TWO senior Kinahan cartel members have been given three weeks to get out of their Dublin homes after the High Court found the properties were bought with the proceeds of crime.
The ruling against Liam Byrne (38) and close associate Sean McGovern (33) is the latest strike against the international crime group by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).
The High Court on Monday appointed a receiver over a property bought by Byrne in Clondalkin and the Crumlin home of McGovern.
McGovern was injured in the 2016 Regency Hotel shooting in which Byrne’s 32-year-old brother, David, was killed.
A stay was put on the order until March 11, meaning the two men and any of their associates living there must be gone by then.
The court previously ruled that the two houses were bought with the proceeds of crime and later seized them, along with €1.4m worth of assets from the “Byrne Organised Crime Gang”.
An affidavit by chief bureau officer Pat Clavin stated that no payments have been made on the Clondalkin property, at Grange View Road, since June 28, 2017.
It was bought in 2006 for €270,000, but as recently as January 23 was in arrears.
A cousin of Simoan McEnroe, Byrne’s partner, currently lives there.
The court heard Ms McEnroe's cousin had 17 previous convictions, including two under Section 15 of the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Counsel for the CAB said that to date there has been “no satisfactory response” regarding insurance of the property, a “vital aspect of the preservation” of the home.
The second property, belonging to McGovern, on Kildare Road, has had hundreds of thousands of euro worth of renovations carried out on it after being bought for €155,000.
Work valued at €247,000 was done, and the CAB established the purchase was financed by James Mulvey, a British drug trafficker involved in shipping cocaine to Ireland.
Around €150,000 was transferred from an Investec Bank account in Mauritius in the name of the Mule State Foundation.
A solicitor appointed by Mulvey to the trust later wrote off the loan, claiming McGovern was dead.
McGovern’s partner currently lives there on an intermittent basis, the court heard, and that as the property is not subject to a mortgage or lending institution it does not have to be insured.
Counsel for the CAB made an application under Section Seven of the Proceeds of Crime Act, where a receiver can be appointed when an interim or interlocutory order is in place.
Judge Carmel Stewart said the affidavit before the court from the chief bureau officer “followed on logically from the Section Three order already made” and made the March 11 order appointing a receiver over the two houses.
It is understood Byrne and McGovern have not returned to Dublin in recent months and have been spending most of their time in Birmingham and Dubai respectively.
Detailed evidence was previously given against what was described in court as the Byrne Organised Crime Gang led by Liam Byrne.
That organisation is currently central to the feud with the Hutch gang, the dispute which has claimed up to 19 lives to date.
The €1.4m assets being seized from Byrne and his associates targeted under Operation Lamp include 29 high end vehicles worth more than €500,000, designer jewellery valued at more than €100,000, a bank account containing €36,760 and €34,840 in cash.
Other items seized by investigators included a €12,000 dune buggy and three electric bicycles worth €4,200.
The assets in question belong to McGovern, who is Byrne’s best friend; his criminal cousin, Liam Roe; McGovern’s partner, Anita Freeman; David Byrne’s girlfriend, Kelly Quinn; and Liam Byrne’s parents, Sadie and James ‘Jaws’ Byrne.
The lengthy CAB investigation uncovered how the gang went to extra lengths to disguise its proceeds of crime.
On one occasion, Byrne and a senior criminal associate were driving around Dublin wearing bulletproof vests.
They were stopped in a BMW 430, valued at €45,000 and still registered to a UK company.
It emerged that a system of sale or return was being exploited to obscure and obfuscate the beneficial ownership of the vehicles and to avoid an inquiry into any issue concerning how the person in possession of the vehicle was in a position to buy it when it has not actually been bought at all.
The Operation Lamp inquiry into the gang found that it “originated in Dublin but now has interests in Spain, the Netherlands, South America and Dubai”.
The court heard the gang was previously led and directed by Christopher Kinahan Snr, but that the day-to-day operations are now managed by his sons, Christopher Jnr and Daniel.