CAB officers and ERU in dawn raids on Rice mob
Dozens of gardai were involved in a major operation yesterday against crime kingpin Paul Rice just weeks after he carried the coffin of his slain best pal Gerard 'Hatchet' Kavanagh.
There were tense scenes as the heavily armed Emergency Response Unit, backed up officers from the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) and local detectives, carried out a series of raids shortly after dawn.
No arrests were made in the operation which had been planned by CAB detectives for a number of months.
Computer equipment and documentation was obtained by investigators.
A Dublin's solicitors office was also raided as part of the investigation into Rice (45), who is considered one of the capital's most notorious criminals.
Sources say that Rice is still "extremely upset" after the murder of his right-hand-man 'Hatchet' Kavanagh in Spain's Costa-Del-Crime last month.
Kavanagh (44) was gunned down in a ruthless assassination while he was at an Irish bar in upmarket Elviria, near Marbella, Spain.
Both Kavanagh and Rice were senior members and enforcers for the Christy Kinahan international crime gang.
Rice in particular has been on the garda radar for a number of years.
Rice's most recent brush with the law before yesterday morning's raids was in August when he and two of his associates were arrested and questioned about a botched assassination on car dealer Michael Frazer (34) in a pub car park in Firhouse on August 1.
Sources say that since then Frazer and Rice's cronies have made peace, but this has not been confirmed.
Paul Rice is one of the country's most feared criminals.
His most serious conviction was when he was jailed for 10 years in July 1995 after pleading guilty to the robbery of a bank in which shots were fired.
He escaped on horseback after the hold-up where a security guard was kicked and beaten with a lump hammer.
Rice was arrested by gardai investigating a kidnap and torture incident at a house in Lucan in October 2010.
He was also questioned last year about a gruesome gangland murder of a man whose body was found in the Dublin Mountains.