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