NewsCrime Desk

Solicitors, accountants and car dealerships hit by CAB in gangland raids

Solicitors, accountants and car dealerships hit by CAB in gangland raids

MORE than €1m worth of assets, including luxury watches and high-end cars, have been seized in a massive crackdown against one of Dublin’s largest drugs gangs.

Officers from the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), as well as heavily armed gardai, took part in more than 20 raids across the capital yesterday.

The significant operation targeted an organised crime gang known as ‘The Family’, and led to several car garages and residential properties, as well as solicitors’ and accountants’ offices, being searched.

More than 100 gardai were involved in the massive operation, which targeted properties across the capital, including in Ballyfermot and Clondalkin.

The CAB were assisted by a number of specialist units, including the elite Emergency Response Unit, as a total of 23 raids were carried out.

It is estimated that more than €1m worth of assets were seized in the garda crackdown against the major organised crime gang.

In total, €64,000 in cash, 12 luxury watches – including Rolex and TAG Heuer models – and 23 high-end cars were seized on the suspicion of being bought with the proceeds of crime.

A further €312,000 was frozen in a number of bank accounts linked to members of the crime gang.

A significant amount of documentation was also recovered from homes and businesses, which will assist future investigations against the gang.

Five car dealerships were raided and another three visited by officers, while the offices of six professional firms and nine homes were also searched.

One of the car garages targeted is located on the Naas road, with a number of gardai and CAB officers searching vehicles in the courtyard.

The CAB-led operation also involved members of the Armed Support Unit, the recently formed Special Crime Task Force and local gardai.

Gardai consider ‘The Family’ to be one of the largest drug-dealing gangs in the capital, with international links to outfits in Spain.

The Ballyfermot-based gang is suspected of importing millions of euro worth of drugs every month into the capital in second-hand cars imported from north-west England.

Sources said the heroin, cocaine and firearms were then distributed from a west Dublin premises to middle-ranking dealers, who sold the deadly product across the capital and the entire country.

“What makes them more established and better-organised than some of the other Dublin gangs is that they have the capability to independently source their own drugs and weapons, without relying on other crime gangs to help them,” a senior source said.

One of the gang’s senior members is currently serving a lengthy prison term in Spain after being caught with a significant amount of drugs.

‘The Family’ has previously been busted by officers for possession of heavy-duty firearms. An extremely significant bust linked to the mob took place in 2015.

A Ballyfermot man is currently serving five years in jail in relation to that seizure.

The 41-year-old was caught with more than €3m worth of drugs, three sub-machine guns and two pistols.

He was also found in possession of ammunition when gardai searched his house and a unit he was leasing in a Dublin industrial estate.

Although ‘The Family’ has connections with members of the Kinahan cartel, they are not involved in that outfit’s ongoing feud with the Hutch gang, which has claimed the lives of 12 people in less than two years.

It has previously emerged that ‘The Family’ had teamed up with a younger Clondalkin- based gang involved in the distribution of cocaine and crack cocaine.

The main figures of this Clondalkin outfit were previously targeted by CAB last year, when a total of 46 vehicles, including luxury cars and worth an estimated €1.1m, were seized.

Car showrooms and the offices of solicitors and accountants were searched at the time.