CAB to widen its probe into wealth of thugs in six of country's gangs
The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) is aiming to target half a dozen crime gangs as it extends its probe into the wealth of thugs involved in the feud that claimed three lives in recent months.
Officers from the bureau will widen their inquiries after they complete a detailed analysis of the findings from last week's searches of homes and business premises.
Most of the searches so far have been targeted at suspects regarded as being in the top and middle layers of the Dublin-based mob, that form part of the Kinahan global drug trafficking cartel.
But officers say that some of the criminals on their "hit list" also have associations with other gangs in the capital, apart from the two groups directly involved in the feud.
Many of the CAB inquiries into suspects on the Hutch side of the feud have already been completed, with settlements reached and payments made over the past few years.
But officers have also opened up several new lines of inquiry as they step up their investigation because of the cross-over between criminal gangs, which has resulted in co-operation for specific illegal ventures.
"These groups are not always clearly defined", a senior investigator said.
"Some of their members move around, depending on what's going down and what type of criminal expertise is required for a particular enterprise, while others switch groups regularly because of family connections.
"As a result, our inquiries into one specific gang can lead us into other areas, and we follow the asset trail as we progress," he added.
Further searches in Dublin and in commuter counties are also being planned, although they are unlikely to be on the scale of the two operations mounted last week in the capital.
Officers think it is likely that more potential assets will be seized while they are also expected to focus on the logistical side of the gang's activities, including the provision of firearms and transport and other assistance that the main gang leaders employed to further their criminal activities.
The wider investigation will also focus on the role played in the feud by dissident republicans.
It will look at the links between members of the Dublin faction of the Real IRA and associates of groups such as the Republican Action Against Drugs group (comprised of former members of the Provisional IRA and is located mainly in the north west) and the Derry city faction of the Real IRA.
Last week's searches resulted in the seizure of 29 cars, six motorcycles, large quantities of cash and jewellery, tracking devices and documentation.