Dublin man given 4 years for laundering €500,000 in cash
A Dublin man has been given a four-year sentence with 18 months suspended after he pleaded guilty to a money-laundering offence involving more than €500,000.
Glen Power (30) of Colpark Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin, pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering at Whitemill Road, Wexford town, last September 24.
Wexford Circuit Criminal Court heard that Power was caught transporting €503,890 of criminal proceeds in a van when he arrived at the Industrial Estate in Wexford town.
Det Garda Fiona Connaughton told the sentencing hearing gardai believed the €503,890 seized in the car park was about to be taken out of the State. The charge arose from an Intelligence Operation by the National Drugs Investigative Unit.
Det Garda Connaughton told Prosecuting Counsel Sinead Gleeson that the defendant arrived at the back of a building in a van shortly before gardai arrived. Officers saw the money being transferred to another vehicle. They intervened and recovered the cash.
The defendant was arrested and taken to Wexford Garda Station, where he was questioned and later charged. He was brought before the court, along with a second defendant who has already appeared before the court for sentencing.
Replying to Defence Counsel, Paul Murray, SC, Det Garda Conaughton said that the gardai were acting on a tip-off.
Under questioning Mr Power said he had been told to hand the money over to another person on arrival in Wexford.
Mr Murray said that a follow-up raid on another premises, led to Bernard Joyce, of Newtown, Beauparc, Slane, Co. Meath, being sentenced to five years in prison.
The defendant, said Mr. Murray, expressed his remorse and regret to the court and his family for his involvement in this.
Judge Quinn said the headline sentence would be six years but he would impose a four-year term, with the final 18 months suspended for two years.
The defendant had to enter into his own bond of €200 to keep the peace, and be supervised by the Probation and Welfare Services for a further two years on his release.
Judge Quinn also granted an application from Prosecuting Counsel, Ms Gleeson, for the forfeiture of the money.
€1m and luxury cars seized in ERU raid on money launderers
Members of the garda Emergency Response Unit apprehended a man leaving a house carrying €100,000 in shopping bags during raids targeting a major money laundering operation.
Officers from the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) yesterday smashed a racket in which Chinese businessmen were laundering money on behalf of several Irish organised crime gangs.
Six Chinese nationals and a Dublin man were last night in garda custody after a big search operation in Dublin and Co Wicklow.
Five business premises and eight homes were searched by CAB officers, who seized €733,499 in cash, stuffed into plastic bags and stashed in one of the houses. They froze a further €301,594 in Irish bank accounts.
Also recovered were four Audi cars and a quantity of high-value goods, including handbags.
Officers suspect that a number of Irish gangs were laundering the profits from their involvement in organised crime, including drug trafficking, through businesses being run by their Chinese associates.
The searches were the culmination of an investigation that had been under way for several months and were intelligence-led.
They were carried out in Dublin’s south inner city and south county, as well as north Co Wicklow.
The Dublin man being questioned last night is regarded as a significant figure, who is suspected of acting as a facilitator for money laundering.
The seven were held at garda stations across the capital for questioning about offences contrary to the Criminal Justice Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act 2010.
During the search operation, members of the CAB were backed up by the Emergency Response Unit, regional Armed Support Units and officers from the garda National Immigration Bureau and the garda National Economic Crime Bureau.
A garda spokesman said the operation marked a significant development in the Criminal Assets Bureau’s ongoing investigation into a criminal network involved in the laundering of funds for a number of national and internationally organised crime groups.
Inquiries are continuing to target properties and other assets suspected of being linked to those under investigation.