Europol commends CAB probe into ‘mini Rathkeale Rovers’ mob
The Criminal Assets Bureau
February 12 2021 02:50 PM
European police agency Europol have hailed the work of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) in their investigation into a family based gang who have been described as a ‘mini Rathkeale Rovers crew.’
This week it was revealed that the mob have made massive money from ‘tarmac scams across Europe, the USA and Canada and have been laundering the cash as well as significant money for one of the biggest drug dealings mobs based in the South East region.
Gardai announced that CAB had frozen 16 bank accounts containing €540,000 in total, following a search operation in Tipperary and Kilkenny.
The CAB raids were part of a wider international policing investigation which has identified that the mob have laundered €4m.
- ‘Mini Rathkeale Rovers’ money laundering gang target of €4m CAB raid
- From rhino horn theft to tarmac scams and now forged Covid test results – the Rathkeale Rovers gang’s criminal reach extends worldwide
In a statement today, Europol said: “Fund transfers in excess of €4m were identified from other jurisdictions to Irish bank accounts linked to members of this criminal network. The gang is believed to have made this money from illegal activity across Europe.
“The search operation in the cities (sic) of Tipperary and Kilkenny involved searches of 4 residential properties and 1 business premises, as a result of which €100 000 in cash and a car worth €75 000 were seized. A total of 16 bank accounts linked to members of the crime group were also frozen.
“The accounts contained cumulative funds of €540,000.”
It said such results were made possible thanks to the model of non-conviction based forfeiture operated by the Irish Criminal Assets Bureau.
Sources said the links that the targeted Traveller gang have with one of the most prolific drugs trafficking networks in the South East is “particularly concerning” with the ‘tarmac’ crew suspected of now engaging in wide scale money laundering for them.
Investigations have established that there are around 20 core members aged from their early 20s to late 60s and sources said there will be more arrests and searches as part of this probe.
In the operation, CAB officers targeted four residential properties and a business premises where they seized a 201 Volvo XC90 and financial documents.
“International cooperation is essential for the successful recovery of assets hidden abroad. Europol’s position at the heart of the European security architecture helps facilitate such a mechanism,” the police agency’s statement said.
“In this case, Europol’s European Financial and Economic Crime Centre (EFECC) pieced together the intelligence provided by different countries on this one same criminal network and put all the involved countries around one table.
“The partners have since worked closely together on this case to uncover the actual magnitude of the criminal activity of this gang and to establish a joint strategy for the final phase of the investigation,” the statement read.
It was revealed this week a number of suspected main players in the gang are facing money laundering charges in Sweden.
“It is not just Sweden where this gang have their tentacles, intelligence indicates that they are also known to law enforcement in the United States and Canada as well as a number of EU states,” the source said.
The gang operates nationwide and overseas by posing as tradesmen and quoting a “good price” for jobs ranging from laying tarmac to cleaning gutters.
Because of their international “tarmac scams”, the crew whose base is a Co Tipperary town have been compared to the infamous Rathkeale Rovers mob but gardai say that there are “no major links” between them and the Limerick gang.