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Under threat drug dealer turns to dissident criminals for protection in row with Dublin gang logo 19/07/2022 Ken Foy

A drug dealer who has been warned by gardaí of an active threat against his life has turned to an INLA criminal faction for protection.

The Co Cavan-based mobster aged in his 40s who has been a major target for the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) is suspected of being one of the main players in the border county’s drugs trade for years as well as being involved in supplying drugs into Co Meath.

It has now emerged that gardaí are closely monitoring his home over fears that he will be targeted by a violent Coolock drugs gang.

Sources have revealed that the dealer and one of his closest associates have been served with ‘GIM’ forms by gardai.

The Garda Information Message is served on people when gardaí have information that there is an active and credible threat to their lives.

“His close associate is gone to ground – gone into hiding but this lad is still present but is being driven around the place with criminals who have links to the INLA in the locality,” a source said.

“It seems that they are even guarding him and are prepared to act if he gets targeted by the Coolock gang,” the source added.

Sources say that the origin of the dispute is a cash row which broke out when a five-figure consignment of cannabis was “lost” following an incident in May.

It is understood that the Co Cavan gang are unwilling or unable to pay the Coolock mob who had supplied them with the drugs, leading to serious threats being made.

Gardaí received reports that members of the north Dublin mob were on their way to Co Cavan last month to shoot the local criminals but nothing happened on that occasion.

“It is fair to say that tensions are high at the moment. The INLA-linked criminals who are protecting this individual are also serious players and have been involved in organised criminality for decades,” a source said.

The under-threat Co Cavan dealer has been a long-term target for gardaí and was the subject of a significant CAB raid a number of years ago, when a number of high-value items were seized. It is understood that a tax demand has been made on him by the Bureau.

He cannot be named for legal reasons as he is facing serious court charges in relation to a campaign of intimidation.

In a search of a property linked to the man by the Cavan-Monghan drugs unit earlier this year a large amount of cash and expensive designer watches were discovered hidden at the property.

He has not been charged in relation to that seizure and is described as “a big fish in a small pond”.

“He has mainly managed to stay out of feuds over the years but he is in bother this time,” the source added.

According to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) there was an almost 19pc increase in Attempts/Threats to Murder, assaults, harassments and related offences in the past year.

There were 21,904 reports of these types of crimes in the first three months of the year compared with 18,429 in the same period last year nationwide.

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