Armed gardai stop and search car containing volatile Dublin criminal

A number of armed officers stopped a vehicle
A number of armed officers stopped a vehicle

Armed gardai stopped and searched a car containing one of Ireland's most volatile criminals in recent days.

The garda operation happened in Marewood Crescent in Ballymun in the early hours of Monday morning.

A number of armed officers stopped a vehicle in which one of the country's most volatile criminals and some of his closest associates were travelling.

No firearms were found during the search, which was coordinated by Ballymun detectives.

They have been investigating the activities of a new criminal gang calling themselves the New INLA and sources said some of the men in the car have links to this gang.

One of them is a 30-year-old Ballymun criminal who is one of the biggest targets for officers investigating organised crime in the capital.

"They are involved in extortion, criminal debt collection and drug-dealing, but they are also involved in legitimate businesses - they're making tens of thousands of euro each month," a source said.

"This gang has huge back-up from the North and they are going around like they own the place. Everyone is terrified of them."

They are also linked to a notorious criminal from north Dublin. He is the chief suspect behind a number of gangland crimes and assaults, and was previously arrested in relation to those issues.

Investigations into the mob were stepped up after a bomb and a Glock pistol were seized and a Polish man was arrested when armed gardai searched a vehicle near Mountrath, Co Laois, on February 25.

That incident led to the M7 motorway being closed for several hours.

Sources said the bust had "led to lives being saved".

The gang's main base is in Ballymun, but they have been operating throughout the country and especially in the capital.