Gardaí target suspects of organised burglaries in Dublin, Wicklow searches

Cab seize vehicles and documents in bid to undermine gang suspected of burglaries

One of the vehicles seized by Cab officers. Photograph: An Garda Síochána

One of the vehicles seized by Cab officers. Photograph: An Garda Síochána

 

The Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab) has carried out searches in counties Wicklow and Dublin in the latest operation against mid-tier crime gangs in a bid to degrade the capability and wealth of criminals operating in the regions.

The men targeted on Friday are suspects for a series of organised burglaries involving pre-planning and surveillance, with private residences and farms having been targeted by the gang in recent years.

Members of the group operate mostly in the south east but have links to organised crime in Dublin and are involved in the illicit drugs scene in Wicklow, as well as planning and carrying out organised burglaries.

The group has been under investigation by Cab for some time and on Friday Cab’s officers carried out two searches at locations in Wicklow, as well as searching a business premises in Dublin and a professional services office.

Cab was supported in its searches by the Regional Armed Support Unit, local detectives and the Customs Dog Unit.

Garda Headquarters said the organised gang targeted was “involved in burglary, theft and the sale and supply of controlled drugs throughout the eastern region”.

It added the searches represented “a significant development” in the ongoing investigation by Cab into the gang’s activities and the assets they have accrued from crime.

The trailer seized in searches by Cab. Photograph: An Garda Síochána
The trailer seized in searches by Cab. Photograph: An Garda Síochána

Gardaí were primarily seeking to gather evidence related to assets, including financial and legal documents, during Friday’s search operation. However, Cab also seized a number of vehicles on suspicion they represented the proceeds of crimes, including a 201-registered Toyota Landcruiser, a 171-registered Nissan X-Trail and an Ifor Williams Trailer.

A vehicle seized by Cab officers. Photograph: An Garda Síochána
A vehicle seized by Cab officers. Photograph: An Garda Síochána

Cab training

In recent years Cab has sought to widen the scope of its investigations and while it has continued to pursue senior and mid-ranking criminals with significant wealth it has also been pursuing smaller-scale gangs and younger, emerging criminals. It has done so in order to demonstrate to communities that no level of criminality, especially drug dealing, would be tolerated.

The bureau has also significantly increased the number of gardaí trained to identify unexplained wealth and profile the assets of suspects in their areas. An additional 100 assets profiles, within the ranks of the Garda, completed their training in the past week.

These will look for unexplained wealth and lavish lifestyles and carry out profiles of local suspects they believe have amassed even modest wealth from crime. Those profiles will be forwarded to Cab’s officers in Dublin for review. An increasing number of Cab investigations in recent years have been prompted by information from local-assets profilers and have targeted vehicles, cash, jewellery and designer clothing and accessories.

That move to target a larger number of lower-ranking criminals has sought to take full advantage of changes to the Proceeds of Crime Act. It was amended to ensure the bureau could target criminal assets valued as low as €5,000 rather than the previous minimum value of €13,000.