Two high-end cars seized by officers investigating organised crime in Dublin

Two high-end cars seized by officers investigating organised crime in Dublin
The Toyota Hi Lux Q CAB seized by officers this morning. Pic: Garda Press Office

The Criminal Assets Bureau has targeted a gym which they suspect was set up with profits from one of country's top heroin gangs.

And the agency seized another two luxury vehicles from one of two brothers who run the trafficking outfit.

The cars, an Audi Q5 SUV and a “monster” Toyota Hilux 4x4, are estimated to be worth around €40,000 and €30,000 respectively.

It comes just a fortnight after CAB confiscated a luxury Range Rover, estimated to be worth around €67,000, from the other brother.

The two brothers lead a drug trafficking outfit that is considered to be one of the biggest importers and distributors of heroin in the country, and boasts international connections.

Though it has been linked to the Kinahan crime cartel, gardaí believe the gang is so big it largely operates independently.

It has been a top target of the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau for many years and was hit recently in a major seizure by them.

In the latest CAB operation, agency detectives were accompanied by the elite Emergency Response Unit and the Customs Dog Unit in searches across five locations in south and west Dublin.

A search was conducted at the home of one of the brothers in Ballyfermot, west Dublin. The second brother lives in nearby Ronanstown, in Clondalkin.

A second search was carried out in the Ballycullen area, near Tallaght. This related to a suspected associate of the brothers and related to a gym in south Dublin.

CAB suspects the gang invested in the start-up of his gym with the proceeds of crime.

Agency officers took away documents and other evidence in their searches, which also included an accountant's company and a solicitor's firm.

They are looking at two properties they believed were renovated with criminal proceeds.

The Audi Q5 SUV seized by officers this morning. Pic: Garda Press Office
The Audi Q5 SUV seized by officers this morning. Pic: Garda Press Office

A statement issued by Garda HQ said: “The Criminal Assets Bureau assisted by the Emergency Response Unit and the Customs Dog Unit this morning conducted searches at five locations in South and West Dublin areas.

“The search operation was conducted as part of an on-going investigation targeting assets acquired with the proceeds of crime by an organised crime group involved in the sale and supply of controlled drugs. Today’s search is a significant development in the investigation. A number of previous operations into the same organised crime group have been conducted under Operation Compact.

“The investigation is focused upon the ownership of property including houses and investment by an organised crime group into a gym in Dublin 24. Specialists examined expenditure on residential properties that may represent the proceeds of crime.”

It added: “The following items of note were seized: Audi Q5 SUV, Toyota Hi Lux Q CAB. Documents and other evidence were also seized.”

The gang has long operated sophisticated money laundering scams using the motor trade.

But CAB has targeted its motor trade around seven times since July 2017, including the seizure of five luxury vehicles last November and ten top-end cars in June 2018.

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