Posession order CAB tell court two houses were bought with profits from cannabis growhouses
Stock image: Cannabis growhouse
January 22 2021 06:55
A Chinese organised crime gang operating a network of grow houses in Ireland could have made €2 million profits from one property alone before the operation was shut down, a court has heard.
The Criminal Assets Bureau are now seeking to seize two of the properties at Bansha Road in Tipperary and Blanchardstown in Dublin in a proceeds of crime case against three respondents named in the High Court today.
Luk Yao Kwok, Weizhong Zhang and Huinjuan Xu are named in the proceedings listing the properties at Mountain View in Tipperary Town and Warrenstown Rise in Blanchardstown.
The court heard that more than 300 plants, valued at €250,000 for the crop, were growing in the Blanchardstown property.
David Dodd BL told the court that with a four month crop rotation and the growhouse running for around 40 months the profit margin was around €2 million.
A further 237 plants were found in a second property, one month into harvest in Tipperary but both houses were purchased through a complex networks of cash payments.
The High Court heard that Luk Yao Kwok, was essentially part of the organised crime group and the Criminal Assets Bureau claims he was directing the purchasing of properties with the proceeds of crime.
In his own affidavit Kwok, who was previously linked to a grow house in the UK, said that he ran a cash business and it was convenient for him to buy the properties that way.
The Bureau are seeking a possession order against the houses identified which they say were bought up by the group as they established a sophisticated grow house and laundering network in Ireland.
Justice Alexander Owens will prepare a judgement on the case heard in a virtual courtroom during which a complex arrangement to buy the properties was laid out.
Amongst a number of people cited at having paid cash and transferred funds to a solicitor’s office to buy the houses was a couple who run a business in Dublin.
More than a year ago the CAB carried out a series of raids in four counties targeting a Chinese gang they believed were linked to a major organised crime network and who were responsible for organising a network of growhouses in Ireland.
Monies were frozen in bank accounts and mobile phones, computers and documents were seized during the raids.
They raided properties in Dublin in Terenure and Blanchardstown and in north Cork along with Tipperary.
A solicitors office in County Laois was also searched during the operation.