A gang who have been selling vehicles to one of the factions involved in the deadly Drogheda feud as well as other organised crime groupings across the country were raided today by CAB for the third time in less than a year.
The Criminal Assets Bureau carried out 15 searches in four counties in the planned operation today.
Senior sources say that the Eastern European gang whose leader is based in the Kildare town area have been significant sellers of cars to criminal groupings for years but it is their links to the Drogheda feud gang that have brought them to major the attention of specialist garda units.
“It is suspected that this gang have been using their money to invest in all types of property including buying land and sites,” a senior source said.
“They have been engaging with a number of other crime organisations in terms of supplying them with cars,” the source added.
In today’s raids four luxury cars were seized at the same Co Kildare address – two BMW IX electric vehicles with 221 registrations, as well as two classic vehicles.
A Tesla electric vehicle was seized at a separate property.
None of the seized vehicles were stolen and it is suspected that the gang have been importing other cars into the country which they have then selling onto the gangs on both sides of the border.
A total of €15,000 in cash as well as a number of high-value watches including Rolex and Cartier brands were also seized.
The searches happened in counties, Kildare, Waterford, Laois and Dublin.
“The search operation was conducted by Bureau Officers supported by the Dublin Armed Support Unit, the Eastern Regional Armed Support Unit, the Stolen Motor Vehicle Investigation Unit, The Customs Dog Unit, Kildare Detective Unit, Portlaoise Detective Unit and Detectives attached to the Dublin Metropolitan Region,” a garda spokesperson said.
“The operation involved over eighty personnel searching fifteen search sites across four counties.
“This morning’s operation targeted an East European Organised Crime Group involved in the laundering of the proceeds of crime through the second-hand car trade.
“The OCG is also involved in the supply of vehicles to Irish OCG’s throughout the country. Today’s operation targeted assets, including properties acquired by the directors of the OCG.”
The same gang were targeted in CAB raids last September and October in counties Dublin and Tipperary in which 18 high-value vehicles including Audi Q7s, BMW X5s, Range Rovers, a Jaguar I-Pace and a Tesla were seized.
In the Tipperary raid in October, a motor dealership was targeted in which 11 vehicles in total were seized and removed from the search site, four of which were detained for customs and VRT offences. €11,000 in cash was also seized in that operation.
A month earlier at a Dublin 15 car dealership, seven high-value vehicles were seized with a total value of €270,000 on September 6 last.
The operation included the subsequent seizure of a Jaguar I Pace vehicle valued at €80,000 on September 28.
There have been no arrests so far in the detailed investigation.