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mob bust ‘The Family’ gang boss Brian Grendon arrested after gardai seize €700k in crime probe

Eight vehicles, 16 high value watches and €700k in cash were seized after a total of 24 premises were searched

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Brian Grendon

Brian Grendon

Brian Grendon

Detectives have carried out, what is being described as, “one of the most significant organised crime arrests” in recent times after they arrested the head of ‘The Family’ gang.

Convicted drug dealer and gang leader Brian Grendon remains in garda custody today after, it is understood, around €30,000 in cash was seized at his Clondalkin home yesterday.

He is one of six people who were arrested during the massive swoop yesterday – five men and one woman.

Further searches by armed gardai yielded large amounts of vacuum packed cash in different denominations at addresses and vehicles across the capital’s southside.

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Cash seized by gardai during yesterday's raids.  Photo: An Garda Siochana

Cash seized by gardai during yesterday's raids. Photo: An Garda Siochana

Cash seized by gardai during yesterday's raids. Photo: An Garda Siochana

Sources say that this is one of the biggest garda operations against Ireland’s biggest drug dealing gang.

In total €700,000 in cash was seized along with 16 “high value” watches and eight vehicles during the searches of 24 properties in the capital.

The drug trafficking mob led by convicted heroin dealer Brian Grendon (43) have been the subject of numerous raids by specialist garda units in recent year but they remain one of the biggest drug dealing organisations in the State.

‘The Family’ gang are suspected of using legitimate businesses to launder money for years.

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Brian Grendon pictured in 2001
Pic: Courtpix

Brian Grendon pictured in 2001 Pic: Courtpix

Brian Grendon pictured in 2001 Pic: Courtpix

In 2017, in a major operation by the Criminal Assets Bureau five businesses were raided and another three visited by officers in searches which yielded than €1m worth of assets, including luxury watches and high-end cars.

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But yesterday’s raids are considered even more significant.

Gardai announced details of yesterday’s search and arrest operation.

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High value watches seized following searches. Photo: An Garda Siochana

High value watches seized following searches. Photo: An Garda Siochana

High value watches seized following searches. Photo: An Garda Siochana

“Yesterday, 19th January 2022, the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB), assisted by other specialised units, including, the Special Crime Task Force (SCTF), the Special Tactics and Operations Command (STOC), the Air Support Unit (ASU), the Dog Unit, the Stolen Motor Vehicle Investigation Unit (SMVIU) and the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), along with personnel assigned to local Garda Síochána drug units based in the West Dublin, undertook a particular operation designed to address drug related issues being experienced in West Dublin and wider afield, including drug related threat to life incidents and other forms of intimidation,” a garda spokesman said.

“The operation undertaken on 19th January 2022, led by the GNDOCB, involved the searching of a total of 24 premises, the majority of which are located in West Dublin, Ballyfermot, Clondalkin, Lucan and Crumlin, in particular, but also in Dublin’s city centre.

“While most of the premises are places of residence a small number of business premises were also searched.

"The Operation also involved the stopping and searching of particular vehicles.

“In the course of searching the 24 premises, numerous quantities of cash were seized, ranging from about €250,000 to about €7,000, with an estimated total of about €700,000.

“One particular seizure of cash arose from a search of a vehicle registered in Northern Ireland, while it was travelling North bound on the N3.

“The vehicle was stopped with assistance provided by the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) and resulted in the seizure of cash to an estimated total value of €200,000.

“Other items seized, include, 16 watches assessed each to be of significant value and a total of eight vehicles, along with media devices, including mobile telephones and documentation purporting to relate to particular business related activity.

“A total of six suspects were arrested in the course of the GNDOCB led operation, including five males, aged in their 30s and 40s and one female aged 33 years.

“The arrests relate to suspected participation in the activities of a criminal organisation, to facilitate money laundering and drug trafficking, representing an alleged breach of the provisions of section 72 of Criminal Justice Act 2006.

“All suspects are currently detained pursuant to the provisions of section 50 of Criminal Justice Act, 2007, at various Garda stations within the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR).

Detective Chief Superintendent Seamus Boland, who is head of Bureau at the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB), said: "This operation, led by the GNDOCB, assisted by a significant number of other Garda Síochána personnel, including a number assigned to local drug units located in West Dublin, was designed to make a significant impact on those involved in OCGs who are causing significant damage to communities in West Dublin and elsewhere.

“The seizure of cash, valuable goods, vehicles and particular documents and the associated arrests is considered an important step in An Garda Síochána’s ambition to effectively tackle the criminal groups involved."

While Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll who is An Garda Síochána lead officer with regard to tackling Organised & Serious Crime, said:

"Through initiatives such as Operation Tara, criminals who are involved in Organised Crime Groups that threaten the life and welfare of those living in communities throughout Ireland, will experience the determination of An Garda Síochána to ensure they are prosecuted and their organisations dismantled."

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