Garda probe into activities of ‘mafia-style’ businessman
10 hrs ago
… © Ciaran McBride Stock photo
A ‘Mafia-style’ businessman in the Midlands is under investigation for ordering an arson attack last month on a property he previously owned that was seized by Revenue.
The man has been on Garda radar for several years for involvement in a range of criminality from fraud to intimidation. Senior gardaí in the Midlands are “so concerned” by this man’s criminal activities that he is now the subject of a major criminal investigation.
It is understood that he is being investigated under anti-gang laws, such is his “calibre”, according to a well-placed source. The suspect has no serious criminal convictions.
He is also suspected of ordering another arson attack a number of months ago on another property he previously owned. In this instance, the house had been bought and renovated by a woman who suffered major financial consequences when the property burned to the ground. The businessman is suspected of ordering both arson attacks.
“This man, and his associates, are heavily involved in crime in the Midlands. It is to such an extent that a major probe is under way and he is being actively pursued under a range of legislation, including anti-gang laws,” according to a source.
It is understood that the investigation has been ongoing for over a year and is only midway through.
Tough new laws came into effect in 2009 to assist gardaí in tackling organised crime.
The Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009 declared that jury courts were inadequate to secure the effective administration of justice and directed that certain gang offences be heard in the non-jury Special Criminal Court, unless otherwise directed by the DPP. The Act was introduced to protect the justice system from being “subverted” by criminal groups, and the potential intimidation of juries.
Anti-gang laws have proved particularly effective as part of the Garda drive against the Kinahan cartel.
Nineteen members of that crime group have been jailed at the Special Criminal Court in the last two years, nine of them for conspiracy to murder.
All have been jailed for less than 10 years – the maximum sentence for the offence, which has remained so since 1861.