Pecking order is reflected in 'investment' choices
Published 10/03/2016 | 02:30
One way of determining the pecking order of members of the Kinahan crime cartel is to establish where they are alleged to have invested their ill-gotten gains.
Those in the "premiership" division of the gang are said to have built up a diverse property portfolio that extends around the globe from Europe to the Middle East and South America.
Police organisations internationally have been working together to uncover the full extent of that portfolio after Operation Shovel was born out of a garda drugs seizure in 2008 when a tonne of cannabis was found at the rear of a house in Clongorey, outside Newbridge, Co Kildare.
Follow-up inquiries revealed the size of the drug trafficking gang and established how Kinahan had become a major player on the international stage and the main wholesale supplier of drugs to gangs operating in Irish and other markets.
Suspected associates in lower divisions of the cartel are thought to have concentrated their investments on property closer to home, in Spain and the Netherlands.
They are regular visitors to the two countries and can keep an eye on their investments, but they are mainly based in Dublin.
This group were the main targets for yesterday's raids.
Many of those investigated yesterday had already been in the sights of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), but those inquiries were given an added impetus following last month's gangland murders, arising from a bloody feud between two deadly rivals.
Meanwhile, separate CAB inquiries are progressing into the assets of other targets, ranging from the Traveller gangs responsible for a large portion of the wave of burglaries and robberies that has swept the nation for the past couple of years, to the leader of a crime gang suspected of carrying out a spate of tiger kidnappings including a €225,000 heist at Dublin Airport last December.
The CAB has already built up an impressive list of successes since it was formed after the 1996 murder of 'Sunday Independent' investigative journalist, Veronica Guerin, with the latest court victory coming against former IRA leader, Tom 'Slab' Murphy.
The Kinahan support group are potentially the next in the firing line.