Garda Commissioner meets with US law enforcement agencies to discuss organised crime link-up
15th November 2021
SENIOR GARDAÍ HAVE met with US law enforcement agencies to discuss a collaboration in fighting international cybercrime and organised crime groups such as the Kinahan gang.
The meeting saw Commissioner Drew Harris and Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll, who leads Special Crime Operations, visit the American federal law enforcement agencies in Washington DC.
Harris and O’Driscoll were both seen at US Secret Service headquarters, but the Commissioner has confirmed they had met with other agencies.
It is not the first time gardaí have met US agencies in their fight against organised crime, with officers working with law enforcement organisations across the Americas.
Sources have confirmed that two garda superintendents have been deployed to Washington DC and Colombia to work directly with organised crime investigators there.
It has been previously revealed that gardaí are in direct contact with their counterparts in the Drugs Enforcement Agency.
Last week’s meetings in the US were not just focused on the operation targeting the KOCG, but also at the recent spike in major online fraud activity.
The most recent US meetings are part of the garda organised crime strategy and come just weeks before a high level Interpol meeting to discuss cyber crime.
Speaking at the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors this week, Harris spoke of the importance of international co-operation in targeting organised crime.
“Last week I was in Washington, I met with federal law enforcement in terms of how we tackle transnational organised crime groups,” he said.
“We had very productive meetings with various law enforcement agencies, federal law enforcement agencies in Washington at the very highest level, and they’ve assured me of their cooperation, and indeed, I’ve assured them of ours as well.”
Harris said that the Garda is a “significant player” in fighting international organised crime in Ireland and with international partners.
“I will also be at Interpol and we want to secure further cooperation in respect of transnational organised crime groups around cybercrime,” the Commissioner said.
“Interpol has been of great assistance to us over the last year really since the pandemic has started around fraud online.
“So there’s a huge effort going on internationally and we are right at the centre of that and we’re well known to be a trusted and operationally competent partner and we want to play our full part.”
A spokesperson for the US Secret Service said: “The U.S. Secret Service was honoured to host the Commissioner of An Garda Siochana, Drew Harris and Assistant Commissioner, John O’Driscoll.
“The US Secret Service has a long history of successful partnerships with domestic and international law enforcement agencies and this visit illustrates the strong relationship forged between the Secret Service and the An Garda Síochána.”