The Criminal Assets Bureau has seized a luxurious Range Rover off one of the country's top heroin bosses. The 2016 reg vehicle is valued in the region of €67,000 and was considered to be for the “personal use” of the Dublin trafficker.
The man and his brother lead what is considered to be the country's largest heroin trafficking gang. The seizure by CAB comes just a week after a major Irish-British police operation led to the seizure in Dublin of 7kgs of heroin, with an estimated street value of €1m, that was destined for the west Dublin outfit.
The double blow comes as CAB continues to hit the gang, which has been nicknamed 'The Family', on a number of fronts. This includes seizing assets under proceeds of crime legislation and issuing the brothers with tax demands under revenue powers.
The Range Rover was parked up on Loman's Road in Clondalkin, west Dublin, when CAB moved in to seize the vehicle. CAB used powers under Section 140 of the Finance Act 2001 regarding suspected VRT offences. It is understood the vehicle was classed as a commercial vehicle but had been converted into private use by having some seats removed.
The gang has long operated sophisticated money laundering scams using the motor trade. CAB has targeted its motor trade six times since July 2017, including the seizure of five luxury vehicles last November and ten top-end cars in June 2018.
Last November, CAB launched an emergency operation after it received intelligence that the gang was trying to move cars beyond the bureau's reach by shipping them out of the country.
With the assistance of Garda units, CAB intercepted a car transporter at Dublin Port, as it headed for a ferry to Britain. They seized an Audi TT, a Mercedes coupe, an Audi A4 estate, a Mini Cooper and a VW Golf, with registrations between 2013 and 2015.
The cars, all with British registrations, were estimated to be worth in the region of €200,000. In June 2018, CAB seized eight Range Rovers and two BMW X5s at a dealership linked to the brothers in west Dublin. Those vehicles were estimated to be worth in the region of €700,000.