Almost €300k cash seized in garda raid targeting Albanian mafia
• Yesterday 18:54
Gardaí have seized almost €300,000 in cash as part of their investigation into an Albanian mafia group who are operating in the capital.
The money was located in the same office in an industrial estate in which detectives recovered a handgun yesterday.
Two suspects including the main target of the investigation remain in custody this evening at Blanchardstown garda station.
He is a man aged in his 20s and is closely linked to another Albanian gangster who was recently jailed for a serious assault which occurred at another industrial estate in west Dublin.
The jailed individual previously provided “security” for a well-known Dublin sports star.
Sources say that officers are investigating whether the crime gang has been using a legitimate business as a front for their criminal activities which allegedly involves drugs trafficking.
“Some members of this criminal enterprise are originally from Albania and Kosovo,” a senior source said.
It is understood that the 9mm pistol that was seized yesterday was not loaded when discovered by officers.
The operation happened at the Rosemount Business Park in the Blanchardstown on Monday and involved officers from Finglas and Blanchardstown stations who were acting on “key intelligence” according to sources.
“Organised crime figures from Albania are having a growing influence on the crime scene in Ireland.
“This particular crime organisation has influences in west Dublin and the Crumlin areas of the city,” a source explained.
Yesterday’s handgun seizure was the third significant firearms seizure in north west Dublin in the space of a just a week and senior sources say that there are no links to any of the three different seizures.
Gardaí have become increasingly concerned about the activities of Albanian crime gangs in Ireland.
In December 2019, a senior member of an Albanian crime gang, whose crew are suspected of being heavily involved in people and drugs trafficking, was the target of raids by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).
Two high-end cars were seized and €22,000 in cash and an expensive Swiss watch was also taken by the CAB during five searches in Dublin and Wicklow.
In May 2017, it was revealed that specialist gardaí were conducting a number of top secret operations against the Albanian mafia in the capital which led to almost €1m worth of cannabis herb being seized in the space of a fortnight at the time.
Albanian gangsters have been laundering their cash through chippers and car wash businesses across the capital and are heavily involved in the “security” business.