CAB is looking for a car dealership in Dublin whose owner is ‘under pressure’ from Kinahan boss Liam Byrne

Agents from the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) today raided a well-known west Dublin car dealership whose owner is believed to be under serious financial pressure from exiled Kinahan cartel leader Liam Byrne.

Investigators spent over an hour and a half at the dealership this morning where they examined a number of vehicles – both high-end and low-end before seizing documentation which included logbooks.

No arrests have been made and the concession owner has no previous criminal convictions.

However, high-level sources say the operation was the latest part of the gardai’s investigation into the Kinahan Cartel.

“These raids are part of an investigation into outlets used to facilitate money laundering as part of the broader investigation into the Kinahan organized crime group,” a senior source said.

Underworld sources claim the target of the investigation was previously friends with key cartel players Liam Byrne and Sean McGovern but was never involved in their serious organized crimes.

Byrne is currently based in Dubai where he was threatening a number of Dublin car dealerships which a gang of enforcers have been dispatched to in an attempt to collect large sums of money which Byrne claims to be owed.

He is also being investigated by British police for allegedly threatening a property developer and other businessmen in England.

In the case of the latest CAB target currently under investigation, underworld sources say he was coerced into paying Byrne a hefty six-figure sum with warnings from the exiled mobster that he has to cough up even more money.

“Byrne and his buddies were threatening to take all the cars that are in the dealership, load them onto a tow truck and export them to the UK,” a source said.

“They said the vehicles were there to be taken. It looks like this guy felt he had no choice but to pay Byrne a hefty sum and more is being demanded now,” the source added.

Other sources say the car dealer is trying to get away from the business but is not allowed by the dangerous gang.

However today, instead of being visited by members of Byrne’s gang, CAB officers were seen examining the vehicles, none of which were seized.

The information obtained during the search operation will now be analyzed by specialist gardai and, as the identity of the cars has now been noted, it will be extremely difficult to get the vehicles out of the country.

The UK’s National Crime Agency NCA is investigating Liam Byrne alongside an ongoing investigation into the criminal assets of his close associate, jailed drug dealer Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh.

However, Liam, whose brother David was murdered at Dublin’s Regency Hotel in February 2016, has been reportedly locked up in Dubai since December – after learning of the investigation in the UK.

And sources say his actions over the past few months show he is strapped for cash.

“He’s definitely under a lot of pressure because he’s making all these threats and demanding money,” a source pointed out.

Also believed to be in Dubai is his longtime associate Sean McGovern, who was on friendly terms with the current CAB target more than a decade ago.

Last month it emerged that a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) had been issued for McGovern.

Crumlin native Sean McGovern is expected to face charges of murder and organized crime offences.

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