‘Monkey Gang’ targeted in garda raids across Dublin- 3h ago
Members of the so-called ‘Monkey Gang’ were targeted in nine garda raids this week in which a large amount of stolen property was recovered and seven arrests were made.
The operation which was led by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) led to searches at locations in the Cloverhill and Porterstown areas of west Dublin on Wednesday as well as in Finglas and a site near Ashbourne, Co Meat
One of the main targets of the garda operation is a close associate of Finglas gangster Bernard ‘Gan’ Joyce (48) who has previously served a four year jail sentence for possession of more then €900k in illegal cash connected to the Kinahan cartel after a garda seizure in Co Wexford in 2018.
“Essentially the crew that was the focus of Wednesday’s operation are a group of low level opportunistic thieves who have become more prolific in recent times in Dublin especially since COVID lockdowns came to an end,” a senior source said.
The gang who have associates all over north and south west Dublin gained their nickname when gardaí seized a small monkey in a cage as well as a huge haul of weapons and bullets during a search operation in Finglas in April, 2019.
The wider gang has been the subject of a number of operations by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) including a massive raid in Co Meath in November, 2018, when officers seized €1.5 million in cash as well as other items.
Those targeted on Wednesday are considered junior members of the mob and three of the arrested people are juveniles.
“They are not yet criminal masterminds, that is for sure,” the source added.
Gardaií announced the operation saying that it was part of Operation Thor, which they say has reduced the rate of winter burglaries since it was introduced in 2015.
“Tackling the capacity of particular organised crimes groups who are having significant negative impact within communities through organised property crime including burglary, theft of catalytic converters and tools and organised shoplifting across the Dublin Metropolitan Region and adjoining regions is a key focus of the Garda Síochána in undertaking the Winter Phase of Operation Thor,” a garda spokesman said.
Items seized included electrical goods, pharmaceutical products, children’s toys, various stolen tools and catalytic converters with a value of around €30,000.
Also seized as part of this operation were multiple cloned registration plates and cutting equipment, around €15,000 cash, a double-barrel shotgun and six vehicles suspected of being the proceeds of crime.
Six males and one female were arrested during the searches.
Three of the males, aged 17, 18 and 30, were arrested on outstanding warrants, while a 17-year-old female and three other three men – aged 17, 29 and 35 – were arrested on theft and fraud offences.
The searches were carried out by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB), with assistance from other specialised units, including, the Special Crime Task Force (SCTF), the Strategic Tactics and Operations Command (STOC), the Garda Dog Unit, the Stolen Motor Vehicle Investigation Unit (SMVIU) along with uniform and detective personnel.
‘The Monkey Gang’ continue to be a main target for gardaí as well as international police after two main players in the mob were busted with €220k of drugs cash in Holland in 2018, as part of a major operation by heavily armed members of the Dutch police force in a suburb of Amsterdam.
The duo spent a number of months in custody in the Netherlands before eventually being bailed and returned to Ireland.