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CAB and armed officers target major Dublin drugs trafficker as they raid pub and gym

The prime target of the operation is a 35-year-old convicted drug dealer

ERU officer during CAB raid

Ken Foy

Detectives have raided a well-known gym and a pub as part an assets investigation into a major Dublin drug trafficker.

The dawn raids were carried out today as part of a significant probe into a Clondalkin crime gang by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).

The prime target of the operation is a 35-year-old convicted drug dealer who is considered one of the main drug traffickers in the capital.

A west Dublin gym, suspected of being run by a very close associate of this criminal, was one of several properties searched by detectives today.

The fitness studio is a well-known and respected business which has been used by professional athletes and socialites. A nail bar and tanning salon were also searched as part of the operation.

Another premises raided was a pub in a Kildare town and gardaí believe the gang have recently taken out a lease on the property.

CAB raids

Heavily armed members of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) are also involved in the ongoing operations which have also seen a number of private homes searched.

Other footage shows ERU gardaí using saws to cut through doors and in one image a detective has his firearm drawn and pointing it at a property.

The gang targeted have very close links to the Kinahan cartel and was led by Peader Keating (40) before he was jailed last year for directing a failed plot to murder Hutch associate James 'Mago' Gately in 2017.

Peadar Keating

Gardaí have not yet formally released details of what was recovered during the searches.

In a statement, gardai said a number of expensive watches, as well as designer handbags and cash were seized during the raids.

Cash and goods seized by CAB. Photo: An Garda Siochana

The haul included a Hublot watch, a Rolex and a Breitling watch - along with cash totalling €22,000.

A garda spokesman said: "The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) conducted a search operation in the DMR West, DMR South, Laois and Kildare Regions, this morning, Friday 29th April 2022.

"The searches were conducted with the assistance of The Garda Emergency Response Unit (ERU), Ronanstown and Lucan District Detective Units, Naas District Detective Unit and the Customs Revenue Dog Unit.

Watch seized by CAB. Photo: An Garda Siochana

"Ten separate locations consisting of four residential addresses, four business addresses including a licensed premises and two professional premises were searched.

"No arrests were made during the course of this operation."

He added: "This search operation targeted the commercial activities of a significant Dublin based Organised Crime Gang involved in drug trafficking and money laundering.

Cash seized by CAB. Photo: An Garda Siochana

"Today’s action is noteworthy in the context of an on-going proceeds of crime investigation targeting the assets and commercial interests of key individuals suspected of participating in and directing organised criminality."

Gardaí believe that the 35-year-old drug dealer targeted leads a dangerous Clondalkin drugs mob which has been blamed for several murders in the area.

This includes the fatal shooting of John Gibson who was shot dead in September 2017 exactly a week after his friend Darragh Nugent was murdered in Clondalkin.

They were also behind the murder of innocent Dean Johnson (21) who was shot dead in a case of mistaken identity in August 2013.

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