‘Massive blow’ to family crime operation

A car is seized by gardai during operation.

A car is seized by gardai during operation.

Gardai dealt what has been described as a ‘massive blow’ to an illegal money-lending ring run by an extended Waterford family and their associates last Tuesday, when it launched early morning raids on 22 homes and rented properties across the city.

Significant sums of cash – including €10,000 at one house alone – and financial documentation that included details of bank accounts and financial transactions were seized by the 120-strong garda team that included officers from the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB). Members of the gang are believed to have taken Social Welfare cards from their victims and brought them to the post office every week or month, forcing them to hand over their dole or Children’s Allowance payments.

Victims were then made repay massive multiple sums of their original loans to the gang, with some being forced into crime themselves to pay back their debt.

The garda searches, carried out at properties in Ballybeg, San Herblain Park and other areas, also yielded a rifle, illegal drugs, cards, financial documentation and other items suspected of being stolen. Gardai are also investigating the siphoning of electricity at a number of the properties searched. Both the Air Support and Garda Dog Unit were deployed to the city for the searches, as were armed officers from the Regional Support and Organised Crime units.

No arrests were made during the day, though gardai did say that follow-up investigations will come from Tuesday’s finds.

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