Solicitor questioned in operation targeting Limerick drugs gang

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Soldiers searching fields in the Moyross area as part of Operation Coronation.

A SOLICITOR and two others arrested last month in connection with alleged fraudulent personal injury claims were  also questioned as part of a Garda investigation into a Limerick City drugs gang.

When asked for an update on Operation Coronation, which was established in 2020 to target the assets of the Keane drugs gang, a Garda spokesperson replied: “As part of ongoing investigations into organised criminal activity in the greater Limerick area, three males were arrested in the course of an operation in Limerick on Monday, January 24.”

The three men included a solicitor, who has not been charged with any offences.

The Garda spokesperson said they “were arrested and detained under the provisions of Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2006 in connection with suspected organised crime offences” before being released without charge.

Gardaí said their “investigations are ongoing” and that they were preparing a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions who will decide whether or not charges will be brought against the solicitor and two others.

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On January 7 last, Gardaí involved in Operation Coronation charged a man in his fifties and a woman in her forties with handling cash sums of €28,550 in euros and £17,240 in sterling notes, knowing the money was the proceeds of crime; and with allowing a bank account and credit union account to be used to store the money.

On September 7, 2021, Gardaí arrested 19 people, searched 65 properties, and seized six financial accounts with a total value of around €300,000, as well as €63,000 cash, designer watches, three high powered vehicles, three horses including a stallion worth an estimated €50,000, financial documents, €10,000 worth of cannabis herb and cocaine; and a €10,000 horse box.

The planned operation involved over 300 gardaí, defence forces, and Revenue and customs officers.

A total of 60 Operation Coronation searches were conducted in June 2020, across Limerick, Clare and Tipperary in which 14 people were arrested in connection with alleged “drug trafficking, and the financial returns achieved from this type of activity through money laundering”.

Gardaí recovered €40,000 cash and froze in excess of €200,000 across 11 bank accounts; seized three cars worth €100,000 and clothing worth around €6,000.