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‘The Family’ associate Turkish mafia boss who planned to flood Ireland with heroin could be free in months

Kuldip Singh has been in custody since 2019 so has already served almost two years of the short sentence he received

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Kuldip Singh is a key player in the Turkish criminal underworld.

Kuldip Singh is a key player in the Turkish criminal underworld.

Kuldip Singh is a key player in the Turkish criminal underworld.

A Turkish man who was part of a plot to flood Ireland with heroin will walk free within months after he was handed down a four-year sentence with the last year suspended.

Turkish mafia member Kuldip Singh (57), has been in custody since August 2019 when he was caught up in a €1 million heroin seizure so has already served almost two years of the short sentence he received on the basis he had pleaded guilty, lost family members in tragic circumstances and had been a good prisoner.

That is despite the fact that he was caught in jail with a mobile phone and has 17 previous convictions, many connected to huge drug seizures.

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Singh has 17 previous convictions.

Singh has 17 previous convictions.

Singh has 17 previous convictions.

 

He is the second major Turkish mafia figure jailed in Ireland after a huge operation mounted by officers in the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB).

Singh's boss, Ali Adnan Duran (52), is also in jail here after they were nabbed as they tried to join forces with the mob known as 'The Family' to flood the country with heroin.

The Birmingham-based Turks had spent months forging links with The Family, and it's leader, Brian Grendon, in an effort to create a partnership which would have had devastating consequences on communities across the country.

Both are identified as 'top tier' members of one of Europe's biggest Turkish mafia groups suspected of being behind a massive haul of more than 670 kilos of heroin discovered on the German and Polish border in recent years.

The haul, which originated in Afghanistan, was said to be worth more than €50 million and had started it's journey in Kyrgyzstan where it was disguised in a truckload of Turkish sweets.

Singh and Duran moved to Ireland in order to stay under the radar from UK police but instead they were placed under surveillance here when the National Crime Agency and the Garda's DOCB hooked up in what would be a hugely successful operation, not reflected in this week's sentence.

For months officers watched as the pair travelled over and back to Ireland and forged links with a well-known socialite who ferried them around the city.

They moved into a B&B to co-ordinate the sale of the heroin for a month before officers eventually swooped, catching them with almost a million euro worth of product.

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Duran received a nine-year sentence here but will be sent back to the Netherlands afterwards where he faces another 12 years in jail.

This week, Singh admitted to supplying a discreet location for the €961,000 worth of heroin to be stored and to translating for Duran during negotiations.

He already has convictions for drug supply and while he had initially being charged for supplying drugs, a guilty plea on the lesser charges was accepted by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The duo had been staying at the B&B on the Mill Road in Rathcoole, in Co. Dublin, when they were busted in August 2019.

Duran was stopped in a car but gave a false name and a Dutch address. Officers later established his real identity and the fact that there was a bench warrant out for his arrest on another matter.

The drugs were found in the house where he was staying with Singh, who Duran attempted to blame for the drugs, claiming under arrest he was afraid and threatened by his underling.

During the operation a number of vehicles were placed under surveillance in the Liffey Valley car park. One jeep carrying the two and driven by the socialite was followed to the B&B and then on to a restaurant in Naas in Co. Kildare.

Gardaí obtained a search warrant for the guesthouse and on a search of Singh's room found the drugs in a locked suitcase.

Notes totalling €9,000 were found in zip-lock bags as well as electronic devices and encrypted mobile phones.

CCTV from the premises showed the comings and goings of the men over a four-week period. Singh denied all knowledge of the drugs and claimed that he was trying to start up a cigarette vaping business in Ireland to act as a translator for Duran.

In court his Defence counsel, Padraig Dwyer SC, said Singh's mother had died while he was in custody and that his son had been murdered in 2018 but said the killing was not drug related.

Detective Garda Lorraine Brennan said that Singh had 17 previous convictions in the UK, of which seven were drug related.

The court heard he has already been caught with a phone in jail in Ireland.

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Brian Grendon.

Brian Grendon.

Brian Grendon.

 

Judge Melanie Greally said she would give him credit for his guilty plea, the loss of his family members and that he had applied himself well in prison and gave him a four year term suspended for 12 months. He was also told he must leave the country within 72 hours of being released and not return here for 10 years.

The sentence will be a huge disappointed to officers who spent months watching the Turkish mafia try to join up with the country's number one Smack gang.

The Family have been growing their profits to an enormous €20 million a year as they expand their heroin-dealing network across Ireland and into rural areas.

Headed up by convicted drug dealer Brian Grendon and his brother Philip.

The Family have expanded at an unprecedented rate, wiping out any competition in the heroin market.

A massive CAB operation into the group and their suspected use of the second-hand car business to launder funds is ongoing.

The mob were once the main suppliers of their home turf of Ballyfermot but have now reached into Lucan, Tallaght Blanchardstown, Drimnagh and Clondalkin and outwards to Cork, Galway and into rural Ireland.

While heroin is the stock in trade of those seen as low life criminals, Grendon also forged an unlikely association with a well-known businessman suspected of supplying celebrities and socialites and who became a go-between with the feared Turkish mafia in an effort to throw officers off the scent.

The socialite was arrested but released without charge and was later subject of a CAB search at his home in Co. Meath.

A large amount of files seized during the search are under examination as officers piece together a case against the drug mob.

It is understood that following the Garda bust on the group in 2019 an associate of the businessman fled the country as accusations flew about missing money and touting.

The associate went to ground as his elderly parents were put under pressure to pay up the million euro lost during the operation. The couple were intimidated at the posh south Dublin home and their car was burned out.

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