herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Mr Clean in €250m drug bust is Trinity computer graduate

A GANG boss dubbed 'Mr Clean' is a Trinity College-educated computer whizzkid who works for a prominent property management company, it has emerged.

The 31-year-old from Cabra who lives in Co Kildare is expected to be charged tomorrow in relation to Tuesday morning's estimated €250m cocaine seizure -- the largest in-land drugs haul in the history of the state.

Dad-of-one 'Mr Clean' who has no previous criminal convictions was arrested in Leixlip, Co Kildare on Tuesday morning while his Nigerian driver was picked up in Tallaght in possession of 50kg of cocaine.

The rest of the drugs were recovered at a warehouse in Blanchardstown.

Mr Clean's task was to divide up the 440kg of cocaine that was seized yesterday and then organise the distribution of it among gangs across the State.

Three men remain in garda custody after a man in his early 40's was arrested in Drimnagh yesterday evening. All are being held in Clondalkin Garda Station.



Operation

'Mr Clean' is believed to have been used by the investors to organise and front the smuggling operation because he would not have been subject to regular garda surveillance.

However sources say that the Garda National Drugs Unit have been aware of his identity for a number of weeks.

Sources say that 'Mr Clean' was in direct communication with drugs trafficker George 'The Penguin' Mitchell who has been based in Amsterdam since the garda crackdown after the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin.

'The Penguin' is suspected of masterminding the massive cocaine seizure from his Dutch base.

It is understood that detailed searches of a number of properties are ongoing today and more arrests are expected.

Gardai also suspect Irish drugs godfather Christy Kinahan -- under investigation in Spain -- also invested in the shipment, which was due to be shared between gangs in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and the North.

The bust was part of Operation Agon -- a year-long probe into drug trafficking by organised criminals.

The cocaine arrived into Dublin Port almost two weeks ago and was being kept under surveillance at a west Dublin warehouse by detectives until officers decided to pounce yesterday morning.

Investigations have established that the gang had a safe house in Tallaght where the shipment was due to be divided up on Tuesday.



Record

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said the record seizure is a very significant day for law enforcement in this country.

He added investigators have been working on the case for several months.

Commissioner Callinan also said his officers believe the organised crime group behind the operation is local with links to the international underworld.

He added the people involved will have lost a considerable amount in terms of the investment they put into the shipment.

kfoy@herald.ie

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