Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 228 - Policing issues [33475/17] [Organised crime].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 228 - Policing issues [33475/17] [Organised crime]. (2017)

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238. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the degree to which An Garda Síochána continues to liaise with Europol and Interpol in tracking criminal and drug dealing gangs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33475/17]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I can assure the Deputy that targeting organised crime activity and those involved is an ongoing priority for the Government and An Garda Síochána.


  An Garda Síochána is tackling such activity through a range of targeted measures designed to disrupt and dismantle the operations of criminal organisations


  This involves targeting serious criminals and organised criminal groups on a number of fronts and across all geographical locations, including through the use of focused intelligence led operations by Garda specialist units including the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, the National Economic Crime Bureau and the National Bureau of Criminal Investigations and supported, as required, by the Security and Intelligence Section. These specialist units also work closely with the Criminal Assets Bureau in targeting persons involved in such criminality.


  All of these units operate under the umbrella of An Garda Síochána’s Special Crimes Operations Unit and are continuing to achieve commendable successes in targeting criminal groups as well as the ongoing drugs and firearms seized.


  The Deputy will also be aware of the very significant measures which have been introduced in response to the appalling gangland feuding activity which has manifested itself both here and abroad. These measures include the provision of significant additional resources to An Garda Síochána, strengthened legislative measures targeting the proceeds of crime, the establishment of a dedicated Garda Armed Support Unit in Dublin and the establishment of a new Garda Special Crime Task Force.


  The Divisional Drug Units liaise closely with the Garda National Drugs & Organised Crime Bureau, the Revenue Commissioners and the Defence Forces (Navy). The Garda Síochána also work in partnership with other Law Enforcement Agencies at home and abroad, including the Revenue Commissioners (Customs Service), the Health Products Regulatory Authority, Police Service of Northern Ireland, the National Crime Agency (UK), Europol, Interpol and the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre – Narcotics (MAOC-N).


  More broadly, work is well under way in regards to a comprehensive and integrated new National Drugs Strategy for the period post 2016 and the Garda Síochána remains resolute in its determination to act against those within society who pose a significant threat to the welfare and well-being of our citizens and the communities we serve. The continued disruption of the supply of all illicit drugs remains a priority for all agencies tasked with responsibilities in this regard.


  The Garda authorities and the Government are absolutely determined that Irish criminals will not escape justice by fleeing this jurisdiction or by seeking to conduct their criminal activities from abroad. Recent operational activities involving An Garda Síochána and their Spanish colleagues clearly demonstrates the close liaison An Garda Síochána has in place with other law enforcement agencies internationally.

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