Drones being used by gangs to transport stolen goods – new report

Drones are now being used to plan crimes and transfer stolen goods across borders, a new report has highlighted.

Organised crime groups are “willing and capable” of using drone technology, the latest threat and assessment report by gardaí and the PSNI said.

The warning was in reference to rural and agricultural crime and was based on limited intelligence available.

Stolen jewellery is being sent to Britain for disposal through a network of jewellers and “cash for gold” operators, the report said.

Gardaí and their colleagues in Northern Ireland have warned mobile-organised crime groups are an “all-island issue” and continue to have a substantial impact on incidents of domestic burglary in Northern Ireland as well as in all Garda Síochána regions.

The report said: “A large proportion of these groups originate in the greater Dublin area”, and they are sophisticated in their activities. They target vacant homes, focusing on cash and jewellery as well as firearms, designer goods and high value vehicles.

“The disposal methods for such stolen property are also efficient and well organised,” the report noted. A scheme for marking valuables, introduced by gardaí in 2017, has led to the restoration of a large number of stolen items.

Separately, the report noted enquiries were ongoing into evidence indicating “some South-Asian nationals have been exchanging cancelled UK driver’s licences for valid Irish licences”, and then applying for Public Service Vehicle (PSV), or taxi licences, in Ireland.

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