CAB to widen its probe into wealth of thugs in six of country's biggest gangs
The Criminal Assets Bureau is aiming to target half a dozen crime gangs as it extends its probe into the wealth of thugs involved in the feud that claimed three lives in recent months.
Officers from the bureau will widen their inquiries after they complete a detailed analysis of the findings from last weeks' searches of homes and business premises.
Most of the searches so far have been targeted at suspects regarded as being in the top and middle layers of the home-based mob, that form part of the Kinahan global drug trafficking cartel. But officers say that some of the criminals on their "hit list" also have associations with other gangs in the capital, apart from the two groups directly involved in the feud.
Many of the CAB inquiries into suspects on the Hutch side of the feud have already been completed with settlements reached and payments made over the past few years.
But officers have also opened up several new lines of inquiry as they step up their investigation because of the cross-over between criminal gangs, which has resulted in co-operation for specific illegal ventures.
"These groups are not always clearly defined", a senior investigator told the Irish Independent. "Some of their members move around, depending on what's going down and what type of criminal expertise is required for a particular enterprise while others switch groups regularly because of family connections.
"As a result, our inquiries into one specific gang can lead us into other areas and we follow the asset trail as we progress," he added.
Further searches in Dublin and in commuter counties are also being planned, although they are unlikely to be on the scale of the two operations mounted last week in the capital.
Officers think it is likely that more potential assets will be seized while they are also expected to focus on the logistical side of the gang's activities including the provision of firearms and transport and other assistance the main gang leaders employed to further their criminal activities.
The wider investigation will also focus on the role played in the feud by dissident republicans and the links between members of the Dublin faction of the Real IRA, before their leader Alan Ryan was murdered on the orders of a crime boss. It will also examine associates of groups such as the Republican Action Against Drugs group (RAAD), which is composed of former members of the Provisional IRA and is located mainly in the north west of the island and the Derry city faction of the Real IRA.
Other former Provisionals in west Dublin have also come under the spotlight as part of the wider inquiries as well as a Dublin business family with connections to dissidents.
Last week's searches resulted in the seizure of 29 cars, six motorcycles, large quantities of cash and jewellery, tracking devices and documentation related to financial investments by some of the suspects, mainly in property in Spain and the Netherlands.