Solicitor’s office and gym targeted in Cab searches
Two high-end vehicles seized in raids targeting a west Dublin family-based gang
The Toyota Hi Lux Q Cab vehicle seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab) on Friday following a series of raids targeting a west Dublin family-based gang. Photograph: An Garda via Facebook
A solicitor’s office, a gym and an accountant’s office were searched by the Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab) on Friday morning as part of a major operation targeting a west Dublin family-based gang.
Cab officers, supported by armed members of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) and a Customs dog unit, searched five locations in south and west Dublin.
Two private homes, believed to have been purchased using the proceeds of crime, were raided as part of the operation.
The gang, which has close links to the Kinahan crime organisation, is heavily involved in the drugs trade in west Dublin and are regarded as the biggest suppliers of heroin in the area.
The gang has a long history of involvement in the car trade and in the past its members have used vehicles to smuggle drugs into Ireland and as a means of hiding their wealth.
Cab has been intensely targeting its members with searches and raids in recent months under “Operation Compact.”
The Garda Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau has also mounted several operations against members of the gang leading to some major convictions in recent years.
The gang is believed to be behind the importation of €1 million worth of heroin which was seized by gardaí at the start of September. Three people were arrested in the operation including a well-known Dublin socialite and businessman.
Two leaders of the gang, which is sometimes nicknamed “The Family”, have served lengthy sentences for drug dealing.
The gang has easy access to firearms hence the support of the ERU in Friday’s operation.
The current Cab investigation is focusing on assets, including properties and cars, which Cab believes have been purchased with the proceeds of crime and are therefore subject to forfeiture to the State.
“Like most of these operations the aim is to disrupt their activities and generally make life harder for them by making it more difficult for them to dispose of their ill-gotten gains,” a source close to the investigation said.
As well as property purchased by gang members, Cab is also focusing on its suspected investment in a gym in south Dublin, which was one of the locations searched on Friday.
The accountants and solicitors were searched for evidence of documents relating to the purchase and investment in properties. There is no evidence the solicitors or accountants were knowingly complicit in wrong-doing.
Officers are also attempting to use Revenue to target the gang’s assets. One member has been instructed by Revenue he owes over €1 million in unpaid tax on the proceeds of crime.
Officers seized two high-end vehicles from the properties searched on Friday, an Audi Q5 SUV and a Toyota Hi Lux Q Cab. They also seized a large amount of documents and other evidence detailing financial transactions.
Two weeks ago Cab seized a luxury Range Rover worth €67,000 from the gang.
Cab said its accountancy specialists are currently reviewing documents and other evidence in an effort to show these investments and purchases stemmed from income which cannot be accounted for legally.
Any evidence uncovered is likely to be presented to the High Court as part of an application to permanently seize the investments.
“Today’s search is a significant development in the investigation,” Cab said in a statement. No arrests have been made.