'We are targeting these lads before they become big players' - Brash new generation of gangsters targeted by CAB officers
A new generation of gangland criminals is being targeted by the Criminal Assets Bureau.
The aim is to hit the group, who are already very active, and seize their assets before they graduate from the second level to the top tier of the crime league.
Many are already displaying their ill-gotten wealth through the purchase of high-end cars and expensive jewellery.
Bureau head Det Chief Supt Pat Clavin believes now is the time to tackle them financially before they can become role models for other wannabe criminals in their neighbourhoods.
"We are targeting these lads before they get the opportunities to become big players and be part of the next generation of major criminals," he said.
Mr Clavin was speaking as gardaí prepare for the first anniversary at the weekend of the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel on the northside of Dublin. That shooting was in retaliation for the murder of Gary Hutch in Marbella in Spain the previous September and sparked off the savage Kinahan-Hutch feud, which has so far claimed 10 lives.
The bureau is also expanding its reach by training more local asset profilers around the country.
The divisional profiler network already has 210 members trained in proceeds of crime investigations, mainly gardaí, but also including personnel from Customs and Social Welfare.
Two new training programmes are planned for the new year with candidates recommended by regional assistant commissioners and divisional chiefs.
The bureau has also become heavily involved in the special task force, set up under the control of the Garda Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau and six extra gardaí were seconded to the CAB to focus on the assets of thugs linked to organised crime gangs (OCGs) in the Dublin area. This work is being carried out in addition to seven specific operations targeting a range of criminal suspects:
- Lamp - investigating members of the Kinahan crime cartel, based in Dublin. The bureau is also examining the assets of members of the Hutch gang and is working closely with the Spanish police in its inquiries into both groups;
- Oakleaf - concentrated on Travelling gangs, who are from Rathkeale, Co Limerick, suspected of being involved in crime throughout Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe;
- Verse - targeting an organised crime gang based in west Dublin but with links to criminals around the country and abroad;
- Thor - CAB is involved in 20 separate inquiries into the main groups carrying out burglaries nationwide;
- Scale - investigating OCGs and individuals involved in crime in Co Louth and across the Border region;
- Loft - focused on a fuel laundering gang operating near the Border;
- Croft - working with the Garda DOCB to tackle OCGs trafficking drugs and selling cars to launder money.