CAB seizes luxury cars, cash and watches in 39 raids on senior cartel member
A convicted armed robber who has become one of the Kinahan cartel's main Dublin operators was the primary target of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) when it raided nearly 40 homes and businesses nationwide yesterday.
The CAB, supported by national and local garda units, searched properties in four counties as part of a massive investigation into mobster Ross Browning (34).
The north inner city thug was previously a driver and enforcer for the cartel but has since risen through the ranks to become one of its main operators on Dublin's northside.
Shortly after 5am, CAB off-icers, backed up by heavily armed gardai, began searching several locations in Dublin, Meath, Longford and Limerick.
Twenty homes and 19 businesses - including accountants, solicitors and a gym linked to Browning - were searched.
The large haul seized from the cartel mobster included:
- Approximately €15,000 in cash.
- Luxury vehicles including an Audi Q7, Mercedes Vito, VW Golf Mark 7 GTD and a Honda motorcycle.
- Watches including Breit- ling, Rolex, Cartier and Legend.
A large amount of documentation was also recovered, which will be analysed by specialist gardai, as well as mobile phones.
The CAB also secured a freezing order on a bank account which contained a substantial amount of money.
One house raided by gardai was Browning's family home in Hardwicke Street in the north inner city, while properties in Finglas and north Co Dublin were also searched.
The main focus of the CAB was a city centre flat, two homes, a plot of land and an industrial unit, as well as two properties in Limerick.
The head of the CAB described yesterday's raids as a "significant development" and added that it will continue to go after the gang's ill-gotten gains.
"This CAB investigation into an organised crime gang is continuing. Today marks a significant development in the progress of this investigation," said Det Chief Supt Pat Clavin.
"The Criminal Assets Bureau are relentless in their mission to identify the criminally-acquired assets of persons and to deny such people these assets.
"The motivation of these organised crime gangs is greed for wealth and we will do all we can to deprive them of this wealth."
The operations involved garda units from various divisions, including the Emergency Response Unit (ERU), the Armed Support Unit (ASU) and district detective units.
Browning was one of around 30 people arrested by officers investigating Christy Kinahan's massive drug organisation in an international police probe, codenamed Operation Shovel, in 2010.
He was released without charge after being questioned by Spanish police.
The fitness fanatic has also been closely aligned to mob boss Daniel Kinahan and was recently investigated for being in possession of a false passport.
In March 2002, Browning was given an 18-month suspended jail sentence for carrying out an armed robbery with two of his associates, and for dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm.
A year earlier, Browning was involved in a robbery in which more than €17,000 was stolen from a Securicor van driver.
The driver was leaving McDonald's, in Parnell Street, Dublin, after collecting the money when he was approached by Browning, who waved an imitation gun at him and demanded he hand over the bag containing cash.
Last August, Browning posted a testimonial online in which he said he was planning to transform his life after having a "road to Damascus" moment.