10 vehicles were seized yesterday (Wednesday, April 17th), as part of Operation Thor which targeted the assets and activities of a Cork-based organised crime gang.
A 181 Toyota Hilux, a 2015 Toyota Hilux (UK Registration), a 191 Toyota Landcruiser, A 181 Ford Focus Sport, a 191 Ford Focus, a 172 Ford Transit Pick-up, a 162 Kia were among the seized vehicles.
Cash to the value of €31,500 and four Rolex watches were also seized during the raids.
“Documentation in relation to the ownership of assets, financial documentation, mobile phones and electronic storage devices were seized and are currently being examined by CAB experts.” A statement released by an Garda Síochána outlined.
The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) in conjunction with Gardaí from the Cork City Garda Division, with the assistance of the Garda Emergency Response Unit (ERU), the Southern Region Armed Support Unit, the Garda Stolen Motor Vehicle Investigation Unit, the Garda Mounted Unit, the Garda Dog and Revenue Customs Dog Units conducted the operation.
Eleven searches in total were carried out - seven residential premises, one plot of land, and three professional premises (Solicitors and Accountants) - all in County Cork, according to a statement released by an Garda Síochána.
Five of the residential premises, the plot of land and the three professional searches were conducted under CAB Warrants - Section 14 of the Criminal Assets Bureau Act, 1996, as amended.
One of the residential premises was searched under a Theft Warrant, Section 48 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act, 2001, and the final one residential search was searched under a Drugs Warrant, Section 26 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977/84.
Organised crime gang
The CAB investigation centres on an organised crime gang made up of members of an extended family based in Cork; they are involved in fraud, theft, deception, extortion, burglaries and in the sale and supply of controlled drugs, according to An Garda Síochána.
“This organised crime gang use various paving, gardening and landscaping businesses to target elderly and vulnerable persons to deceive them of money.”
“They use intimidation to instil fear into their victims and charge exorbitant rates for substandard work.”
“They are suspected of extorting large sums of cash from elderly and vulnerable persons for unnecessary work and engage in Theft and Burglary in the areas where they carry out work.”
Detective Chief Superintendent - Pat Clavin - said: "This morning’s (April 17th) search operation is a significant development in the CAB investigation and is viewed as a major disruption to the activities of this gang."
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