Gardai who foiled ATM raid seize cash and frozen bank accounts worth €700k
GARDAI investigating an attempted ATM robbery in Virginia, Co Cavan say they have recovered cash and frozen banks accounts to the value of €700,000 which they believe are the proceeds of a spate of ATM thefts this year.
Sources revealed last night that three men were arrested and over €150,000 cash seized in a number of searches on Tuesday evening, while two bank accounts containing €200,000 associated with members of the cross-border gang have also been frozen.
That money is in addition to over €300,000 cash that was confiscated last week in a follow-up search after armed gardai foiled an attempt by the gang to rip an ATM from a hotel wall in Virginia.
It is understood that one of the men arrested on Tuesday night had also been one of three men arrested by gardai following the incident in the Co Cavan town.
The ongoing operation is the result of an intensive eight month undercover surveillance operation centred on the activities of a family-based crime gang who live on the southern side of the border.
The investigation has uncovered links between the crime family and a member of a notorious south Armagh gang with close links to republicans.
Two brothers aged in their 20s and a 61-year-old uncle were arrested after gardai swooped as a digger was moved to the hotel on Main Street at around 2.30am. One of the brothers was arrested at the scene, while his younger brother was found hiding in a hotel toilet 12 hours later.
Their uncle was arrested at Moynalty in Co Meath in a follow up search and gardai believe that a fourth man from south Armagh managed to get back across the border.
Two of the men were released earlier this week pending a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions while the third was still being questioned about the attempted robbery last night.
Two men in their 30s, one with a home address in Northern Ireland, were arrested under the Republic's organised crime legislation on Tuesday night, while a 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of money laundering.
The arrests represent a major success for the Garda and the PSNI following 31 ATM thefts so far this year on both sides of the border.