Gardaí investigating a family-run ATM gang have arrested a man for a second time, just days after he was released. The 28-year-old was arrested along with two other men, both in their 30s, at the same location that gardaí arrested another suspected gang member last week.
During the arrest of the three men on Tuesday night, at a property in Moynalty, Co Meath, gardaí recovered a bag, containing over €100,000 in cash.
This follows the seizure of more than €300,000 in cash, and the arrest of a 61-year-old man, at the same location in Moynalty last Wednesday morning.
It brings to five the total number of arrests, including an uncle and three brothers, as part of a Garda investigation into a thwarted ATM robbery in the early hours of last Wednesday in Virginia, Co Cavan.
“This is very much a family affair,” said a security source.
Gardaí in the Bailieborogh Garda Station and the Cavan/Monaghan Division are being assisted by the Emergency Response Unit, the force’s elite intervention squad, and the National Surveillance Unit, the force’s secretive surveillance section, as well as gardaí in Meath.
Following a surveillance operation, gardaí intercepted the attempted robbery of the ATM, using a JCB, at around 3am on August 14.
The 28-year-old man who was arrested on Tuesday night was arrested at the scene. Two other individuals fled and one of them, a 25-year-old, was found later that morning hiding in a local hotel toilet.
A third suspect, the 61-year-old, was arrested that morning in Moynalty, near Kells. In excess of €300,000 in cash was found in a freshly dug hole at the location. That €300,000 is being linked to an ATM robbery in Kells back in April.
Those three men were arrested on suspicion of offences contrary to section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 and detained under section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007, allowing for up to seven days’ detention. All three were subsequently released pending a file to the DPP.
Following the further gathering of intelligence, including surveillance, gardaí swooped on the same location in Moynalty on Tuesday night, and arrested three men, including the 28-year-old man.
“They obviously thought this was a safe place to meet,” said a source, “but they thought wrong and had the ERU landed down on top of them.”
As the 28-year-old could not be arrested for a second time for the same suspected offence, he was arrested for suspected money laundering offences.
He was detained under section four of Criminal Justice Act 1984, which allows for up to 24 hours’ detention, excluding breaks. One of the other two men is a sibling of the 28-year-old, while the third individual has an address in Northern Ireland.
The series of arrests and seizures of cash is seen as a major success by the gardaí endeavouring to combat ATM robberies on this side of the border. There have been an estimated 16 such robberies on both sides of the border this year.