By Cormac O'KeeffeSecurity Correspondent
A Range Rover worth an estimated €140,000 was one of 21 vehicles seized in a massive operation targeting organised crime and the bogus motor trade.
The Criminal Assets Bureau, backed up by elite armed units, seized €65,000 in cash and 12 high-value watches and froze some €312,000 in bank accounts.
A total of 20 searches were conducted in an operation targeting two or three gangs, including one of Dublin’s biggest drug trafficking outfits, led by two notorious Clondalkin brothers.
The operation in west and south-west Dublin is the fourth swoop since October on gangs and car dealerships as part of an investigation into money laundering and criminal assets.
The 20 search warrants were executed on nine homes, five car dealerships and six professional offices. A further three ‘compliance inspections’ were conducted in garages.
Of the nine homes, two were in north Clondalkin — the base of the brothers — three were in Ballyfermot, two in Lucan, one in Rathcoole and one in Chapelizod.
Of the five garages searched, two were in Bluebell and one each in Ballymount, the Naas Road, and Ballyfermot.
Sources said the focus was on the use of motor dealerships by criminal gangs to hide their cash.
Two or three gangs were targeted, the most high-profile being the Clondalkin brothers.
They have operated one of the biggest drug distribution operations in Dublin for over a decade and have a notorious reputation for supplying heroin to working class communities of south-west and west Dublin.
The 21 cars seized include a Range Rover Vogue, valued in the region of €140,000. The other vehicles include recent reg Audis and BMWs.
The nine high-value watches include Rolex, Tag Heuer, and Michael Kors. CAB also removed a “massive” quantity of documentation and digital devices.
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