Assault rifle also found in Sallins raid which is third blow to cartel in little over a week
Garda believe a large seizure of cocaine and heroin, along with at least one assault rifle, found at a rented property over the weekend is linked to the Kinahan drugs gang.
If so, the weekend operation in Co Kildare would be the third major strike against the cartel in just over a week.
Herbal cannabis linked to the gang was discovered at Dublin Port the week before last, and last week large sums of cash and 15 firearms were also discovered by the Garda.
In the most recent operation, gardaí acting on intelligence raided a detach dormer bungalow in Sallins, Co Kildare, which was being rented out by the owners.
A search of the house yielded parcels of what gardaí believe is cocaine and heroin with a combined estimated valued of €3 million.
At the same property an assault rifle was also found.
Some of the drugs had been wrapped tightly in plastic, typical of the packaging of cocaine and heroin intercepted while being smuggled into the State.
If the drugs had just been imported, as gardaí suspect, their purity was expected to be high meaning the street value might be far in excess of the initial €3 million estimate.
In particular with cocaine, drug gangs typically buy it very pure before bulking it up to four times its mass using a variety of mixing agents from dental aesthetic to glucose.
The search of the targeted property, which is in a quiet middle class estate, began late on Saturday and involved members of the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau supported by the Special Crime Task Force.
After the initial finds were made late on Saturday the search was stopped and the property secured by armed gardaí overnight before it resumed early yesterday. It continued all day. Some of the drugs found had been carefully concealed inside furniture in the house. Garda search teams have been working their way through each room and thoroughly searching inside all furniture, under floorboards, water tanks and the attic.
Hide and seek
Gardaí believe large sums of money could be hidden somewhere in the house, especially in €500 notes which allow for the concealment of huge sums in very small places.
The search will resume again today having again been stopped overnight.
While no arrests have been made, the Garda are seeking suspects linked to the house, and the operation follows very significant blows landed by the Garda, it believes, against the Kinahan gang.
Garda sources said last week’s operation – in which 15 firearms and cash were seized at a warehouse near Rathcoole, Co Dublin – was very significant. And the interception of 1.8 tonnes of herbal cannabis at Dublin Port last Friday week is believed to have hit not only the Kinahan gang but also a coalition of smaller domestic gangs that had ordered the drugs and paid some of the money in advance.