Luxury cars seized from burglary mob
The Criminal Assets Bureau has seized two top-of-the-range '171 reg' Mercedes cars from associates of one of the country's most notorious burglary gangs.
Heavily armed members of the garda's Regional Support Unit were present when the CAB officers impounded the vehicles - which have a combined value of around €90,000 - in a dramatic raid in Co Wexford on Saturday morning.
The high-powered cars were recovered in the dawn operation in the Brownswood area which is on the outskirts of Enniscorthy, Co Wexford.
Our exclusive photos show the cars as they were secured in a special holding area at New Ross Garda Station.
Sources have revealed the cars were taken to the New Ross facility because of fears the targeted mob would attempt to take them back.
A source said gardai were suspicious that the vehicles may represent the proceeds of crime.
"The vehicles have now been seized as part of a major money laundering investigation by CAB," the source added.
No arrests were made in Saturday's operation and investigations are ongoing.
The main target of the overall CAB investigation is a 36-year-old, originally from Waterford.
The gangster is closely associated with the so-called 'Rubber O'Reilly' gang which is also based in the Brownswood area.
"This individual and his close associates are suspected of being involved in organised crime including well-planned burglaries, theft and organised shoplifting," the source said.
Last May, the Regional Support Unit was also involved in an arrest operation against the Rubber O'Reilly gang in Co Wexford after the shocking burglary of a 90-year-old.
The four arrested men, who were aged between their 20s and 40s, were later released without charge after being questioned about that burglary which happened in Taghmon, Co Wexford.
Last March, the Rubber O'Reilly gang was the target of a massive garda operation in counties Waterford and Wexford which led to the seizure of €75,000 worth of stolen property and the arrest of two women.
The gang is suspected of being behind a spate of nationwide burglaries and attacks on elderly people and members have been long-term targets for specialist gardai.
The CAB has been carrying out raids against the Traveller mob since 2005, when it seized two new Audis, two new Volkswagen Golfs and a new Mitsubishi Pajero 4x4 owned by Patrick 'Rubber' O'Reilly and his extended family.
It emerged in the High Court in March 2008 that CAB had been investigating the activities of the 'Rubber' O'Reilly gang for some time.
The cars and 4x4 were sold before they depreciated in price and the High Court granted CAB an order to seize the money from the sale of the 4x4, the final vehicle to be disposed of.
A senior CAB officer had told the court he believed the cash and cars were the proceeds of crime, in particular burglaries, thefts and distraction crimes.
Key members of the gang include Patrick 'Rubber Og' O'Reilly who was released from jail in 2014 after serving his time for his part in a violent feud attack.
While inside, a close associate was one of the targets of Operation Fiacla launched in 2012 which saw hundreds of people charged with burglary offences.
Earlier this month gardai recovered €150,000 worth of stolen property in searches against another crime group at premises in Carlow Town, Urlingford, Freshford, Castlecomer, Cuffs Grange and Moyne.