Cab in 20 raids in crackdown on alleged gang links with car trade

Gardaí believe proceeds of drugs trafficking by west Dublin gang invested in motor trade

During the searches, gardaí seized 21 vehicles, 10 watches and €75,000 in cash. Photograph: Niall Carson /PA Wire

During the searches, gardaí seized 21 vehicles, 10 watches and €75,000 in cash. Photograph: Niall Carson /PA Wire

 

The Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab) has carried out a significant series of raids in Dublin relating to alleged drug dealing and money laundering.

Five commercial premises selling luxury cars were among 20 premises searched. A smaller number of car dealerships were visited but not raided.

Gardaí also searched accountants’ and lawyers’ offices, as well as nine private residences.

During the searches, gardaí seized 21 vehicles, more than 10 high-value watches, about €75,000 in cash and a quantity of human growth hormone.

Gardaí believe the proceeds of drugs trafficking and drug dealing in Dublin and beyond run by a west Dublin family-based crime gang has been invested in the motor trade.

Some of the senior members of the gang have been involved in importing drugs from abroad and selling them via a wide distribution network in Dublin over two decades.

At least one of the key figures in the gang is currently in prison. Others have been convicted of commercial-scale drug dealing in the past and have been sentenced to short periods of imprisonment. They have since been released and resumed drug dealing immediately on release.

Members of the gang have come to the attention of the Spanish police as well as the Garda.

Much of the Garda focus on Tuesday was on a luxury car dealership in Dublin.

Following extensive investigations, the Garda believes it has unpicked the gang’s money trail, bank accounts and investment patterns.

The Cab officers are working on the theory that the proceeds of the drugs gang have been invested in the car trade and that the garages raided feature significantly in that activity.

Gardaí seized a large amount of documentation, some of it in electronic form, and that will now be analysed by the Cab.

Last year the Cab conducted a similar operation against members of the Dublin-based section of the Christy Kinahan drugs cartel. On that occasion a large number of luxury vehicles being offered for sale by a Dublin garage were confiscated, some were on the back of transporters used to transport new cars.

The family-based crime gang targeted has its origins in Ballyfermot. And while properties there have been targeted, the gang’s reach is much more extensive than one Dublin suburb.

The Cab officers, who are leading today’s raids, have already frozen bank accounts linked to some of those under investigation and which had almost €400,000 on deposit.

Aiding the Cab searches were the Emergency Response Unit, Armed Response Unit and members of the Special Crime Task Force as well as gardaí from some of the areas where the searches took place.