Two suspects in ATM card skimming gang nabbed
Gardai have seized sophisticated ATM skimming equipment in what is being described as a "highly significant" operation on Dublin's northside.
The bust happened when officers stopped a car in the Raheny area on Tuesday evening and questioned its two Eastern European occupants.
When they searched the car, they discovered specialist machines which can be used for skimming. The two men, who are aged in their late 30s, were arrested and brought to Raheny Garda Station where they were still being questioned last night.
"This was a very good capture and these individuals were caught with loads of stuff which is still being analysed," a source said.
"All the indications are that they are members of an organised gang heavily involved in this type of crime."
Skimming involves criminals placing spy cameras on ATMs. Once installed, they are used to record data and PIN numbers from people's cards at the ATM.
The criminals then use the information from cloned cards to withdraw cash at different locations around the world.
Gardai are trying to establish if the men arrested on Tuesday are linked to a gang that was busted at Dublin Airport in November 2013, when three Romanian nationals were arrested and two sophisticated skimming machines were found.
It is understood that gardai are expecting an influx of foreign criminals to come into the country for the St Patrick's Day and Easter Rising celebrations.
Gardai have been monitoring the activities of an Eastern European crime gang who have been involved in ATM skimming and distraction robberies in locations such as Ranelagh and Blanchardstown in Dublin, Ashbourne and Dunboyne in Meath, as well as Wicklow, Cork and Galway already this year.
In October 2014, it emerged that gangsters were installing skimming devices on machines inside shops for the first time.
Gardai launched Operation Glint in January 2012 to target ATM thieves after banks reported a rise in the number of skimming incidents, and this investigation is still ongoing.