Updated: 04/09/17 : 05:14:37Printable Version
Two men have been arrested as part of a garda operation in which almost €830,000 in cash was seized.The men, in their 30s and 40s, from Sligo and Dublin, were arrested and questioned on suspicion of money laundering.
One is suspected of being a 'bag-man' for the Kinahan crime gang.
Members of the elite Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) seized the cash when they pounced on the cartel associate as he met with a truck driver at a service station in Naas, Co Kildare, at 10pm on Friday.
Gardai also believe the man targeted over the weekend helps launder the cartel's cash through the horse-racing industry, particularly sulky racing.The truck driver is from Sligo. Gardai suspect the gangland fixer was in the process of handing over the substantial sum to the Sligo man, who was then due to take the cash to the continent.
The operation is part of an ongoing investigation into the Kinahan crime gang.
The men were detained at Naas Garda Station but have since been released and a file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.At least a dozen armed detectives carried out searches of the home and a car belonging to the fixer's partner.
A number of financial documents and electronic devices were seized as part of the probe.
His partner's vehicle, a German sports car valued at around €50,000, was also seized as part of the investigation.Major blow
A senior source described the operation as a "very significant" strike against the Kinahan cartel.
Follow up searches were also carried out in Sligo.
The seizure will come as a major blow to the Kinahan gang who saw €1.2m seized by gardaí last week when a businessman carrying the cash was stopped at a routine check point in Carlow.
The check point was part of 'Operation Thor' targetting burglars in the region.
Gardai believe the money, which was packaged, was also destined for Spain where members of the gang are based.