Monday, 19 November 2007

Drug boss is among duo arrested in Baiba murder

Drug boss is among duo arrested in Baiba murder

Monday November 19 2007
A KILDARE-based drug boss has been arrested by gardai investigating the murder of Baiba Saulite. The 37-year-old was detained by detectives from Coolock at his home in Kildare early today. Officers arrested another man at the same time in a dawn raid on a house in Clonshaugh. This man was a member of the
gang formerly led by Marlo Hyland.

Both men were arrested on the first anniversary of the young mother’s murder. She was gunned down on the doorstep of her Swords’ home. Gardai suspect that a man known to her arranged for her murder.

The men arrested today weretaken to Malahide and Coolock garda stations where they are being detained under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

They are expected to be detained overnight while detectives put a number of matters to them in interviews. Neither man is a suspect for the murder. Sources told the Evening Herald that both men may have known details of the murder after it happened, and they are being questioned in relation to withholding this information.

Both men have been informally spoken to by gardai previously in relation to the murder, and both have denied any involvement in the killing.

The Kildare man is a known drug supplier who has links to a number of Dublin-based gangs, including members of the former Marlo Hyland gang, drug suppliers in Tallaght and Clondalkin, and gangs in the Crumlin-Drimnagh area.

Gardai suspect him of involvement in citywide drug dealing over the past ten years, but he has no convictions for serious

The second man, in his early 40s, was arrested by gardai at an address in the Clonshaugh this morning. He was a minor
associate of former gang boss Marlo Hyland, but is not viewed as being as senior as the Kildare man in underworld circles.

Like the Kildare man he is also being questioned on suspicion of withholding information in relation to the death of Baiba. The arrests were made as part of an ongoing garda investigation into the murder, carried out by officers from Santry, Coolock and Swords.

A decision on whether to prosecute the chief suspect for the murder of the Latvian mum is unlikely to be taken until the New Year, as a number of garda investigations are still to be completed.

The file on the killing of the mother of two at her home in Swords a year ago, will not be complete for another two months, as officers continue with a number of investigations. The chief suspect in the case, is currently serving a prison sentence.

Swords gardai have now reiterated their appeal on the killing, asking for anyone who was in the area of the shooting at Holywell at the time to contact them at (01) 666-4700 or members of the public can contact the Garda Confidential Phoneline on 1800 666111..

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Three held as African drug route smashed

Three held as African drug route smashed

By Tom Brady Security Editor

Saturday November 17 2007

THREE suspects were in custody last night after officials smashed a drugs trafficking route organised by a west African gang.

After an intelligence-gathering operation, Customs officers stopped a 28-year-old Scottish woman, they believed to be a courier, as she arrived at Dublin airport from South Africa, via Frankfurt in Germany.

After a search, they recovered 20kg of herbal cannabis, with a street value of €200,000, from the woman's suitcase.

Detectives from the national drugs unit searched a number of houses in Blanchardstown and found 4kg of cocaine and mixing agent as well as a quantity of cocaine pellets, which they believed had been brought internally into the country.

They also found traces of cocaine on luggage in the house, which they think was being used as a base for distribution by the gang.

A 29-year-old Nigerian man and a 32-year-old South African woman were also detained by the gardai.

All three were being questioned last night at Store Street garda station under drug trafficking legislation. They can be held for up to seven days.

Gardai said the seizures were part of a targeted operation against west African gangs, who link up with Irish traffickers and also use couriers from the Baltic states.

The seized cocaine has an estimated street value of around €250,000.

Gardai recently seized €210,000 of cocaine in Rathmines as part of the same operation and think there may also be links to a €1.75m cocaine seizure last year at the Five Lamps on Dublin's northside.


In a separate operation, Customs officers seized 1kg of cocaine worth €70,000 after a stopping a 30-year-old Polish passenger, who had arrived at Dublin airport on a flight from Brussels on Thursday.

The man was X-rayed and found to have been carrying 95 cocaine pellets internally. He was taken to Santry garda station for questioning.

And members of the garda drug unit at Raheny are questioning a man in his mid 30s. They searched his car on the Malahide Road and recovered 4kg of cocaine, worth €280,000.

- Tom Brady Security Editor

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Father-of-two shot dead in his bed

Father-of-two shot dead in his bed

By Tom Brady Security Editor

Thursday November 15 2007

The cold-blooded shooting of a career criminal in south Dublin yesterday may have been linked to a double murder in the capital last month.

The latest gangland victim was named as father-of-two Seanie McMahon (35), who was shot in the head as he lay in his bed.

McMahon was associated with major crime figures and senior garda officers confirmed that several avenues of investigation were being explored.

But top of the list for the garda team is McMahon's close relationship with gangland wheeler-dealer Brian Downes, who was shot at his garage in Walkinstown less than six weeks ago.


Downes and an innocent car dealer, Eddie Ward, were gunned down inside a yard and sparked off inquiries into Downes' activities as a money launderer and vehicle supplier for the big crime gangs.

McMahon was known to work closely with Downes, although gardai were checking out reports last night that the two had fallen out some time before the shooting.

Last night gardai were trying to track down two men who had been seen acting suspiciously near McMahon's home at Donomore Avenue, in Tallaght, yesterday morning. McMahon's partner, Sinead, had left him asleep in bed as she left home for work after 9am, after earlier dropping off the two children at their local school.

She made the grim discovery when she returned to the house at 12.20pm and immediately alerted the emergency services.

Gardai believe the killer entered the house from the rear during the morning and shot McMahon in the head with a handgun. Detectives are also trying to establish if there is a link between the shooting and a stolen car which was found burnt-out in Tallaght.

The beige Volvo, 03 KE 2366, was stolen in Capel Street in the city centre on October 22 and may have been used as a getaway vehicle.

Gardai are anxious to hear from anybody, who has information on the car's whereabouts over the past three weeks. State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy will carry out a postmortem examination this morning as detectives continue a detailed forensic examination of the scene.

McMahon, who is originally from Finglas, had been living in Tallaght for more than a year.

He was released from jail in March last year after serving a 10-year sentence for a series of armed robberies.

- Tom Brady Security Editor

Friday, 2 November 2007

Just 20 gangs behind bulk of serious crime

Just 20 gangs behind bulk of serious crime

By Tom Brady Security Editor

Saturday November 03 2007

Twenty gangs are responsible for the bulk of serious crime in the country, according to garda intelligence.

Some of the gangs are inter-linked, with thugs switching allegiance for various criminal activities.

Details of the gangland make-up were given to Taoiseach Bertie Ahern during a confidential briefing by Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy and Deputy Commissioner Fachtna Murphy on the force's operations against serious crime.

The Taoiseach was told that a dozen of the gangs were based in Dublin while another four operated in the Limerick region, two more in Cork and the other two comprised Travellers.

Last year, gardai broke up a travellers' group responsible for a series of robberies in the south east of the country but believe two others are still at large and focusing on targets in provincial areas.

The main thrust of the garda operations have been concentrated on crime figures in Dublin and Limerick because of the level of violence surrounding them in the past few years.

The vast majority of the gangland-related murders have been linked to members of those gangs as a result of their involvement in drug trafficking and armed robberies.

Dublin's gangland was thrown into disarray last December after the capital's Mr Big, Martin "Marlo" Hyland was shot dead by two of his former associates while sleeping in the home of a relative in Finglas.

But his place was quickly taken this year by a 31-year-old Finglas criminal, who was a former member of the Hyland outfit until a falling out with the boss last year.

Most of those, who worked with Hyland, transferred their allegiance to the new leader and he also attracted the aid of other notorious figures, including former INLA terrorists who had moved full-time into criminality.

The new boss was one of those arrested yesterday by gardai after detectives foiled an attempted hold-up on a cash in transit van in Celbridge, Co Kildare. Five of his suspected associates were also detained in the round-up in the vicinity of the hold-up scene and some of them had been questioned in the past in relation to previous ATM heists while operating as a separate gang.

Two other gangs have been concentrating on eliminating each other in the infamous Crumlin-Drimnagh feud. This violent row has claimed 10 lives since the rival gangs were formed after an argument following a major drugs seizure by gardai in the centre of Dublin. One of the gang leaders is currently in jail while the other moves regularly between here and mainland Europe

On the west side of the city, two groups have been battling to gain control of the local drugs trade and fill the void that was created by the demise of the gang known as the Westies, two of whose most notorious members, Shane Coates and Stephen Sugg were murdered in Spain.

Rival gangs have also been clashing in the north inner city as a result of a rape conviction for one of the gang leaders, Christy Griffin.

Inter-gang warfare has also been responsible for the violent deaths of a number of the main players in the principal gangs based in Limerick city and armed detectives regularly patrol the streets in their home "patches" to prevent further bloodshed.

- Tom Brady Security Editor