Cab seizes designer watches, drugs and computers in Dublin raid

Officers arrest man in operation targeting associate of Liam Byrne’s organised crime group

A man closely linked to Liam Byrne's organised crime group in Dublin is the focus of a major Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab) inquiry, with searches carried out and assets taken during an operation on Wednesday morning.

The Dubliner targeted in the raids is a former tradesman in his early 40s who has been caught with drugs and cash before and has been on the Garda radar for some time. He has previously been before the courts on drug-related charges.

The man has been closely associated with the Byrne organised crime group for many years. It has worked for almost two decades in conjunction with the Kinahan cartel and acted as the cartel's agents in Ireland.

However, its former leader Freddie Thompson (41) is now serving a life sentence in prison for the 2016 Kinahan-Hutch feud murder of David 'Daithí' Douglas. The gang's current leader, Liam Byrne (40), has been forced to flee his base in Crumlin, Dublin, for the UK after his house and other assets were confiscated by the Cab.


Gardaí searched a property during a pre-planned operation in west Dublin early on Wednesday following an operation in recent years in which €150,000 linked to the same suspect was seized at a Garda traffic checkpoint.

The target of Wednesday’s raids is described by gardaí as “a significant drugs trafficker” operating within the Republic. He has been under investigation for some time, with the searches on Wednesday the latest phase of that ongoing inquiry.

While €150,000 in cash linked to the suspect was previously seized, a further €64,000 was discovered and seized on Wednesday along with drugs, believed to be cocaine and cannabis, valued at €45,000. A bank account linked to the suspect, and with €40,833 on deposit, has also been frozen.

Cab officers, backed by the armed Emergency Response Unit and the Revenue Customs Dog Unit, also seized five designer watches during Wednesday's search; three Rolexes, a Hublot and an Audemars Piguet watch.

Cab also seized documents, computers, data drives and phones that were now set for analysis to determine if more assets have been accrued with the proceeds of the suspect’s drug dealing. Detectives are trying to determine if the suspect has acquired any properties the bureau does not yet know about.

“One man was arrested during the course of the search,” a statement from Garda Headquarters said.

“This morning’s search operation is a positive development in an ongoing Criminal Assets Bureau investigation targeting assets accumulated by a significant drug trafficker.”

Gardaí said the man was later released and a file is being prepared for the DPP.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times