GARDAI say an operation targeting the activities of criminal gangs who are involved in the theft and sale of scrap metal was a major success.
A significant amount of stolen property, including scrap metal and cars, were seized at an unauthorised waste facility on the Old Cork Road on Monday while further quantities of scrap metal and tyres were removed from a number of halting sites on the outskirts of the city during the same operation.
There were also significant seizures of drugs and illegal diesel during Monday’s inter-agency operation, which involved, gardai, Customs and Revenue officers and officials from both Limerick County Council and the Department of Social Protection.
Supt Dan Keane of Roxboro Road garda station said while there were no arrests, criminal prosecutions are likely to be brought as a result of the day-long operation.
“There were four drug seizures made in the course of these searches, there were a number of vehicles seized, there were a number of trucks seized, there was a number of heavy vehicles seized and there were three of four skip loads of scrap metal taken away from these sites,” he said.
More than 300 people were interviewed and hundreds of vehicles stopped at a number of check points which were established as part of Monday’s operation.
Caroline Curley, Director of Services for the Limerick Local Authorities, said the operation, which was part of Operation Fiacla, was connected to a wider European campaign.
“Ireland is facing increasing pressure from the European Commission to ensure unauthorised waste activities, particularly those relating to hazardous wastes such as scrap vehicles are regularised or closed down. Similar actions have successfully been undertaken in other parts of the country using a joint agency approach and have been found to be very effective,” she said.