21st October 2021
THE BYRNE LEGACY
Kinahan cartel ‘key participant’ who lost house and €10k luxury watch to CAB revealed
- 8:00, 19 Sep 2021
THIS is the “key participant” in the Kinahan cartel who lost a house and a luxury Hublot watch worth €10,000 to the Criminal Assets Bureau.
Our exclusive image shows Paul Gray — classified by CAB as a trusted lieutenant of major gangster Liam Byrne — strolling with yob Leon Griffin before he lost his assets as part of ongoing efforts to target Daniel Kinahan’s mob.
He was one of a number of young guns identified by CAB under ‘Operation Lamp’ when they moved on Byrne’s crime empire.
Also on the list was foot soldier Lee Gibson and young men with close links to caged killer Fat Freddie Thompson.
Gray is the latest member of the mob in Dublin’s south inner city to lose their home after Byrne and close pal Sean McGovern also had their properties seized.
Last year, CAB probes into the Kinahan Organised Crime Group led to seizures of another property, two plots of land, four cars, a motorbike, a diamond ring, four watches including a Rolex, Breitling and Cartier and €16,850 in cash.
The High Court found that Gray’s home in Dublin’s south inner city had been purchased from a criminal associate over a “€40,000 drug debt”.
And they also established how another man was “fronting as the ostensible owner of the house”.
CAB made their move against Byrne’s trusted associate after claiming he was part of the KOCG “involved in the sale and supply of controlled drugs” and “operating in the south inner city of Dublin”.
Investigators from CAB — which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year — also accused Gray of renovating the property “through the proceeds of crime”.
Mr Justice Alexander Owens said in his judgment: “Both the watch found in the search of (Gray’s pad) and (his property) itself are items acquired using the proceeds of crime. At the time the watch was seized, Paul Gray was in possession or control of it.
“There is also ample belief to support the Chief Bureau Officer’s claim that the house was extended and extensively refurbished using the proceeds of crime.
“The Bureau has established that the house was also acquired with the proceeds of crime and that the arrangement for the credit union loan to be deployed in the purchase was a bogus arrangement.
“The works carried out to this house were very extensive.”
The senior judge also ruled how Gray “was living in this house and that he had a CCTV system that one expects to find in the house of a drug dealer there”.
He added: “The kitchen unit was put in 2016 and when asked how it was funded there were nonsense explanations.
“Paul Gray’s interest in this property was not confined to the kitchen unit which has now been ripped out and has gone missing in mysterious circumstances.
“I am satisfied that all the money came from Paul Gray and was derived from Paul Gray’s criminal activities.”
His gaff was recently put on the market by CAB and is close to being sold. Its listing states: “Originally built in the early 1920s, the property has undergone a partial refurbishment.”
It adds: “A new kitchen has been fitted along with laminate wooden floors throughout.
“The attic space has also been converted and while not deemed to be a habitable room it offers a suitable space for a home office.”
Following the publication of CAB’s annual report last Monday, Chief Bureau Officer Det Chief Supt Michael Gubbins, vowed to continue to “deny and deprive” Irish criminals of their ill-gotten gains.
He spoke exclusively to the Irish Sun on Sunday after it emerged a number of ‘new good citizen reports’ were made to CAB after the document was released.
And we can reveal one of the reports from a member of the public related to members of a major drugs gang.
The ‘good citizen’ reports are made on an anonymous basis with individuals who make them not required to give evidence in court.
CAB’s Bureau Officer spoke to us after it emerged over 500 asset profilers are now working in all Garda divisions across the country. Their role is to identify the assets of all those involved in all levels of criminality before passing on their intelligence to CAB.
Det Chief Supt Gubbins said: “Considering the constraints of the pandemic, this has been a very good year for the dedicated officers and staff at the Bureau.
“One of our main objectives is to continue to develop our divisional asset profiler network across the country. Our role is to target all criminals in our communities no matter how big or small they are.
“Even since the publication of the annual report last week we have received good citizen reports from members of the public and these will be investigated.”
The senior officer — who has 32 years’ policing experience — vowed to increase CAB’s cooperation with global law enforcement agencies.
Det Chief Supt Gubbins said: “We will continue to develop relations with our international partners.
“We already have an excellent relationship with the PSNI, the (UK’s) NCA and HMRC. We also work closely with Revenue and Customs and with all of our colleagues in the Garda organisation.”
And the Chief Bureau Officer also vowed to target the assets of burglary gangs and drugs operating in rural parts of Ireland.
BURGLARY GANGS TARGETTED
He added: “The majority of our cases are in relation to drug trafficking. But we are also currently targeting individuals who have been identified under ‘Operation Thor’, which relates to the roaming burglary gangs.
“The local drug dealers identified under ‘Operation Tara’, which targets local drug dealers, will also be targeted.”
At present, CAB has 99 members of staff who work closely with the Garda national units, specialist units and local detective and uniform units across the country.
Following the publication of the report, CAB told how it returned €4.2million to the State in 2020.
In one op, CAB seized 85 motors from a Co Tipperary used car outlet as part of an probe into a UK crime gang suspected of laundering their money through car sales.
CAB also returned €5.4million to the Nigerian government after an investigation into funds which were misappropriated by its former President General Sani Abacha.
And CAB also revealed how they had seized a gyrocopter from drug dealer Clifton Collins, who had €54million in Bitcoin frozen.
CAB are currently investigating 1,731 targets across the country, with 754 based in Dublin.
Acting Justice Minister Heather Humphreys welcomed CAB’s ongoing efforts to strip criminals of their wealth.
She added: “I welcome the agreement reached earlier this year to establish a new Community Safety Innovation Fund, by seizing proceeds of crime, providing additional funding for investment in community safety projects.”