herald

Friday 20 April 2018

Two manhunts launched after gardai seize ammo, guns and €10k of cocaine

Ken Finn was murdered
Ken Finn was murdered

Two manhunts are under way for two young Dublin criminals in relation to separate gun seizures on the capital's northside.

The latest seizure happened late on Thursday night in the Dromheath Estate in Mulhuddart when armed gardai carried out a planned raid of a house and discovered a loaded handgun, a small quantity of ammunition and around €10,000 of cocaine.

The target of the operation was not in the property at the time and a manhunt was continuing for him last night.

It is understood that the firearm was discovered in a bed with the drugs and ammunition hidden nearby.

The operation was carried out by detectives from Blanchardstown Garda Station, who were backed up by the Armed Support Unit.

Gardai do not believe that the seizure is connected to the deadly Hutch/Kinahan feud but the weapons were "most likely" to be used in a simmering dispute in the locality where the seizure happened.

The on-the-run suspect was not previously known to gardai for involvement in serious offences.

Meanwhile, another manhunt is also in place in relation to a completely separate gun seizure in the Coolock area on Tuesday afternoon.

Surprised

Sources say that gardai are "very surprised" that a criminal described as a "gilly" has still not been arrested.

The "gilly" who was allegedly operating for a gangland "serial killer" had a deadly cache of firearms as part of an escalating feud in north Dublin.

The arsenal - including a sub-machine gun and four handguns - was seized in Coolock following a garda pursuit.

"Gardai are surprised that this individual has not been picked up. In fact there are now concerns for his safety," a source said.

Tuesday's major firearms seizure is part of an escalating gang war between crime groupings in the Coolock area.

There has been a major increase in armed patrols in the locality as tensions continue to increase.

Specialist gardai are seriously concerned that a bitter feud there is threatening to spiral out of control after the murder of Ken Finn in February.

A search was last night continuing after the low-level criminal fled after discarding the bag containing the firearms.

Gardai have established that this individual is linked to a "serial killer" and the two criminals have been spotted together.

Shortly before 4pm on Tuesday, gardai conducting a routine patrol signalled for a vehicle to stop on the Greencastle Road.

The car was ordered to halt but sped away from the scene, which resulted in gardai giving chase.

After a short pursuit, the car crashed on the Priorswood Road, and the driver fled the area. He was pursued through Ferrycarrig Park, where he discarded a bag and escaped.

A subsequent search of the bag led to five firearms and a significant quantity of ammunition being recovered.

There was an armed garda presence for follow-up searches in Coolock on Tuesday night.

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