Cab targets: Eclectic mix of homegrown and international criminals
Report shows Cab sezied €1.1m from Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy’s oil-laundering gang
Former Provisional IRA chief of staff Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy: The Cab has investigated 21 people as part of its inquiry into the oil laundering and smuggling operation run by Murphy. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times
Twenty one people were investigated during a Criminal Assets Bureau inquiry into the oil laundering and smuggling operation run by the former Provisional IRA chief of staff Thomas “Slab” Murphy.
While the conclusion of the case against him has emerged before now, some new details are contained in the Cab annual report for last year, which has now been published.
The report reveals that an eclectic mix of criminals was targeted – from high-end technology companies to international fraudsters to drug dealers and burglars.
The Cab regarded Murphy as heading “an organised crime gang”. Furthermore, while the initial orders granted by the High Court to the Cab to freeze the assets linked to the gang related to €529,000 in bank accounts, some €1.1 million was seized from the network of people involved.
The gang bought green diesel from oil companies and then laundered it – by washing the green marker out – and sold it via “buffer companies” as high-priced non-rebated fuel for profit.
Another target of the Cab last year, but not named in its report, was Phantom Secure Technology Ltd and company principal Victor Ramos, a Canadian national. More than €530,000 linked to the company and Ramos was identified by the Cab and seized last year. The company sold encrypted phones and other devices to Irish gangs and criminals globally.
The devices were impossible for law enforcement to bug and messages on the phones could be deleted remotely in the event the handsets were ever seized.
Sophie Keane, the wife of murdered Limerick drug dealer, was also targeted last year though she is not named by the Cab. Two properties linked to her in the midwest were seized and Revenue investigations are continuing.
John Fitzgerald, a self-employed haulier from Woodbrook Place, Green Lane, Carlow, also had a Cab case concluded against him last year, though is also not named in the report.
He was found at a Garda checkpoint in Carlow two years ago with €1.2 million in cash, owned by the Kinahan gang, hidden in his truck. Gardaí believe he was about to leave the State with the money.
When caught he said he was to be paid €7,000 for transporting the money. He has since been jailed for five years and the cash was taken by the Cab.
A notorious travelling burglary gang in the southeast was also targeted last year with a €62,000 Mercedes taken from the key suspect. An inquiry into social welfare payments made to the suspect and those close to him continues.
A foreign fraudster who has been in Ireland for two decades also had €870,000 confiscated from him. He faces criminal charges and cannot be named for legal reasons.