Monday 20 August 2018

Senior Kinahan gangsters flee from CAB probe

Stock photo: Collins
Stock photo: Collins

Robin Schiller

Senior associates of the Kinahan cartel have fled the country in an effort to protect their remaining assets following a lengthy and complex Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) investigation into the gang.

The High Court this week ruled that around €1.4m of assets seized from Liam Byrne and 11 of his associates were the proceeds of crime.

Detailed evidence was given against what was described in court as the Byrne Organised Crime Gang (OCG) - led by Byrne - which is currently central to a feud with the Hutch gang. This dispute has claimed up to 18 lives to date.

The High Court heard how Byrne was a trusted associate of gang boss Daniel Kinahan, and that Sean McGovern, Liam Roe and Darren Foster were senior members of the gang.

When the CAB investigation against the gang intensified, its main members fled the country and have since made efforts to hide their remaining assets. Several, including Byrne, have relocated to Birmingham in England, while others, including McGovern, have absconded to Dubai.

McGovern, described in court as a "trusted lieutenant within the OCG", was wounded in the Regency Hotel shooting in 2016.

Sources said that, while some return here occasionally, they are predominately based abroad as a result of the massive Garda crackdown on the gang.

As well as the CAB probe, officers from the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) are also continuing investigations into the criminal group.

The property at the centre of the High Court proceedings includes two homes worth €520,000, 29 high-end vehicles valued at €544,115, six designer watches worth €83,750 and two rings worth €29,740.

On Tuesday, Ms Justice Carmel Stewart said she had no hesitation in finding, on the balance of probabilities, that all of the property was acquired directly or indirectly using the proceeds of crime.

The inquiry into the gang, known as Operation Lamp, found that the crime gang "originated in Dublin but now has interests in Spain, the Netherlands, South America and Dubai".

The court heard that the gang was previously led and directed by Christopher Kinahan Sr, but that the day-to-day operations are now managed by his sons, Christopher Jr and Daniel Kinahan.

Irish Independent

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