Local garda ‘spotted’ protection racket

Local garda ‘spotted’ protection racket

A local garda, trained in how to spot unexplained wealth of suspected criminals, unearthed assets that eventually exposed a “protection racket” involving gangland figures and Dublin City Council officials.

Inquiries in 2016 by the detective into Ballyfermot criminal David Reilly identified a property and horsebox in Co Wexford, leading to a major investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).

A search of the mobile home by CAB in April 2017 uncovered statements for bank accounts revealing the protection payments. The operation, in turn, uncoved to links with Reilly’s boss, major drug dealer Derek ‘Dee Dee’ O’Driscoll.

The CAB investigation culminated in a High Court case this month where it was revealed that a total of €553,000 was paid into accounts owned by Reilly and O’Driscoll.

The court was also told that two officials from Dublin City Council had recommended to construction firms working in Cherry Orchard, Ballyfermot, that they pay fees to the men for the fictitious service of “fence maintenance” in order to ensure attacks and anti-social behaviour targeting their sites would stop.

Sources said the local asset profiler knew Reilly because of his involvement in burglaries and robberies and was known to have multiple lavish holidays abroad. When he submitted his file to CAB, he had identified the mobile home and horse box in Wexford.

CAB has now trained 427 local asset profilers, 402 of them gardaí, around the country, compared to 259 profilers in 2017. Bureau boss Detective Chief Superintendent Pat Clavin has described them as their “eyes and ears”.

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