CAB raids seize virtual money and cash

The Criminal Assets Bureau has seized virtual currencies and cash in an operation targeting a suspected drug boss in Co Wicklow.

The individual is suspected of running a number of apparently legitimate businesses there, which have come under the radar of local, specially-trained, asset profilers.

Six searches were conducted yesterday morning in the Bray area, including two homes, two business premises and two professional offices (an accountant and a solicitor’s). The elite and heavily armed Emergency Response Unit was present for the raids, as well as members of the Wicklow Search Team. A Garda statement said that around €7,500 in cash was seized along with “evidence relating to the use of virtual currencies”. This is understood to include two such currencies, bitcoin and ethereum.

CAB officers also seized mobile phones, laptop computers and other digital devices for examination.

The statement said the CAB investigation related to “an organised crime gang” based in the Wicklow area.

The searches were part of a six-month operation, which originated from the work of a Garda asset profiler.

These profilers, who are trained by CAB, examine local targets who may have a significant impact in the area, but may not have reached the national focus of CAB headquarters in Dublin.

The local profilers send their file to CAB for examination and further investigation.

It is understood that the target of the operation, aged in his late 30s, is suspected of running a drug operation in the area.

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