Tue, 17 Nov, 2020 – 21:43
Jailed Kinahan cartel lieutenants have been left reeling after prison intelligence units broke up a lucrative smuggling route into Mountjoy Prison in Dublin.
While parallel Garda and prison investigations are under way, sources in the prison expect possible violent repercussions as Kinahan figures demand answers as to how prison staff uncovered the trafficking system.
It follows a targeted search operation on a kitchen delivery truck, revealing 30 mobile phones and SIM cards, worth up to €300,000 in prison, and an assortment of drugs, including two kilos of cocaine.
Gardaí, who are questioning one man in relation to the seizure, said the cocaine had a street value of around €140,000 and valued the 10,000 tablets seized, believed to be sedatives, at €20,000, along with €5,000 worth of cannabis herb.
Prison sources said the drugs would be worth a multiple of those prices inside the prison.
The Irish Prison Service said the haul is the single biggest consignment of contraband ever brought into Irish prisons.
In a sophisticated smuggling operation, many of the packages had nicknames and initials of their recipients, prompting one prison source to liken it to an illicit “click and collect” delivery system.Sources said Kinahan figures based in the C and D Wings of the jail will be at a substantial financial loss and will demand retribution on anyone suspected of tipping off the authorities.
Sources said it will also mean further violence and intimidation on prisoners already owing money for drugs or other contraband.
It is thought there are around 35-40 individuals closely connected to the Kinahan cartel in the prison.
The search, conducted around 8.30am on Tuesday morning, was the result of intelligence work by the IPS Operational Support Group (OSG).
The OSG had gathered information that a pallet of contraband was due for delivery into the kitchen on Tuesday morning.
Some 600 boxes in the van were removed and searched and the contraband was found inside the two final boxes, purporting to contain sugar.
“OSG staff intercepted the van, searched it, and filled five large paper evidence bags to be collected by the gardaí,” said one source.
Items seized include 30 mobile phones, including three smartphones, and SIM cards, all worth in the region of €800-€1,000 each inside the prison; along with the illegal drugs, five boxes with at least 10,000 pills in them, steroids, and whiskey.