DUBLIN, Ireland - In a massive bust over the weekend, gardai not only managed to foil what would have been a big gangland hit, involving the close family member of the Hutch gang - but also revealed that in recent months, the operation against gangland crime has intensified.
On Monday, gardai confirmed that the four heavily armed men that were arrested over the weekend when they were on their way to attack their victim - remain in custody and are being questioned.
Officials also said that in recent months, as their operation into the gangland feud has expanded, they have intervened in close to 50 attempted gangland hits.
They said that over 50 situations, where there was a credible threat to someone’s life in the ongoing gangland feud, were averted by law enforcement officers.
Assistant commissioner John O’Driscoll told reporters that gardaí had been working hard to prevent gangland related killings.
Over the past two and a half years, the Hutch and Kinahan crime gangs have been engaged in a feud that has so far led to 15 deaths.
In the media briefing, O’Driscoll said, “There are clearly those people who have been targeted, and unfortunately have died. There are those who have been targeted and fortunately have survived. We believe if there had not been an intervention the death was imminent.”
He also added that as well as this, seven people have been charged with conspiracy to murder and are before the courts in relation to a number of incidents.
Describing this as “unprecedented,” O’Driscoll said that there was great communication and cooperation between An Garda Síochána and international police forces in relation to tackling gangland crime.
He added that gardaí were working closely with British police and had worked with Dutch and Spanish police.
He said, “We engage with every jurisdiction where we think there is a link with organised crime in Ireland.”
He added, “Clearly the interventions which we are making are hugely significant, in that they are not just merely telling people that their lives are threatened, but there are cases, and a growing number of cases, where the people we have arrested have been in possession of the firearms, and where the death was imminent if we had not intervened."
Meanwhile, commenting on the latest cast, Gardai said that after they foiled what they suspected was an attempted gangland hit on Saturday, four men were arrested and are being questioned in relation to a conspiracy to murder.
They also revealed that the men were arrested with three guns, a sub-machine gun, a semi-automatic pistol and a revolver.
Two more guns were later seized along with a silencer and a quantity of ammunition.