Monday, 28 September 2009

Knife gang bloodbath

Irish Herald

By Kevin Doyle
Monday September 28 2009
DETECTIVES today detailed the bloodbath outside a Dublin pub between drugs gangs which left a man dead.
A hatchet, knives, broken glass and hurleys were used in the melee between the 20-strong rivals.
Detectives described how the fight, which claimed the life of Manchester criminal Jason Martin, unfolded:
- the two drugs gangs squared off after watching the Bernard Dunne world title fight
- the battle then progressed outside Hannigen's pub, Ballyfermot
- a car pulled up supplying one of the gangs with weapons
- an axe was used to bludgeon one of the victims
- when gardai arrived they too were confronted by the mob
The bloodbath is further evidence of Ireland's growing knife culture -- with many teens tooling up before going out for the night.
Martin, who died after the fight from knife wounds, was wanted by UK police for serious crime offences.
He was hiding out here with the help of local drug dealers.
The vicious fight saw gardai confronted by gangs of men as they tried to intervene.
It is believed that those behind the violence arrived in cars to supply weapons such as knives, bats, hurleys and even a hatchet.
A second man -- from the Kylemore Road area -- remains in a serious condition in Tallaght Hospital.
The shocking series of events began after a large crowd congregated in Hannigan's pub at Park West following Bernard Dunne's world title boxing match.
Gardai believe that many of those involved only arrived at the pub after attending the fight in The O2.
A local source told the Herald: “Some of those fighting on the same side would normally be arch-enemies but for whatever reason they teamed up yesterday and we can see the fruits of that today. They are the type of people you wouldn't want to be mixing it at all. Their reputation in this area is notorious.”
Results of a post-mortem carried out on Mr Martin's body are expected to emerge this evening.
Gardai believe the results will confirm that he died from a series of stab wounds, however, the murder weapon has still not been found. Locals reported a relatively calm night in the area but tensions flared at 1.30am.
Detectives are still probing what exactly caused the first violent exchanges.
Four people were arrested for Public Order Offences but were later released and a Garda spokesperson told the Herald today that so far no further arrests have been made.
CCTV suggests that the first blows were struck inside the pub but the dispute quickly spilled into the plaza and then into a car park.
Mr Martin's body was found by gardai near the steps which lead down to the car park.
He was rushed to Tallaght Hospital where he fought for his life but was eventually pronounced dead eight hours later at 10am.
Gardai were on the scene quickly but their attempts to quell the violence were obstructed by a number of aggressive men.
After the disturbances ended officers found a man bleeding heavily in the back of a white Toyota van.
They are trying to establish whether he crawled inside the van after being injured to escape the fight or if he was dumped there. Most of those involved scattered once gardai began to make arrests.
Files have been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to the four men who were detained.
Investigators were today trawling through CCTV in an attempt to establish whether people arrived at the pub with weapons or if the fight started randomly.
It is believed that some ringleaders arrived in the area with a supply of weapons shortly after the violence kicked-off.
- Kevin Doyle

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Five arrested in €400k drug haul but leader of gang eludes gardai

Irish Herald

By Cormac Looney
Thursday September 24 2009
THIS is the chief suspect behind a €400,000 cannabis haul in north Dublin which was intercepted by gardai.
The man, in his 30s and from Crumlin, is believed to have organised the shipment, which was seized on September 1 by officers from the Organised Crime Unit.
Five men, including a trainee accountant, were arrested but the chief organiser was not among them. However, detectives believe he may have been in the area at the time.
The man is known to local gardai in the south city as a member of the drug gang led by exiled criminal Freddie Thompson, who is currently living in Spain.
He has a number of previous convictions for violent crime and is suspected of involvement in an ongoing campaign of intimidation using pipe bombs in the Crumlin and Drimnagh areas of the city.
Despite his suspected involvement in the haul, it is unlikely the man will face charges, given that he was not arrested with the drugs.
Gardai believe that the man paid five young men to take delivery of the drugs at Airside Retail Park in Swords.
One of these is a criminal from Cabra who is well-known to gardai on the city's northside. But the other four are all minor criminals or have no record at all.
All five were detained and questioned following the raid, but were later released pending further inquiries.
The men caught with the drugs are likely to face charges in relation to the seizure, which gardai believe was being imported to be sent to the recent Electric Picnic festival.
Detectives believe that the Crumlin man was waiting for the drugs to be moved from one van to another before taking possession of them and escorting them to an address in west Dublin for cutting and further delivery to street dealers.
The Thompson gang is believed to have lost around €40,000 in up-front cash as a result of the seizure.
The five men were arrested b a Ford Mondeo car parked close to two Ford Transit vans.
The man behind the intercepted drug deal operates as a street dealer and general fixer for the gang, along with two of his relatives.
The three are all closely associated with Freddie Thompson -- known as Fat Freddie -- and are targets for gardai in Crumlin, Sundrive Road, Kilmainham and Kevin Street.
- Cormac Looney

Thursday, 10 September 2009

€8.4m cannabis haul 'biggest in several years'

€8.4m cannabis haul 'biggest in several years'

By Tom Brady Security Editor

Thursday September 10 2009

A Dutchman was in garda custody last night after Customs officers seized their biggest haul of herbal cannabis in several years worth €8.4m.

The consignment of 700kg had been vacuum packed and elaborately concealed in a 40-foot container load of flowers, mainly daisies.

Gardai said last night they believed the drugs had been intended for sale on the streets in Munster and were destined for crime gangs based in Limerick and Cork.

Officers estimated the street value of the shipment at €8.4m. Herbal cannabis sells at €12,000 a kilo.

The find was made as a result of Customs risk profiling and a series of operations targeting freight from certain countries.

The container was opened by officers when they checked a Dutch-registered lorry as it disembarked at Dublin port. It had been loaded onto the lorry in the Netherlands and then transported to Dublin on a ferry from Holyhead yesterday morning.

Customs alerted the gardai and the lorry driver, a Dutchman in his mid-50s was taken to Store Street garda station for questioning. He was being held there last night under section 2 of the drug trafficking legislation, allowing gardai to detain him for up to seven days without charge.

Meanwhile, detectives from the garda national drugs unit were spearheading inquiries into the Irish connections to the shipment while officers were also in close contact with the Dutch police.


Holland is one of the major source countries for Irish drug traffickers and several leading gangsters have set up base there to avoid inquiries by the gardai and the Criminal Assets Bureau.

Customs officers said the haul represented their biggest drug seizure so far this year and it was also the largest consignment of herbal cannabis in a number of years.

This was the second significant haul of herbal cannabis in eight days. Last Tuesday week, gardai captured a haul with an estimated street value of around €450,000 in Swords, Co Dublin.

That shipment had been imported into the country by a key member of the one of the Crumlin-Drimnagh gangs.

On the same night the national drugs unit seized €2.5m of cannabis resin when they intercepted a vehicle at an industrial estate outside Rathcoole, Co Dublin.

A third drugs haul last week involved €80,000 worth of ecstasy, cocaine, and cannabis, in a house between Tulsk and Boyle in county Roscommon.

And on Friday the national unit recovered a €1m shipment of high purity cocaine after stopping a car in Ballymun. The cocaine had earlier arrived at Dublin airport on a cargo plane from Spain.

- Tom Brady Security Editor

Monday, 7 September 2009

Gardai find child porn on gangster's PC

Irish Herald

By Cormac Looney
Monday September 07 2009
A SOUTH Dublin gangland figure may face child porn charges after officers discovered vile abuse images in a raid on his underworld lockup.
The man, in his 20s, was recently detained by gardai on suspicion of serious gang offences.
He was questioned in relation to those offences, but not over the child porn find, which officers are treating as a separate offence.
The Herald has learned the man is now facing a separate inquiry on suspicion of possessing child porn images, after officers discovered the material on a PC seized from his lock-up.
The man is from southwest Dublin and cannot be named for legal reasons.
He is regarded as a gangland 'fixer', who has worked for different south city gangs in the past, sourcing firearms and drugs, and laundering cash.
He was been a target of local gardai on the city's southside, and the Organised Crime Unit.
Sources said the men went to ground after his underworld associates learned of the child porn seizure, which was made in a raid in the city less than two years ago.
One source said: "He disappeared off the face of the earth for a period.
"Initially, he told people that he was going on the run to avoid the guards but when word emerged of the child porn, he stayed away and didn't come back.
"The images were very graphic and there was a large number of them.
"It completely surprised the officers, who had expected to find financial details or emails and not this sort of stuff," the source added.
The man could now face jail if gardai decide to prosecute him for possession of child porn. He is already the subject of a separate investigation on foot of his alleged gangland activities.
- Cormac Looney

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Massive drug swoop on gangs

Irish Herald

By Kevin Doyle
Wednesday September 02 2009
TWO of Dublin's biggest gangs were reeling today after detectives made eight arrests and seized millions in drugs.
A bank accountant was one of those held as officers hit 'Fat Freddie' Thompson's outfit and a leader of the 'D22' gang.
The D22 kingpin was in custody this evening having been caught at the handover of the €2m haul.
An accountant from a major bank was also being questioned after a separate bust, targeting minor Fat Freddie figures.
The professional was arrested when officers seized 36kgs of cannabis believed to belong to Thompson's associates.
The gang boss has been controlling his crime syndicate from exile on the Costa del Sol.
Meanwhile, detectives targeting the so-called 'D22' gang landed around 500 kilos of cannabis resin in Rathcoole.
The success of the overnight raids -- led by the Organised Crime Unit at Harcourt Square and Clondalkin Drugs Squad -- is certain to spark further paranoia within the gangs.
It was the first successful operation under new laws allowing gardai gather evidence from telephone taps.
A total of eight people were arrested in what officers have described as "completely separate operations".
The success of the Garda surveillance teams will send shockwaves through gangland Dublin and officers are on high-alert this evening.
Among those who can be held in custody for up to seven days is a man considered one of the key players in the raging D22 feud.
He is suspected of being heavily involved in the firearms trade and running a crime outfit that was formerly led by jailed killer Karl Breen.
He was one of three people observed at the hand-over of a massive drugs shipment in the Greenogue industrial estate, outside Rathcoole last night.
Gardai surrounded the gang members in cars and vans at 9pm just as the transfer of the drugs from one vehicle to another was taking place.
The seizure is understood to be the result of months of surveillance by local drugs units in west Dublin.
The scene remained sealed off this morning as the Garda Technical Bureau carried out a forensic examination of the vehicles involved. The main suspect was already arrested this year in connection with firearms offences.
Gardai have not yet established when the massive drugs shipment arrived in Dublin, but it is thought that it came here via the UK.
Had the transfer taken place as planned it would have flooded the capital with cannabis for the coming months.
The three men, aged 28, 35 and 36, are from the Clondalkin and Tallaght areas.
The earlier raid involving the Organised Crime Unit took place at the busy Airside Retail Park in Swords at 6pm.
All five men arrested there are in their 20s.
Officers intercepted the hand-over of cannabis herb with an estimated street value of €420,000.
It is understood that the five people arrested included gang members and potential customers.
One of the men detained is an accountant with a major bank and gardai were today trying to establish what exactly his role was in the operation.
The loss of the drugs to the gang could create huge tensions as it is understood that full payment had already been made.
The eight suspects were being held at four Garda stations across the capital under newly-strengthened drug trafficking legislation that means they can be questioned for up to seven days.
The two gangs targeted by garda have been involved in the last two gangland murders in the capital.
In early August, father-of-one Pierce Reid was gunned down at Lealand Close in Clondalkin, creating huge tensions in the D22 area.
The 25-year-old who was seen as an enforcer for gang boss Karl Breen was shot a number of times in the head.
A month earlier, a tetchy peace treaty in the Drimnagh-Crumlin feud was shattered with the murder of Anthony Cannon.
- Kevin Doyle