GARDAI is committed to dismantling “leading” Irish criminal gangs working with the Colombian drug cartels to smuggle cocaine from South America to Ireland.
The pledge was made by Garda’s National Bureau of Drugs and Organized Crime as it prepares to continue its offensive against the country’s most dangerous mobs in 2022.
Right now, senior investigators believe Ireland’s main organized crime gangs have their own representatives in Colombia who are working closely with the narco-terrorists to organize cocaine shipments here.
Although Dubliner Joe ‘Packie’ Moore was murdered near the Colombian city of Medellin in 2017, that hasn’t stopped Irish criminals from maintaining their links with the world’s major cocaine suppliers.
Gangs with links to South America include the Kinahans, “The Family” and the drug trafficking ring led by George “The Penguin” Mitchell.
TOP OF THE LINE
In his first interview since his appointment as GNDOCB bureau chief last summer, Detective Chief Superintendent Seamus Boland spoke about how prominent groups are “at the top of organized crime”.
The senior officer told us, “All of these top organized crime groups will be investigated by us, but we will prioritize those involved in the violence.”
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“Ireland’s organized crime gangs have people in Colombia, but so do we – we are making sure that through our own outreach we can take investigations to Colombia and have direct, real-time interaction with them. our partners there.
“We have a global reach that we have never had before and our investigations benefit from it. One of our agents is based full time in Colombia and also liaises with law enforcement in other jurisdictions. The world has become a very small place and Irish gangs now have a reach in Colombia.
“We are in daily contact with our international partners and they help us target the organized criminal groups that drive the level of drug supply and crime that takes place in the country.”
The Chief Superintendent of Det. Boland added: “We are targeting the most dangerous groups, those who have the greatest negative impact on communities and those who alter the quality of people’s lives. These are the people against whom we are absolutely determined to put all our resources, as we have demonstrated over the past few years.
“We will not settle for a drug seizure or an arrest – we will gradually pursue these groups to the top until they are completely dismantled because if we distract from the important groups, violence may remain silent for a short period of time, but they will return to the norm and this has been experienced for the past 30+ years in law enforcement.
“Those who will be targeted will be groups prone to violence – whether through killings, as we have experienced over the years, to enforce their activities or through drug-related intimidation, which is a huge problem in the communities.
“We are an island nation and there are only a number of groups that are at this very high level. Once we identify them, we must pursue them and pursue them to the end until these gangs are completely dismantled. “
INVESTIGATIONS IN PROGRESS
Although there have been no murders in the Kinahan / Hutch feud since January 2018, the GNDOCB chief explained how investigations related to the dispute that “have resulted in a level of violence never seen before” are underway.
Detective Boland’s Chief Superintendent explained: “Our investigations are still ongoing, with the ultimate goal of bringing everyone involved to court to be brought to justice here in Ireland.
“We can never determine when a quarrel is over because you’re not dealing with rational people. It’s not like people are going to sit down and you have a formal peace agreement.
“We can only determine that a quarrel is likely to be over when we have the controlling parties and the people making those decisions in court and in court. We had a murder in Spain, but there was the threat and risk of murders in a number of different countries.
“So this has helped encourage law enforcement globally to be very proactive in identifying the main groups that control organized crime in Europe. To proactively target them in a coordinated approach.
“Europol is at the heart of it all, as is Interpol, and they are very proactive in recognizing the impact of different groups, which include Irish criminal gangs, on the wider networks of organized crime groups in other countries. “
Chief Superintendent Boland, who has 32 years of police experience, also explained how ‘confident’ his colleagues were to make arrests as part of their investigation into € 34million in disguised cocaine in charcoal and seized at the port of Dublin last July.
Gardai believes that a major Irish drug trafficking organization and a number of Europe’s main criminal gangs have joined forces to smuggle drugs from South America to Rotterdam.
Although discovered in Holland before being brought here by the Irish Navy, the GNDOCBs are the primary investigators as the huge transport was intended here.
The Chief Superintendent of Det. Boland told us: “This is an on-going investigation, which we hope to advance significantly over the coming year.
“This criminal enterprise was organized at a very high level and we are pursuing an investigation to the end. The Dutch authorities returned the drugs at our request because we took the lead in this investigation.
“This is the level of international cooperation that is currently taking place because there is a global recognition within law enforcement that we cannot impact these groups without absolute cooperation. “
The GNDOCB also targeted local drug gangs as part of Operation Tara.
Detective Superintendent Boland said, “We are monitoring the level of drug-related bullying nationwide and identifying those who engage in drug-related bullying across the country at the national level, and those individuals that are identified will be the subject of targeted investigations. .
“All aspects of the law are open to us in these investigations, whether it be traffic, criminal assets, violent disturbances or criminal damage. We recognize the fear that drug-related bullying poses to individuals and communities. “
He also paid tribute to his colleagues, adding: “We have great people and they are totally focused because they really want to make a difference in society.”