Gardai smash ‘money laundering empire’ as they seize 115 high-end cars and cash in dawn raids in Limerick
Our picture shows the moment heavily armed ERU members burst through the gates of a car dealership near Limerick city
Gardai have smashed a massive suspected money laundering empire, seizing 115 high end cars and cash in dawn raids.
The operation against a drug dealing gang based in Limerick City was led by the Emergency Response Unit and the Criminal Assets Bureau.
Our picture shows the moment heavily armed ERU members burst through the gates of a car dealership near Limerick city.
A source said: “This gang are running a massive drug dealing empire across the Mid West – the CAB have established that they are running using a car dealership to pump money through.
“It is an identical method as used by the Kinahan Organised Crime Group in their international money laundering operations.”
The gang has been subject to a lot of garda attention with a separate investigation of a garda for passing information to the gang.”
The gang leader is a man based in Newcastlewest, 40 minutes by road from Limerick city. His property was searched also by gardai.
There is a second man also being examined.
The gang are also heavily involved in greyhound racing and are suspects in the kidnapping of a prize winning dog.
A garda spokesman said: “The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) with the assistance of the Garda Emergency Response Unit, the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, the Garda Stolen Motor Vehicle Investigation Unit, the Garda Technical Bureau and the Garda Dog Unit conducted a search operation.
“In total, eight (8) searches were conducted in counties, Limerick, Tipperary and Dublin. Two (2) Residential Premises, two business premises, car sales outlets, and four professional premises, solicitors, accountant, and a finance company, were searched.”
They also seized a high end Rolex watch, €43,000 and £1,000 cash.
They also found documents, mobile phones and electronic storage devices.
A spokesman confirmed that they were examining a drug gang: “The CAB investigation centres on an Organised Crime Gang involved in the sale and supply of controlled drugs in the Limerick City and County areas, and who suspected of being involved in laundering the proceeds of their criminal conduct through a Car Sales Outlet in Limerick City.
“A Bank Account held by one Car Sales Business was restrained by a Court Order, pursuant to Section 17(2) of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act, 2010. No arrests were made.
“Today’s search operation is a significant development in the CAB investigation and will be seen as a major upset to Organised Criminal activity in the Limerick City and County areas.”