Cab launch 10 raids on Chubb crew as they probe link to Kinahan cartel
Close associates of Kinahan cartel enforcer Gareth Chubb were among a number of people targeted in a major operation by the Criminal Assets Bureau.
While no arrests were made, nine searches were carried out yesterday in a series of planned raids in the Crumlin, Drimnagh, Inchicore, Finglas, Ranelagh and Dundrum areas of the capital while another raid was carried out in Co Wicklow.
In the course of the searches, properties connected to two extremely close male associates of Chubb were targeted in the Crumlin area, including a veteran criminal who has a previous manslaughter conviction.
CAB officers were backed up by specialist armed gardai as they attempted to increase pressure on Chubb and his associates, who form a nucleus of the cartel's day-to-day operations in the capital
Among one of the most interesting items seized in the raids was a Presidium diamond-testing kit, which is used to verify the quality of gems.
The searches were at homes and at three offices.
Three cars - an Audi A4, a BMW X5 and a Volkswagen Passat - were seized along with more than 20 Rolex and Tag Heur watches worth around €28,500 and £700 in cash. Documents and phones were also seized.
Among the prime targets of the raids was a 33-year-old man who lives in a south inner-city flats complex and is suspected of "selling and buying cars" for Chubb and his associates.
"This 33-year-old individual, who now has a very important role within the organisation, recently bought a house for €350,000 in the north Kildare area," a source said.
"He is also suspected of being a major player in the heroin trade and has multiple previous convictions but mostly for driving offences.
"This is all about keeping the pressure on the cartel and their associates. You can expect more operations like this in the coming weeks."
It is understood that CAB has built up a detailed file on the financial affairs of Chubb and his associates going back to even before the cartel's bloody gang war with the Hutch mob kicked off more than two years ago.
Chubb (30) is a convicted drug dealer and a long-term target for gardai and rival mobsters.
Last July, he was cleared by a Dutch court of the attempted manslaughter of a drug dealer who tried to sell him baking soda.
However, Chubb was jailed for six months for possession of a loaded gun that he pulled out at an Amsterdam cafe during the incident last February.
Chubb was a close friend of David Byrne, the Kinahan gang associate whose murder in the Regency Hotel escalated into the deadly gangland war that has resulted in a spate of killings.
A senior source said the cartel is now dealing in gems and even watches because of the millions of euro worth of cash that has been seized from them since the deadly feud kicked off.
"This is why they had a diamond testing kit," a senior source said.
Chubb was quizzed last year as part of the garda crackdown on the Kinahan mob's operations in Ireland.
After being cleared of a manslaughter charge in Amsterdam, Chubb returned to Ireland and was then pictured in Belfast.
There has been speculation that his rivals in the Hutch mob had intended to murder him in the North, but gardai foiled this when they arrested a man armed with a loaded handgun as he tried to travel on a Belfast-bound train at Connolly Station.
Close associates of Chubb were also targeted by gardai in a series of raids in Dublin's south inner city in March last year in which around €10,000 in cash and five GPS tracking devices were seized by officers.
CAB has been very active in recent weeks. Last week in a separate probe, they targeted a 46-year-old taxi man who is suspected of being heavily involved in drugs distribution in the capital.