More than €24m seized by Garda drugs and crime bureau since 2015

More than €24m seized by Garda drugs and crime bureau since 2015

Bureau set up with aim of disrupting top tier organised crime groups in State

More than €24 million has been seized and€11 million forfeited to the State since the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) was established in 2015.

The bureau was set up with the aim of disrupting, dismantling and prosecuting people engaged in top tier organised crime groups.

Last year, the GNDOCB seized a total of €5,639,310 and £38,571 , while a total of €8,230,886, £142,520 and $23, was forfeited to the State following the conclusion of relevant Court proceedings in 2021.

The seizure of €488,000 following an operation at the Port Tunnel Plaza in recent days brought the total amount of cash seized by the GNDOCB to more than €24 million.

There were also significant convictions for money laundering and terrorist financing by the bureau last year.

On April 15th, a 46-year-old man was sentenced at Tralee Circuit Court to eight years, with the final 12 months suspended, arising from the seizure of almost €3.7 million in Kerry and Laois in September 2020.

Separately, on July 5th a man (40) was sentenced to seven years in prison, having been found to be in possession of more than €350,000 in May 2020.

Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll, who is assigned a lead role within An Garda Síochána, with regard to tackling organised crime, said “significant success has been achieved in recent times”.

Asset-focussed interventions against targeted organised crime groups is “prioritised”, he said, for the purpose of “seeking to deplete organised criminal finance and with an objective of dismantling the organised groups involved”.

He said: “The targeting of relevant assets, in the first instance, followed by the locating and seizing of those assets and, later, by the charging and prosecuting of suspects, through use of money laundering and organised crime related legislative provisions, has been a key component of the organised crime related strategy adopted by An Garda Síochána and the GNDOCB, in particular.”