Saturday 18 January 2020

Cartel top dog's fighting talk inside fortress home seized by CAB officers

CAB at the former home of Liam Byrne
CAB at the former home of Liam Byrne

The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) has taken control of Kinahan associate Liam Byrne's "crown jewel" following its major investigation into his crime gang.

Pictures of the operation, obtained by the Herald, offer a rare glimpse inside the mob boss's home.

"It's not the size of the dog in the fight that matters but the size of the fight in the dog," a message above a door inside the gangster's former home.

Boxes of trophies and furniture, including a pink armchair, can also be seen.

After midnight yesterday the Crumlin home was officially handed over to the CAB and is the final asset seized from the Byrne organised crime group.


CAB investigators were on hand to ensure workers could safely board up the luxury house previously valued at around €1m.

The property, at 2 Raleigh Square, has been described as the mobster's "crown jewel" and had been refurbished and renovated for €740,000.

However, sources say that Byrne's associates have removed a number of expensive items from the house, including an extensive CCTV system, while the overall value also dropped following the initial raid in 2016.

Liam Byrne himself has not lived in the house for some time and has been living in the UK.

CAB officials are now expected to hand the property over to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER), which will sell it with the monies going to the Exchequer.

Just a stone's throw away from Byrne's home on Raleigh Square, the former property owned by Sean McGovern on Kildare Road is also boarded up.

The house was ruled the proceeds of crime earlier this year. After the High Court order was made, significant fittings were removed from the property with only a toilet left in one downstairs room.

The damage caused to both the Kildare Road home and a separate house in Clondalkin, owned by Byrne, led to the CAB asking the High Court to make an order preventing fixtures and fittings being removed from the Raleigh Square house.

In March, CAB asked Liam's sister Maria Byrne, who had bought the property, to give an undertaking that no fixtures or fittings would be removed.

While the confiscated home at Raleigh Square was registered to Maria Byrne, it was the residence of Liam Byrne who was paying rent for the property.

This was being paid through an account of LS Active Car Sales, a business used as a slush fund for the gang and to launder their ill-gotten gains.

An account containing €26,760 was also seized and a further €10,000 was to be forfeited to pay solicitors' fees.

When it was raided by detectives in March 2016, heavily armed members of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) needed specialist equipment to cut through reinforced doors.

The head of the CAB, Detective Superintendent Pat Clavin, said that the investigation into the Byrne organised crime gang was "welcomed as part of the overall efforts to curb the activities of feuding gangs".

In its 2018 annual report the CAB also said that €1.4m of assets were seized from the gang under Section 3 of the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The investigation involved co-operation between law enforcement agencies in the UK, Spain, Mallorca and Mauritius.

Orders under Section 2 of the Proceeds of Crime Act were also made for 29 vehicles, four homes, six designer watches, a bank account worth €36,760 and €34,840 in cash.

The value of property seized by the end of December 2018 came to around €2.7m, while the three homes recovered this year were valued at €1.3m.

The inquiry found the gang "now has interests in Spain, the Netherlands, South America and Dubai". It was led by Christopher Kinahan Snr but now Christopher Jr and Daniel Kinahan manage operations.

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