CAB to seek approval to confiscate crime cartel assets

The Criminal Assets Bureau is expected to go to the High Court this week to begin the legal process to confiscate assets seized from the Kinahan crime cartel over three weeks ago.

CAB to seek approval to confiscate crime cartel assets

While officers do not know if those targeted in the search operation will object to the seizure applications, gardaí say the individuals are “furious” and expect them to fight CAB.

In a dramatic swoop on 18 properties on March 9, CAB, assisted by gardaí and backed up by heavily armed units, seized 35 expensive vehicles.

They included 29 luxury cars and six high-powered motorbikes, along with €70,000 in cash and nine Rolex and Breitling watches, worth up to €100,000.

The assets have been estimated to be roughly valued up to €1m, but CAB officers are still finalising a dossier on estimated valuations for the court.

The cars included a Mercedez AMG, initially valued at about €75,000, a BMW X5 jeep worth around €70,000, and two BMW M series cars valued around €65,000.

One of the motorbikes, a Kawasaki Ninja H2, was worth around €38,000.

The search operation focused on a powerful gang in the Crumlin area of south Dublin, suspected of forming the “higher echelons” of the Kinahan cartel in Dublin.

David Byrne, who was murdered at the Regency Hotel on February 4 last, was one of the leaders of the Crumlin gang.

CAB is expected to make its application for an interim seizure order under Section 2 of the Proceeds of Crime Act to the High Court either this week or next week.

It will argue that certain assets are the proceeds of crime and it will provide estimates as to their values.

It is understood that much of the work of CAB since the operation has been on researching and establishing accurate valuations for all assets seized, particularly the vehicles. CAB must notify solicitors acting for the owners of the assets regarding the date for the Section 2 application.

Sources said it may become clear at the hearing if the owners intend to object to the seizure, although that may not be known until the next stage.

Once the High Court grants an interim order, CAB will have 21 days to apply for an interlocutory order under Section 3 of the act. It is at this hearing that the owners will make any case objecting to the seizures, including any evidence that some or all of the assets derived from legal sources of income.

The 18 premises searched on March 9 comprised 11 homes and seven businesses, including a car dealership, which the bulk of the vehicles came from, as well as a pub and accountancy and solicitors’ firms.

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