Former garda held over alleged links to the Hutch mob
Officers were ‘stunned’ to find €600,000-worth of cannabis at property linked to the suspect
October 03 2021 02:30 AM
A large consignment of drugs and cash was uncovered at a property linked to a retired senior garda, who remains in custody this weekend under suspicion of working for the Hutch organised crime gang.
Cannabis valued at €600,000 and €47,000 in cash was seized in the vicinity of the retired officer’s home during a Garda raid at his north Dublin property on Wednesday, it is understood.
As part of the same probe, two serving gardaí are also under investigation for providing intelligence from the Pulse garda intelligence system to the retired officer. The north Dublin garda station where these two officers are based was also raided on Wednesday, as were their homes.
One of the two officers has since been suspended. The other officer, who is of inspector rank, remains unsuspended.
Investigations are ongoing into whether these two gardaí were “wittingly or unwittingly” passing on intelligence to the retired officer accused of then subsequently passing on the intel to the Hutch gang.
Neither of these serving gardaí has been arrested. The investigation into the retired senior officer’s alleged involvement with the Hutch gang has been ongoing by detectives attached to the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI) for a “considerable amount of time”, it is understood.
The NBCI is investigating his alleged interactions with criminals attached to the Hutch gang, after suspicions were raised in recent months due to mobile-phone surveillance.
During Wednesday’s raid at the retired officer’s home, up to 11 mobile phones linked to him were seized. His bank accounts have been trawled and other electronic items at his home were also seized.
Securing these electronic devices and items was the “purpose” of the raid on his home. However, gardaí were “stunned” to find the haul of drugs and cash at the officer’s property. Detectives had no intelligence that cannabis worth €600,000 and €47,000 in cash would be uncovered.
The retired officer was still being questioned this weekend at a Garda station in Dublin’s south inner city.
He is being held “on suspicion of involvement in offences… relating to allegedly enhancing the ability of a criminal organisation to commit or facilitate a serious offence.”
On Friday, his period of detention was extended for an additional 72 hours.
The investigation is examining allegations that the retired senior garda was in receipt of confidential information that was used by a drug gang to aid its activities — and if so, how that information was passed to him.
No criminal charges, or disciplinary findings, have yet been arrived at against the two serving Garda members or the former officer. The retired officer, who is in his 60s, can be held for up to seven days in total.
When previously a serving member, the officer was investigated for disciplinary issues which did not result in any sanctions.
Meanwhile, in a separate investigation led by the recently established Garda anti-corruption unit, the home of a garda sergeant was searched and his mobile phone seized over the alleged leaking of information to journalists about Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch.
This officer has been suspended. The mobile phone of another person living at the house was also seized.
This investigation centres on the sergeant’s alleged leaking of information to the media about the creation of a European Arrest Warrant to arrest Hutch.
The officer is also accused of leaking other information to the press about the leader of the Hutch gang, who was extradited and charged last week over the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in 2016.