High-value vehicles, cash, and jewellery suspected to be the proceeds of crime were seized in Killarney this morning in garda raids on 11 homes.
The pre-dawn swoop involved some 130 gardaí as part of an ongoing investigation into the activities of a number of people who gardaí believe are involved in “an organised crime gang”.
The raids, led by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), also involved members of the regional Armed Response Unit as well as local gardaí.
All of the 11 houses targeted, including a number of new builds, were entered before 7am, and belong to members of the Traveller community.
Large amounts of cash, high-value cars, as well as jewellery including expensive Rolex and Cartier watches were seized, as well as documents.
The cash seized included sterling and the total value was “in excess of €100,000”, the gardaí have confirmed. A number of bank accounts were frozen.
Search warrants had been obtained.
Nine high-end vehicles were seized and taken by transporter to be assessed and documented. Documents were also removed.
Yesterday’s operation is part of an “ongoing” investigation which began more than a year ago in Killarney but “which gained impetus in 2017”, according to a senior garda involved in the investigation.
Gardaí in Killarney have been concerned for some time about the lifestyle of some families who have no apparent income.
They have also been concerned about alleged intimidation and became aware of certain situations involving elderly residents, said the source.
“Significant builds” in term of luxury houses also attracted the concern of the gardaí, who began to dedicate a lot of resource hours and personnel to the probe.
This culminated, yesterday morning, in a national operation led by the CAB.
No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.
Padraig O’Connell, a solicitor in Killarney who represents a number of the individuals whose property is concerned, said he did not wish to comment on what exactly was seized. He had been made aware of the dawn raid.
“Certain seizures will be challenged,” said Mr O’Connell.
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