia, a vacuum-packing machine and a cash-counting machine, were found during the raid at a property in Ballyfermot Parade on Monday morning.

Pistol

Weapons were also found at the scene, including stun guns, a sawn-off shotgun and a semi-automatic pistol.

Three suspects - aged between 39 and 46 and from Crumlin and the south inner city - were still being questioned at Clondalkin and Ballyfermot garda stations last night.

It can be now revealed that specialist officers plan more arrests in relation to the massive bust in the coming weeks.

"A full forensic examination of the Ballyfermot property was carried out and this means that DNA and fingerprint evidence has been obtained," a senior source said last night.

"This means that gardai may be able to determine who had been using that property before it was raided. This in turn could lead to more arrests later, it is a very significant haul indeed."

The three men who were still in custody last night are considered "trusted" members of the deadly organisation and the bust is considered "highly significant".

An international crime organisation, the Kinahan cartel has been responsible for 10 of the 12 murders in its deadly feud with the Hutch faction.

Last night, sources said that gardai were "unaware" if the major seizure was linked to an alliance between the cartel and the so-called 'Family' gang, which is the main drug operator in the Ballyfermot area of the capital.

While a 46-year-old arrested man from Crumlin and a 39-year-old from the south inner city were detained in the operation, sources say that the most important arrest was that of a 44-year-old criminal who lives in the Kinahan cartel's heartland.

He is an older relative of one of the cartel's key players and has previously served jail time for violent offences linked to a drug addiction almost two decades ago.

However, sources say that the 44-year-old has now progressed into a "key position" within the organisation.

Priority

"Out of the three arrested individuals, this is a guy who would be the top priority for gardai, not least because of the position his 32-year-old male relative has in the gang," a source said.

The bust happened just days after reports emerged that cartel boss Daniel Kinahan (40) had married his long-term lover in Dubai at the weekend.

Last night, senior sources said that gardai could still not confirm the rumour, which is believed to be true by many in underworld circles.

It is understood that many of Daniel's closest associates, pals and business partners are currently with the cartel kingpin in Dubai.

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