A FATHER-of-three has been accused of money laundering after gardai found nearly €900,000 in alleged crime proceeds at a farmyard in Co Cavan.
onathan O’Connor (38) is alleged to have had €88,000 in cash in a vehicle, with the rest of the cash found in 19 packages concealed behind brickwork in outhouses.
Judge Bryan Smyth remanded him in custody with consent to bail totalling €26,000 when he appeared in Dublin District Court today.
Mr O’Connor, a truck driver of Elm Road, Donnycarney, is charged with possession of €870,620 and STG£14,890 in criminal proceeds.
The offence is alleged to have happened at Dromore, Baileboro, Co Cavan on June 28 last.
Detective Garda Enda Gormley said he arrested the accused at Navan Garda Station yesterday and he was charged at 8.07pm.He made no reply after caution.
Objecting to bail, Det Gda Gormley said it was alleged the accused was found with €88,100 in a vehicle, and a further search resulted in the seizure of 19 packages containing another €782,520.
He said the seizures resulted from an intelligence-led operation by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, targeting the distribution, sale and supply of drugs in the state.
The property at Dromore, Baileboro was put under surveillance and gardai observed a vehicle pull into the farmyard at 12.30pm. The accused was seen alighting from it, and two children were with him.
Gardai saw Mr O’Connor and the children ride on quad bikes around a field adjacent to the farmyard and when they returned the bikes were put back in a shed, Det Gda Gormley continued.
The gardai then entered the property with a warrant, which they showed the accused. Mr O’Connor told them there was a bag containing €88,100 in cash on the back seat of his vehicle and gardai located this.
A full search of the premises then commenced and further bags were located in outhouses, concealed behind brickwork.
The accused pointed out two of the four separate locations where the bags were found, Det Gda Gormley said.
A comprehensive file was being prepared for the DPP and further charges were possible, he said. The accused was “caught red handed” with the cash, Det Gda Gormley said.
Gardai believed Mr O’Connor was involved in “large scale money laundering” and if granted bail, he would commit offences to “recoup his losses.”
Det Gda Gormley also believed if released, the accused would dispose of any illegally acquired cash in his possession.
Applying for bail, defence solicitor Daniel Hanahoe said the accused, who was presumed innocent, was a truck driver and had three children.
His parents and brother were in court to stand bail but were not of significant means, he said.
Judge Smyth granted bail in the accused’s own bond of €1,000 with no cash lodgement. However, he said there must also be an independent surety of €25,000, half of which is to be in cash.
Under conditions, he is to sign on daily at his local garda station, reside at his home address, notify gardai of any change of address and observe a curfew.
He is not to apply for a duplicate of his passport, which was surrendered to the gardai, and is to be contactable at all times by mobile phone.
Mr O’Connor was remanded in custody with consent to bail, to appear in Cloverhill District Court on July 2.
Source: Irish News