A convicted money launderer in Cork who has been linked in court to a major Irish drugs trafficker has been hit by the Criminal Assets Bureau.
CAB officers searched his luxury holiday home along Caragh Lake in Co. Kerry as well as his own house in Cork. A professional office in Cork was also searched.
The bureau took away a high-powered 182-reg Audi TT, worth an estimated €40,000, along with a 161-reg Mercedes Benz, estimated to be valued around €20,000.
Officers also seized three high-end watches - a Rolex, an Omega and a Mont Blanc - and confiscated €1,400 in cash.
They took away a number of electronic devices and phones and records in relation to cryptocurrencies.
CAB suspect the man, now aged in his 50s, of money laundering, involving trading in a variety of cryptocurrencies.
These include Ethereum (Eth), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (Ltc) and Bitcoin (BTC).
They are investigating his purchase of a palatial holiday home along Caragh Lake, estimated to be worth almost €1m.
The man’s own home in Cork was also searched and items removed.
In a statement, CAB said: “The Criminal Assets Bureau, assisted by local Detective Units along with the Garda Dog Unit, conducted searches this morning, January 29, 2020 at two locations in Cork and one location in Kerry.
“This morning’s search operation is a significant development in an on-going Criminal Assets Bureau investigation. In addition to this morning’s search, CAB will consider using its Revenue tax powers in respect of any liability that may arise.”
The target was previously convicted after he was caught with around €400,000 in cash in his highly-secured home.
Local detectives identified him as a result of contacts they made with police in Spain and in Britain following investigations into international drug trafficking.
His trial heard that through those contacts gardaí became aware of an organised crime gang, mainly comprised of people from Cork city, who were based in Spain and the Netherlands.
This included a man, considered to be a major player, who the target is related to. The court heard the target began laundering money for the organised crime gang this man was involved in.
After local detectives moved in on the target, CAB became involved and obtained orders freezing both his and his late wife's bank accounts.
The latest CAB operation, coming some eight years on, focused on recent activities the man has been involved in since that conviction, including the purchase of the property in Kerry.
Bureau experts will now examine the mobile phone and electronic devices seized.