Issue Date: 10/06/2021
Working as part of the Joint Agency Task Force (JATF) Gardaí from An Garda Síochána conducted seven searches of properties in Co Donegal and Co Dublin as part of a two-day cross border investigation targeting organised illegal drug criminality linked to the INLA.
These searches were conducted by Gardaí in Kerrykeel and Buncrana in Co Donegal, and in Finglas Co Dublin on Wednesday June 9, 2021 and resulted in a number of electronic devices being seized.
The search operation involved local Detective and Drug Units, the Special Detective Unit, the Armed Support Unit and the Garda Dog Unit.
Officers from the PSNI Paramilitary Crime Task Force (PCTF) arrested eight men and one woman as part of this cross border investigation in Derry/Londonderry.
These individuals, aged between 27 and 42, were arrested in the Derry/Londonderry and Limavady areas yesterday and today.
The woman has been released on street bail and all 8 men remain in custody at this time.
During the two-day operation Officers from the PCTF, supported by colleagues from Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Operational Support Department and local District Policing conducted 8 searches and seized a significant quantity of suspected cannabis, suspected Class A controlled drugs, and a substantial quantity of cash in Euros.
Superintendent Goretti Sheridan of the Buncrana Garda District said, "This operation has been ongoing since the summer of 2020 where An Garda Síochána and the PSNI have been liaising and gathering intelligence regarding the unlawful activities of the INLA, an unlawful organisation, and their involvement in the sale and supply of drugs in the North West, on both sides of the border.
"This is a borderless crime and it is imperative we in An Garda Síochána work closely with our colleagues in the PSNI in order to combat the sale and supply of controlled drugs which are devastating our communicates. The INLA like other gangs involved in drug dealing are making huge profits and benefitting from this legal activity.
"With our colleagues in the PSNI we are committed to working together to ensure we keep everyone safe on both sides of the border,” she said.
Commenting on the cross border operation Detective Chief Superintendent John McVea, Head of Criminal Investigation Branch said; "The INLA in the North West are involved in all forms of criminality including the organised illegal supply of controlled drugs. This operation looks to take action against those involved in this illegal drugs supply.
"This operation is a prime example of how the Joint Agency Task Force (JATF) works on the ground to tackle organised and cross jurisdictional crime. The Cross Border JATF continues to provide opportunities for, and promote real time collaboration, between An Garda Síochána and the PSNI in our combined efforts to frustrate, disrupt and dismantle the activity of organised crime groups,” he said.
Superintendent Sheridan added, "Our search operation yesterday forms part of our continued efforts to disrupt the movements and activities of organised crime groups and works to reduce and prevent criminal activity in border areas.
"We will continue to work together with our partners in the Police Service of Northern Ireland to frustrate and dismantle these organised crime groups. Criminals do not recognise borders and through the work of the Joint Agency Task Force we are able to do everything we can to ensure those involved in this type of organised and cross jurisdictional crime are dismantled and dealt with through the criminal justice system,” she said.