Man caught with €12k in cash by CAB was homeless

By Cormac O'Keeffe

A presumed homeless man staying in a hotel at the expense of the State was found with €12,000 in cash and a further €140,000 in a bank account when he was targeted in a planned operation by the Criminal Assets Bureau.

The 39-year-old was targeted as part of an investigation into a criminal gang involved in burglary, theft of plant machinery, and defrauding elderly people on bogus jobs.

The gang is also involved in the secondhand car trade, though is not registered.

Five searches were conducted in Co Wicklow: Two residences in Newtownmountkennedy and two residences in Bray, as well as a professional office in Bray.

In a search of a hotel in which the target was staying, they recovered €6,000 and £5,200 in cash.

A freezing order was also made on an account linked to the man containing €144,000.

During the searches, officers also confiscated an imitation gun, imitation ammunition and a TV. Documentation and mobile phones were taken away.

The Criminal Assets Bureau was assisted in the searches by the Emergency Response Unit as well as the regional support unit and local public order units.

It is understood the man was temporarily homeless and required emergency accommodation and was provided with accommodation in the hotel by State authorities. The target had spent some time in the UK and Germany where he was suspected of being involved in tarmacking.

He was involved in a gang, involving members of the Travelling community, here suspected of burglary, theft of plant machinery and targeting the elderly.

Sources said the targeting of the elderly involved demanding large sums of cash for no or poor work, in some cases starting work without being asked to do so.

The gang also operates a second-hand car business, but sources said the business was not registered.

In a separate operation yesterday CAB targeted a suspected drug dealer considered to be a “lower level member” of the wider Kinahan crime cartel. The 33-year-old has previously been targeted by gardaí before.

In this operation, CAB searched a home on Marrowbone Lane in Dublin’s south inner city. They seized a 2011 Audi A4 S Line, a 2015 Citroen Berlingo Van, five high-end watches (including Rolex and Breitling), as well as mobile phones and a quantity of documentation.

Gangs in the south inner city, Crumlin and Drimnagh are associated with the Kinahan cartel. There were no arrests in either operation and CAB officers are now examining documentation and phones.

This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner.

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