Crime lords hit for £millions as CAB score grows
By TOM BRADY Security Editor
Saturday May 15 1999
THE State's most lethal anti crime weapon has hit its top underworld targets for more than £27m in asset seizures and tax demands in less than three years. THE State's most lethal anti crime weapon has hit its top underworld targets for more than £27m in asset seizures and tax demands in less than three years.
The hugely successful strike rate of the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) emerged last night after it scored two major victories in the courts against the country's number one armed robber and a leading drug trafficking family.
The latest victims of the CAB's relentless campaign against the crime barons were millionaire gang boss Gerry ``The Monk'' Hutch and members of the notorious Felloni family.
The CAB was granted a High Court judgment against Dubliner Hutch for £2,031,551, including an assessment of £782,980 for income tax for nine years.
Hutch was named as the prime suspect for masterminding a £1.7m robbery from a security van at Marino, Dublin, in 1987, and the armed robbery of £3.8m from the Brinks-Allied depot at Clonshaugh, Co Dublin, in January 1996.
The judge refused a stay on the order in the event of an appeal and the head of the CAB, Det Chief Supt Fachtna Murphy, will meet with his legal officer Barry Galvin and other senior members of his staff early next week to determine how the money should be collected. In a separate case, the High Court ordered that assets belonged to heroin dealer Tony Felloni and his son Luigi, should be handed over to a CAB receiver and deposited in one bank account, pending a further court order.
Chief Supt Murphy said last night that the decisions represented significant developments for his bureau in its implementation of the special legislation brought in as part of a Government crime crackdown in the wake of the murders of journalist Veronica Guerin and detective garda Jerry McCabe in the summer of 1996.
He declined to comment on how the court decision would be used against Hutch but it is understood that a number of options remain open to the CAB, including the use of a sheriff's certificate, the weapon deployed in a previous high profile case and bankruptcy procedures.
Meanwhile, it was learned last night that the CAB has now served tax demands on suspects for at least £20m while orders for the seizure of assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act total more than £7m.
The CAB has also secured court approval for a further £700,000 in social welfare savings by moving against suspects illegally claiming dole benefits.
Other top underworld figures confronted by the CAB include the self confessed Guerin murder gang boss, John Gilligan and his alleged associates, Gene Holland, Brian Meehan and John Traynor.
George ``The Penguin'' Mitchell is on a list of alleged drug traffickers hit by the CAB while other high profile figures who have been targetted for tax include bankrupt Matthew Kelly and former Dublin assistant city and county manager George Redmond.
- TOM BRADY Security Editor