Two arrested in joint Gardaí-National Crime Agency operation in the UK

Picture: Twitter/ National Crime Agency

Two Irishmen were arrested in Staffordshire, West Midlands following a joint operation between the Gardaí and the UK's National Crime Agency.

The arrests follow an investigation into the activities of an organised crime network alleged to be involved in the supply of drugs and firearms in Ireland and the UK.

A 51-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to import and supply drugs, firearms and ammunition as well as money laundering offences on arrival at Birmingham Airport, this morning.

A second man, 20, was arrested on suspicion of money laundering offences.

The men are being questioned at a police station in Staffordshire.

A spokesperson for the NCA said: “A 51-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to import and supply drugs, firearms and ammunition, as well as money laundering offences on arrival at Birmingham Airport this morning.

“At the same location a second man, aged 20, was arrested on suspicion of money laundering offences.

“NCA officers, supported by colleagues from Staffordshire Police, are also searching a property in the Tamworth area and a business premises in Birmingham.

“The arrest and searches are part of an investigation into the activities of an organised crime network alleged to be involved in the supply of drugs and firearms.”

Earlier:

Members of the gardai are involved in an operation tackling organised crime gangs in the UK today.

They are supporting Britain's National Crime Agency in the crackdown.

The force says the NCA's one of its most important allies, with whom it shares a common desire to put organised crime groups who operate within the common travel area out of business.

Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll of the Special Crime Operations said: "for the purpose of tackling organised crime groups An Garda Siochána has commenced the new year in the manner in which it intends to proceed in 2019, by engaging in the most impactful possible co-operation with law enforcement authorities, at an international level."

"In this regard, the UK National Crime Agency is one of our most important allies, with whom we share a common desire to put organised crime groups who operate within the common travel area out of business," he added.

The Irish Times is reporting that the partnership has led to the arrest of two men at Birmingham Airport.

- additional reporting from the Press Association

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