NewsCrime Desk

Armed soldiers guarding gangland's €1m car fleet at military camp

Armed soldiers guarding gangland's €1m car fleet at military camp
Armed soldiers guarding gangland's €1m car fleet at military camp
Armed soldiers guarding gangland's €1m car fleet at military camp
Armed soldiers guarding gangland's €1m car fleet at military camp

The high performance cars that the Criminal Assets Bureau seized as part of an investigation into the Kinahan cartel are being kept under armed guard at Ireland’s largest military base.

The vehicles, some of which were linked to the brother of slain gangster David Byrne, included Mercedes, BMW, Golf GTI, Lexus, Landcruisers and six high powered motorcycles.

All of which are being kept in a compound at the Defence Forces Training Centre (DFTC) in the Curragh Camp.

Liam Byrne, the brother of David Byrne who was gunned down by AK47 wielding gunmen in an attack at Dublin’s regency Hotel, is believed to have been one of the intended targets of the shooting.

It's understood that senior gardai made the decision to store the €1m fleet in the Curragh to prevent any attempts by the gang to either steal the vehicles or destroy them.

According to sources, the vehicles are parked in a compound that is guarded by armed soldiers in the heart of the sprawling military camp - which is home to 2,000 troops, including the elite Army Ranger Wing.

Sources have also revealed that CAB took added precaution of employing car manufacturers to re-chip the luxury Irish and UK registered vehicles.

The fleet was seized three weeks ago when CAB, backed-up by heavily-armed units, swooped on a dozen homes and businesses in south and west Dublin.

The cars seized include an AMG Mercedes worth over €100,000 and the motorbikes are valued at between €30,000 and €40,000 each.

Gardai believe the vehicles were being exchanged as payment for drug shipments as well as transporting the narcotics.

Jewellery and other valuables including 10 Rolex watches were also seized along with over €100,000 cash and a betting slip for a football match worth €38,000.

In the Crumlin home of Liam Byrne gardai discovered a panic room, a state-of-the-art security system, bullet-proof windows and blast-proof doors intended to protect him against attack.

The house was also fitted out with a jacuzzi, sauna and a full-size bar stocked with Moet and Bollinger champagne.

Sources have revealed that the Byrnes and their associates are planning to mount a legal fight against CAB for the return of the seized property.

Meanwhile, the garda counter-offensive against the gangland violence is continuing to gather pace following the second seizure of AK-47 rifles last Thursday. Two men have been charged in connection with the find.

Last week's arms find in Co Meath came less than 24 hours after the murder of Noel Duggan, a close friend of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch.