Deadly stash | 

Hidden car key led to seizure of machine gun, three handguns and drugs worth €50k in Bray raid

Gardai recovered the deadly arsenal of weapons as part of an investigation into an organised crime gang operating in the seaside town

Some of the firearms seized

Ken Foy

Gardai today recovered a deadly arsenal of weapons as part of a major investigation into an organised crime gang operating in a seaside town.

The gang operating from Bray, Co Wicklow, but who gardai believe have tentacles across the Leinster region and into the capital are said to be reeling after the seizure by specialist local officers.

In total three handguns, a Sten machine gun attached with a silencer, 30 rounds of ammunition and €50,000 worth of illegal drugs were seized in the operation carried out by Bray gardai following a surveillance investigation.

Four people – two men and two women all aged in their 20s and 30s were arrested today and they remain in custody in Co Wicklow garda stations.

They are described as “mid to lower members of the organised crime network” but have had come to attention of the local drugs unit which is considered one of the most active in the Garda Eastern Region.

Some of the firearms seized

“This is an absolutely very significant haul when you look at what has been seized here. The ammunition that was seized is believed to be compatible with the firearms that were found,” a source told the Sunday World.

“This means that these weapons were ready to be used and the targeted gang have links to many other organisations particularly gangs in the city involved in feuds on Dublin’s northside,” the source added.

It can be revealed that when officers from Bray station raided a property in the Fairgreen Court area of the town at around midday yesterday they searched a jacket which contained a car key.

After discovering this they located a car which was “parked offside” near the property and when the key they had seized matched this vehicle, the officers discovered the firearms haul in the boot of the vehicle.

The gangster who is suspected of controlling the guns has not been arrested but he has been a long term target for gardai for over two decades.

Some of the firearms seized

Sources say that he works closely with a younger relative who is facing drug dealing charges before the courts.

They are linked to a wider organised crime group who were previously linked to the Kinahan cartel and were involved in multiple feuds and shootings over a decade ago.

“Their capability to carry out serious violence has diminished since then but these are still serious players – they are weapons traffickers and they are drugs traffickers,” a source said.

“Notwithstanding that a lot of MDMA and acid tabs have been seized here to the value of €50k, the belief is that lives have been saved by this planned garda operation.

“That is because it is obvious that these weapons were ready to go and the silencer and compatible ammunition proves that,” the source added.

Two of the arrested suspects are being held under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act which means that they can be held for up to three days in relation to the firearms offences.

The other two are being questioned under Section 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Act.

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