Tuesday 17 October 2017

CAB to probe finances of Rattigan and his associates

Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

BRIAN Rattigan and his cohorts are expected to face a major financial investigation to find the huge profits generated by his drugs empire.

The Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab) is expected to launch a major probe into the finances of the Dublin criminal who was jailed for 17 years last week for running his drugs empire from his prison cell.

Rattigan's trial heard evidence of a single massive heroin deal that would have netted Rattigan profits of close to €1m. But the only cash that investigators could link to Rattigan were sums of €24,000 and €32,000 he had in online accounts with bookmakers Bet Fair and Paddy Power.

According to sources, a female associate opened the accounts, and lodged cash that gardai suspect may have come from his drug deals on the streets. Rattigan operated the accounts from his mobile phone in his prison cell. While the amounts fluctuated, the accounts contained more than €50,000 when they were frozen by gardai.

The investigation failed to turn up any substantial bank accounts linked to the criminal. According to one source, gardai don't know whether he squandered away the profits of his criminal enterprise, or invested it in property.

The CAB is now expected to take over the financial investigation, which will not only focus on Rattigan but on his associates, in particular a key female associate who is credited with being the true brains of his operation.

But according to garda sources, the days of drug barons flaunting the spoils of their crimes, lavishing it on cars, properties and on their molls are over following the successes of the CAB.

Rattigan and his associates didn't overly flaunt their wealth. His former long-term girlfriend Natasha McEnroe, with whom he has a daughter, lives an apparently modest lifestyle in a corporation house in Rathmines and drives an Audi A4.

She has featured numerous times in investigations into Rattigan's activities. In 2010, gardai searched her home and found a list of jury members for his murder trial, prompting expressions of concern from the then justice minister Dermot Ahern. She screamed "I love you" at him as he was being led away from court, where he had been charged with using a mobile phone.

These days they are no longer so close. The couple have split. Natasha no longer visits him in prison and their daughter is taken to see him by Rattigan's sister. Nor did she show up to support him at his recent trials. At one point, Rattigan reportedly threatened to kill her new boyfriend.

If the CAB proceeds with a full-scale trawl of Rattigan's financial affairs, his former girlfriend will no doubt find herself drawn back into his world again.

Irish Independent

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