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Operation Safari – Eight Arrested

GardaPolice in Munster have severely setback the operations of a criminal gang, which has been terrorising communities across counties Limerick, Clare and Tipperary since the beginning of this year.

A dedicated Irish Garda operation, code-named Operation Safari, which is being led by Asst Commissioner Kevin Ludlow, former director of training at the Garda Training College in Templemore in Co Tipperary,  began approximately two months ago and in the past week over 40 houses and apartments in counties Limerick, North Cork and Tipperary have been searched simultaneously using over 120 uniformed Gardaí and detectives.

A large collection of stolen property, valued at tens of thousands of euro, have been systematically recovered during a series of pre-planned searches. Indeed, Gardai are still trying to establish if  property confiscated at these targeted premises, may also have been stolen by gang members.

Operation Safari, was activated to target the activities of this gang, following a dramatic increase in the number of reported burglaries and robberies across a number of Munster Garda Divisions, including Tipperary.

The targeted gang members are understood to has known links to the travelling community. Eight people are known to have been arrested at locations in Limerick and Tipperary and five men and one woman have subsequently appeared before Limerick District Court, charged with theft, fraud and road traffic offences.

Senior Gardaí believe there are still numerous core members of this gang, with strong  Limerick , Nenagh and Thurles connections, who operate a close operational network right across the country. Although this gang appears to be primarily based in the Limerick and Tipperary area, they have travelled widely to Clare, Cork,  Kerry and Waterford, where they have carried numerous pre-planned crimes, targeting private houses, co-ops, and offices and shops stealing jewellery, cash and high-powered cars. Two of these gang, who appeared recently before Limerick District Court were refused bail and the other four are due to appear again in court later this month following further investigations.

Gardai expect that further charges may be brought, in the near future, against others members suspected of involvement in this gangland operation.

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