Organised drug gangs using COVID-19 pandemic as cover to continue criminal activities - Ruairí Ó Murchú TD
The murder of criminal Robbie Lawlor, who was the chief suspect in the death of Louth teenager Keane Mulready Woods, along with the thefts of ATMs from Dundalk on Saturday ‘shows that organised crime gangs see the Covid-19 lockdown as "an opportunity to continue their mayhem", Sinn Féin TD for Louth Ruairí Ó Murchú has said.
The Louth TD revealed that Gardaí in Dundalk have continued operations against organised criminal and drug gangs, despite their increased policing responsibilities due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Deputy Ó Murchú said;
"Anecdotally, cocaine supply in the county has declined massively since the coronavirus outbreak, but drug dealers continue to supply heroin and other drugs.
"With the decline of the recreational cocaine market, it means, however, that drug gangs are turning the screw even harder on those whom they claim owe them money, leading to further fear and terror in local families because of drug debt intimidation.
"However, I understand that Gardaí are continuing to strike against organised and drug criminals and have carried out a number of successful operations in the division over the last couple of weeks, despite the fact that they have additional duties because of the Covid-19 crisis. I want to commend them for that.
"A senior Garda explained to me that many criminals believed they would be able to operate unhindered during this period, but that wouldn’t be the case and this has been shown in recent Garda actions and responses.
"Unfortunately, drug dealing and drug debt intimidation are viruses we will have to come to terms with during and particularly after the fight against the corona virus is won.
"I would urge any family who is subjected to drug debt intimidation to contact the Gardaí or organisations like the Family Addiction Support Network (FASN) on 087 9046405."