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Taxi driver among three arrests as €610k drugs seized from 'Mr Big' mob

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The €610,000 of cocaine and cannabis seized by gardaí in the raid

The €610,000 of cocaine and cannabis seized by gardaí in the raid

The €610,000 of cocaine and cannabis seized by gardaí in the raid

The 'Mr Big' drugs gang has been dealt a major setback after gardai seized €610,000 of cannabis and cocaine controlled by the mob.

Three men aged 49, 46 and 42 - considered "nobodies" in terms of organised crime - remained in custody in different northside stations last night where they are being detained in relation to the seizure.

Detectives from the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) pounced on the suspects - one a taxi driver - in Swords as part of an operation described by gardaí as "an intervention on three vehicles" on Wednesday.

"During the course of the operation, gardaí seized cocaine to the value of €350,000 and cannabis to the value of €260,000," a garda spokesman said.

Senior sources said that the bust will be a "big loss" to the Coolock-based crimelord known as 'Mr Big'.

"He remains one of the most active drugs traffickers in the country," a senior source told the Herald

"He is a shrewd and cautious criminal so he will not be impressed to be this much out of pocket.

"He is the subject of constant specialist monitoring which he is very much aware of and is even driving around in bangers of cars to avoid unwanted garda attention," the source added.

Significant

Assistant Commissioner John O'Driscoll of the Organised and Serious Crime bureau said: "An Garda Síochána is committed to disrupting the activities of organised criminals supplying drugs to our communities.

"This seizure of a substantial quantity of cocaine and cannabis is significant in this regard."

Mr Big's crew are considered the biggest drug-dealing organisation on the northside and have been involved in tiger kidnappings.

They are suspected of organising the gun murders of Real IRA brothers Alan and Vinnie Ryan in 2012 and 2016 as part of extortion disputes.

The mob are involved in feuds including the Drogheda one, where they are aligned to the anti-Maguire faction and were enemies of hitman Robbie Lawlor who was shot dead in Belfast in April.

Lawlor was the chief suspect for the murder of his former close associate Kenneth Finn (36) - who was also Mr Big's close pal - in February 2018.

When Lawlor's drug-trafficking brother-in-law Richie Carberry was shot dead in Bettystown, Co Meath, last November the criminal blamed 'Mr Big' for organising it in a secretly recorded prison phone call.

"Lawlor called an associate and made it very clear who he holds responsible for the murder, and that is 'Mr Big'," a source told the Herald at the time.

There have been no arrests yet in relation to the gun slaying with sources revealing a reckless teenage gunman from Coolock is blamed in underworld circles for the crime.

Stand-off

Sources say Mr Big's mob have dozens of crack cocaine-dealing teenagers in their enterprises in Darndale and other suburbs.

"Mr Big has been keeping a very low profile in recent months apart from a stand-off he was involved in with another criminal in the northside during the summer," a source said.

"He is not going to be happy at all about this seizure but as usual he has kept himself far enough away from it that he can't be arrested."