NewsCrime Desk

Drugs haul may be linked to close associate of missing crime boss

Images of the Meath seizure after they were put on show by gardai yesterday
Images of the Meath seizure after they were put on show by gardai yesterday

Gardai are investigating a possible link between a close associate of a mobster believed to have been murdered in Spain and a significant drugs and cash seizure in Meath this week.

€500,000 worth of drugs and €70,000 in cash buried in barrels was discovered in a rural area of Co Meath on Wednesday and investigators are probing if they belonged to a close associate of Sean Dunne.

Dunne, a notorious armed robber and drug dealer, disappeared in Spain in 2004. He is believed to have been murdered.

When Dunne disappeared, the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) was seeking about €4m from him in unpaid taxes.

Sources said gardai are investigating if the seized drugs and cash belonged to a major league criminal who spends most of his time between Merseyside and a property in Co Meath.

He has little previous record despite being one of the main targets of the international police investigation codenamed Operation Majesty in September 2013.

Gardai released details at that time that €2.5m in cash and €2.5m worth of cannabis herb - along with firearms, ammunition, grenades and luxury cars - had been seized in Ireland and across Europe in connection with the operation.

The gang being targeted are believed to have set up a massive criminal operation importing cannabis from the Netherlands into Ireland via the postal system.

Operation Majesty was revealed after gardai targeted the gang's boss in separate raids that led to the seizure of €4.4m worth of drugs and tens of thousands of euro worth of contraband cigarettes

The gangster in control of the operation is a 39-year-old who works closely with his younger brother in Liverpool.

Two men, aged 26 and 33, were arrested after the drugs were uncovered in a search in Bellewstown.

During the course of the search, heroin, ecstasy tablets, cannabis resin and cannabis herb were seized along with the cash.

Mixing agents and other drug paraphernalia were also found.

The two arrested men were being questioned at Kells Garda Station last night.