‘Squeaky clean’ businessman being quizzed over drug bust


Approximately €100,000 worth of cannabis, €132,000 worth of cigarettes and tobacco as well as €20,000 in cash were recovered during the raid Photo: Garda Press Office
Approximately €100,000 worth of cannabis, €132,000 worth of cigarettes and tobacco as well as €20,000 in cash were recovered during the raid Photo: Garda Press Office

A ‘squeaky clean’ businessman being quizzed over a large drug bust is a central member of a crime gang in the west of the country, gardaí believe.

Yesterday gardaí seized over €250,000 worth of drugs and cash as part of an ongoing operation against the Limerick based crime group.

The mob are a priority target for gardaí in the county and have had hundreds of thousands of euro worth of drugs and cash seized in recent months.

Investigators have now established that a Limerick businessman has a primary role within the crime gang and is believed to be centrally involved in their criminal enterprise.

He has been arrested twice by gardaí investigating the gang, with senior officers describing the most recent arrest as “significant”.

On Tuesday, gardaí from the Limerick divisional drug unit supported by Revenue Officers, seized cannabis, controlled drugs, tobacco and cash worth around €252,000.

Officers searched a business premises off Davis Street, Limerick at around 10am where the significant haul was discovered.

Approximately €100,000 worth of cannabis, €132,000 worth of cigarettes and tobacco as well as €20,000 in cash were recovered during the raid.

A garda spokesman said that a man in his 50s was arrested at the scene and was brought to Henry Street garda station.

“He is currently detained under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996.”

Independent.ie has learned that Tuesday’s arrest is the second time the businessman has been caught with drugs in the last number of months.

In a previous operation targeting the gang he was arrested after a large amount of drugs and cash were recovered, as well as several mobile phones.

That operation was also carried out by local gardaí assisted by Revenue Officers, but the exact details can not be disclosed for legal reasons.

A source said: “This individual has operated under the garda radar until recent months when he was first arrested.

“Gardaí initially believed that he was a squeaky clean businessman but further investigations have established that he is centrally involved with organised crime in Limerick, and with one group in particular,” the source said.

Officers are this evening continuing to quiz the man over the drugs bust at the business premises.

Supt Fergal Patwell, of Roxboro Road Garda Station, said the operation was part of Limerick gardaí’s ongoing efforts against organised crime groups in the county.

“This is another significant arrest in relation to our ongoing operations targeting organised criminal gangs in Co. Limerick. “Drug seizures like we had in today’s operation play a critical role in targeting the livelihood of criminals and reduces their ability to carry out illegal activities.

“It also helps protect communities from the devastating impact of drugs and associated criminality,” Supt Patwell said.

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