THE Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) has seized more than €200,000 in cash and a property portfolio from slain gangland boss Martin ‘Marlo’ Hyland.
After pursuing Hyland’s profits from drug trafficking and armed robberies over the past two-and-a-half years, CAB yesterday won High Court approval for the seizures.
Hyland was shot dead by some of his associates in a house in Finglas, west Dublin, in December 2006 — after a series of successes against his crime gang by the garda’s organised crime and national drugs units.
He was the prime target of Operation Oak, which was set up in September 2005 to focus on Hyland and his associates.
It resulted in the seizure of 30kgs of heroin, with a street value of €8m; 35kgs of cocaine, worth €2.5m; 1.4 tonnes of cannabis, worth €10m; as well as four stolen vehicles, firearms, ammunition and cash.
It also led to 41 arrests and 26 of the suspects are currently before the courts on charges ranging from possession of drugs with intent to sell or supply, robbery and possession of firearms.
Hyland was described in court as the leader of an organised crime gang.
Some of his assets were lodged in other people’s names but Cab proved to the High Court that he was linked to them.
In court yesterday, Mr Justice Kevin Feeney ordered the disposal by the State of a house owned by Hyland in Dublin. This followed previous court judgments on another house in Dublin and a property in Co Meath.
CAB was also given the go-ahead yesterday to seize €19,150 in cash and a sports utility vehicle (SUV).
Earlier, the High Court had ordered the forfeiture of two other cash sums, €161,000 and €37,000, making an overall total of almost €220,000.
Some of the money had been put down as a deposit for the purchase of a luxury apartment in Bulgaria.
Judge Feeney also appointed CAB’s legal officer, Frank Cassidy, as a receiver and he was instructed to sell the property and hand the proceeds into the Exchequer.
Since Hyland’s murder and the conviction of some of his associates, the remnants of his gang have banded together with other criminals.
They are now under the control of another Finglas-based thug, who is a prime target for gardai and CAB.
Two of Hyland’s former associates were recently jailed for a combined 26 years for their part in a major drug trafficking operation.
By Tim Healy and Tom Brady