Garda chief discusses Kinahan cartel with US agencies
November 10 2021 02:30 AM
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris last week held high-level meetings with US law enforcement agencies, among them the US Secret Service, to discuss transnational crime gangs including the Kinahan cartel and organised fraud gangs operating in Ireland.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, at the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors annual conference in Killarney, Co Kerry, Commissioner Harris said transnational crime remains a priority for gardaí.
As far back as 2017, it emerged that gardaí were working with the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in tackling the Kinahan cartel’s international activities. There is now an increased level of co-operation between the international police forces.
“Last week I was in Washington and met with federal law enforcement in terms of how we tackle transnational organised crime groups,” the Garda chief revealed when asked about ongoing operations surrounding the Kinahan cartel.
“Very productive meetings with various law enforcement agencies – federal law enforcement agencies at the very highest level.
“They have assured me of their co-operation and indeed, I have assured them of ours as well.
“We are a significant player when it comes to organised crime and we want to play our full part not just here in Ireland, but internationally in bringing those organised crime groups down.
“Later this month I will also be at Interpol, and at Interpol we will want to secure further co-operation in respect of transnational organised crime groups around cyber crime.
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“Interpol has been a great assistance to us over the last year, since the pandemic has started, around fraud online.
“There is a huge effort going on internationally and we are right at the centre of that. We are well known to be a trusted, operationally competent partner and we want to play our full part.”
Apart from international drugs trafficking networks such as the Kinahan cartel, gardaí are increasingly focusing on international fraud gangs who are also targets for American law enforcement.
One of these is the notorious gang Black Axe, who are suspected of recruiting hundreds of fraudsters in Ireland.