A gang specialising in ripping off the elderly with exorbitant bills for shoddy or non-existent roofing and gutter jobs has been hit by the Criminal Assets Bureau.
The CAB froze almost €140,000 in three separate bank accounts linked to a Kildare-based gang and seized €3,500 in cash.
It brings to almost €110,000 in cash denied to the leaders of this outfit, with the previous cash seizure carried out by local gardaí over two years ago.
In today’s operation, four homes and one business premises were searched by the bureau in the Newbridge area of Co. Kildare.
A father and son are the main targets of the operation. The four homes raided belong to people linked to each other.
The CAB was backed up by armed gardaí, local detectives and Customs’ sniffer dogs.
A CAB statement said: “The Criminal Assets Bureau conducted a search operation in Newbridge, Co. Kildare. Four residential addresses and one professional premises were searched.
“The search operation was conducted by Criminal Assets Bureau personnel assisted by the ASU, Kildare Divisional Detective Units and the Customs Dog Unit.”
It said that as part of the operation, the following items of note were seized:
• Funds totalling €138,511 were restrained in three separate bank accounts;
• €3,500 in cash
The CAB statement said: “The search operation targeted assets linked to a gang involved in guttering installation and roofing repairs primarily in the greater Dublin area.
“The individuals concerned target the vulnerable and the elderly. Today marks a significant development in the on-going Criminal Assets Bureau investigation.”
It said that a previous search targeting this gang had resulted in €103,852 in cash being seized.
The operation was carried out by local gardaí attached to Naas in July 2018.
It is understood this network has been carrying out its trade in the wider Dublin area for years.
This gang is one of a number of family-based networks in operation around the country scamming people in relation to bogus property refurbishment.
One outfit targeted by CAB in recent years is believed to have earned millions from their scams. In a major search operation in Kerry, the bureau seized a stolen caravan and nine vehicles.
They included two BMW X5s, three 5-series BMWs, a Mercedes, an Audi A4 and a high-end VW Passat, valued at close to €500,000.
Officers also seized jewellery worth up to €100,000, including Rolex and Cartier watches.
In that operation, officers said the gang, based around two families, connected through marriage, targeted people who were vulnerable to intimidation and handing over whatever cash was demanded from them, often before any work was done.