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CAB target was low-life 'flash the cash'

Vile thug with string of convictions suspected of intimidating gardai
Keane Mulready-Woods was murdered and dismembered

Keane Mulready-Woods was murdered and dismembered

Nicola Tallant

A low-level gang thug from Dundalk who was splashing his cash on his girlfriend was targeted by the Criminal Assets Bureau this week.

The 30-year-old who has a string of convictions for criminal damage, public order and drug-related offences is understood to have come to the attention of local CAB profilers because of his flash lifestyle and his lavish spend on his partner.

He is also suspected of being involved in a wave of intimidation attempts on members of the force, some of whom have been followed to their private homes.

This week the Garda Representative Association called for mandatory sentencing for those threatening or assaulting gardai. It came after death threats were made to a serving member through graffiti left on a housing estate wall.

Earlier this year gardai working in Co. Louth were warned to take extra precautions after a member was followed home as tensions between warring gangs grew.

Among the shocking incidents connected to gang crime in the region is the murder of teenager Keane Mulready-Woods who was tortured and dismembered.

Robbie Lawlor, suspected of carrying out the attack, was subsequently murdered in a Belfast housing estate by an assassin believed to have been hired by the criminal known as Mr Big.

Anger: Locals in Drogheda protest against the rise in gangland crime

Anger: Locals in Drogheda protest against the rise in gangland crime

Bureau officers busted into a number of properties linked to the low-life target early yesterday morning. They searched his house on Friday morning and three other addresses during the course of an operation assisted by the Garda Emergency Response Unit, the Regional Armed Response Unit and the Customs Dog Unit.

Bank accounts containing €57,000 and cash of €4,770 were seized during the searches with another €30,000 confiscated in previous raids. Officers believe the monies are the proceeds of crime and are preparing a case for the DPP. The suspect is understood to work for drug gangs and is under their instruction for money.

It is believed he is one of a number of underlings who are paid to intimidate local people for drug debts often racked up by younger relatives and who will damage homes and properties to intimidate frightened members of the public.

The thug has links to feuding brothers on one side of the Drogheda drug war and is one of a long list of low-level criminals who are set to be targeted by the Bureau. Officers want them stripped of their assets which they believe mostly remain in Ireland as they are too far down the pecking order to be involved in sophisticated money laundering.

Cars, jewellery, cash, designer clothing and handbags are all in the sights of the Bureau who say they are getting huge backing from the public in their efforts to strip drug gangs of their ill-gotten gains.

Profilers across the country have identified targets for the Bureau of those who are at the bottom of the pile in drug gangs but who have been living above their means within their communities.

The gang minnows may not be the top earners but officers at CAB believe they are damaging a younger generation irreparably with their cash rich lifestyles.

“The fact of the matter is these are the very ones that younger kids will look up to and see with the latest runners and the fast cars. They are low hanging fruit from a gang point of view but within their own neighbourhoods they are lording it over ordinary people.

“These are exactly the type of gang members the CAB are going to be coming down heavy on in the coming months,” a source said.

“The CAB doesn’t just go after the big boys we go after the lower-ranking gang members too and those on the outskirts who are being thrown money to collect debts and intimidate people.”

A number of targets in the Co. Louth area have been hit up by Bureau officers including two brothers suspected of being part of the feuding gangs.

Operation Stratus was established in October 2018 to combat the feud which has claimed four lives and resulted in a string of kidnappings and bomb attacks.

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