Thursday 17 January 2019

Nearly €1m taken from drug dealers as gardai target cartel in city raids

Drugs seized by gardai as part of Operation Thistle
Drugs seized by gardai as part of Operation Thistle

Gardai have seized almost €1m worth of drugs and assets from mid-level criminals linked to the Kinahan cartel in a series of raids.

Detectives have been targeting a number of criminals in the south-inner city who were openly "flaunting" their wealth - gained from the proceeds of crime - in their communities.

Assistant Commissioner Jack Nolan, who is responsible for policing in the capital, said that such operations would continue to "identify the people living off the proceeds of crime".

Raids carried out under Operation Thistle last year saw €482,460 worth of drugs seized, while €90,000 worth of cash was recovered.


Detectives based at Kevin Street Garda Station carried out 66 raids in 2016 as part of Operation Thistle making 19 arrests.

A large number of those drug dealers targeted have direct or close links to the Kinahan cartel. Mr Nolan said the assets were seized under the proceeds of crime act.

"I have figures pretty close to hand and the overall (drug dealing) detection rate is up 4pc [from 2015] while the (drug) possession for personal use is down. We're catching the drug dealers selling and less people are using drugs, which is probably an indicator of success," Mr Nolan told the Dublin City Joint Policing Committee.

"Days of action have occurred and will continue to happen in every garda district.

"We have committed CAB and local criminal assets officers to identify people living off the proceeds of crime, flaunting the proceeds of crime and taking it off them."

A further €93,850 in high-end jewellery and watches was also seized, while a vehicle valued at €14,000 was impounded.

In 2016 a staggering 21,409 drug searches were carried out by various garda units across the capital, including the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) and local district drug units.

Fianna Fail councillor Daithi de Roiste, who is the chairman of the Dublin City JPC welcomed the high level of garda activity in targeting the cartel.

"First thing is that it shows what the gardai can achieve when they are given the resources," he said.

"These people have been holding our communities to ransom for far too long and it's very welcome to hear the Assistant Commissioner in charge of Dublin say that gardai are going after these scumbags.

"For far too long the citizens of this city have had to put up with these criminals dominating their area, and hopefully with these successful raids that will change."

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