moped mayhem | 

Seizure of drugs worth €681k and speed boat came after garda targeted ‘scooter’ street gang

The three suspects were arrested at a lock-up in the Seville Terrace area of the north city in which the drugs and vehicles were also seized.

Drugs seized by gardai in north inner-city. Photo: An Garda Siochana

Ken FoySunday World

The arrests of three men and the seizure of €681,000 worth of drugs as well as 15 scrambler bikes, three electronic scooters and a fishing boat and speed boat was the culmination of a six month garda investigation, the Sunday World can reveal.

Officers from the Community Policing Unit based at Store Street Garda Station began the probe earlier this year after local residents in the north inner city expressed deep concerns about anti-social behaviour linked to the men who were arrested in the operation on Wednesday.

The three suspects aged between 23 and 25 were arrested at a lock-up in the Seville Terrace area of the north city in which the drugs and vehicles were also seized.

The arrests and seizure were part of Operation Canter, an ongoing garda investigation into street level dealing in the capital.

“All the suspects would be known for street dealing and have no particular links to wider criminal organisations such as the Hutch or Kinahan organised crime groupings,” a senior source said.

“But they have been causing a lot of disquiet in the community particularly by their driving habits – they have been rallying around the place on mopeds and scramblers in a very dangerous fashion.

“Operation Canter is a quality of life policing plan and there can be no doubt that the activities of these individuals effected the quality of life of decent people living in the north inner city.

“Once members of the community raised their concerns about this type of behaviour, an overt and covert investigation was put in place that has been ongoing for six months and which led to the search of the lock-up on Wednesday afternoon. A lot of work went into this,” the source explained.

The three arrested are all from the north inner city and are well known to gardai. However none have serious criminal convictions.

Gardai are today trying to establish if the seized boats, scooters and scrambler bikes are stolen, are the proceeds of crime or are legitimately owned.

The development comes, as senior sources say, that there has been a decrease in knife crime and assaults in recent months in the north inner city.

“The work of the community policing unit in this investigation cannot be over emphasised – this investigation is a direct result of their interactions with local people,” the source added.

Operation Canter has been ongoing for almost three years but this week’s seizure is one of most significant since the policing plan was put in place.

Gardai announced details of the raid on Wednesday night.

“Gardaí have seized approximately €681,000 worth of suspected drugs and a number of vehicles during a search operation in Dublin 1 today, Wednesday 7th September 2022,” a spokeswoman said.

“At approximately 3.30pm on Wednesday, Gardaí attached to the Community Policing Unit in Store Street Garda Station, with assistance from the Dublin Metropolitan Region North Central Divisional Drugs Unit, carried out a search at a property in Dublin 1.

“The search was conducted as part of a planned operation which targets the sale and supply of drugs, as well as anti-social behaviour, in the Dublin 1 area.

“During the course of the search Gardaí seized cannabis herb with an estimated value of €652,000, cannabis resin with an estimated value of €25,000 and cocaine with an estimated value of €4,000.

“The combined estimated value of drugs seized is €681,000; the drugs will now be sent for analysis.

“Gardaí also seized 12 scrambler motorcycles, 3 electric scooters and 2 speed boats during the search operation.

“Three men, aged in their 20s, were arrested at the scene and taken to Store Street Garda Station where they are currently detained under Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act, 1996,” she added.

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