The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) is examining the source of funds being used to purchase properties and vehicles by a Limerick criminal gang.
CAB officers are auditing documentation they seized from a number of professional offices whose services are being used by the crime outfit.
The gang is suspected of being involved in burglaries, the scamming of the elderly, and protection rackets.
CAB officers recently raided a home and three offices — a solicitors, an auctioneer, and an accountant — in what was the second phase of a long-running operation against the targets.
The recent search operation specifically focused on documentation relating to the purchase of property, including related financial and banking records.
Last November, the agency seized a number of mobile phones and digital devices, as well as some documentation.
“This is a follow-up operation and is all about gathering evidence looking at the source of funds used in the purchase of property,” said one source.
Officers have to examine all the documentation and establish the flow, and ultimately the source, of funds that were used in the purchasing — and establish whether or not those funds were the proceeds of criminality or if there was some legitimate source.
Searches in the recent operation took place in Limerick and Galway, while searches last November occurred in Limerick, Clare, and Tipperary.
Local gardaí, led by Chief Superintendent Gerry Roche, are assisting CAB in their inquiries and are also assisting, along with the Armed Support Unit, the local council in their actions affecting the outfit.
CAB has trained around 300 local asset profilers in divisions across the country, including a number in Limerick.
These profilers build up a dossier of assets linked to targeted criminals, which is then supplied to the central office in Dublin for consideration.
CAB is conducting a large number of investigations in the Limerick division, with an estimated 27 operations in the city and another 30 in the county.
It is the second highest number of investigations outside Dublin.
CAB is involved in both targeting the assets of the criminals, such as property, vehicles, and jewellery as well as the income they estimate is being earned by the criminals, resulting in a tax demand.
Organised gangs in Limerick are heavily involved in drug trafficking, some of them linked to the Kinahan crime cartel, as well as money laundering and burglaries.
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