High-flyer Revealed: Face of CAB target and suspected bagman who claimed FG senator assaulted him
Breen White paid €500k to Bureau after pile of cash was discovered at his country pad
June 03 2022 08:21 AM
The man who claimed he was assaulted by Fine Gael Senator John McGahon, cleared of the charge in a court this week, is CAB target Breen White – who the Bureau claimed was part of a prolific cigarette smuggling gang headed up by Aidan Grew.
White purports to be a high-flying businessman who mixes with horse racing’s finest and says he is a simple County Monaghan farmer.
But the Sunday World can reveal he consented to a High Court order and handed over more than €500,000 to the Bureau after a search of his border ranch.
The Bureau took a Proceeds of Crime case against Breen after bag loads of cash stashed in a van in one of his sheds was discovered during a raid on his home.
White never even showed up to court and made no effort to defend himself against the Bureau’s case that he played a key role in a massive €10m-a-year cigarette-smuggling racket made up of former members of the IRA. The CAB believe that he made his fortune washing the dirty money.
McGahon was cleared of the assault charge following a four-day trial at Dundalk Circuit Court after pleading not guilty to assaulting White and causing harm to him in 2018, saying instead he had acted in self defence.
The court heard the case arose after 31-year-old McGahon put his arm around White’s wife Linda when she and her husband were leaving the Rumhouse pub and restaurant.
In evidence White said he had told McGahon to leave his wife alone before finding himself on the ground “getting knocks and bangs about the head”.
During the trial a jury were shown CCTV from the night and heard White told a doctor he had been assaulted by four people and was kicked and punched.
However, a garda said that while McGahon was intoxicated, he wasn’t detained and four months later said that putting his arm around Breen’s wife was totally innocent and friendly.
Fine Gael Senator John McGahon.
The Senator said he had offered an apology to the couple on the night but that Breen had become aggressive, lunged at him but fell on the ground.
After the case McGahon said he was “extremely relieved” and was looking forward to getting back to his political duties.
The Sunday World can reveal White and his wife live in a palatial pad in Monaghan surrounded by security fencing and with vast outhouses and a landing strip for a private plane.
White prides himself on being a family man and has given interviews about the tragic death of his brother in the US 20 years ago.
CAB moved in on White after a suspicious transaction of money from Hong Kong led them to his door. They raided the property and during the course of the search found bags of money stashed in a van in one of the sheds.
In one bag they found stg£192,750 and in another €80,458. Both were wrapped with elastic bands and stashed in black bin liners.
At the time officers suspected that the money – just short of €300,000 – could represent just ONE week’s turnover for the cigarette smuggling gang.
In December 2014, a sum of €240,000 was moved between a bank account in Hong Kong and acompany bank account in the name ‘De Faoite Management Ltd’ – the directors of which were Linda and Breen White.
The company, registered at their luxury home at Drumgarra, Castleblayney, purported to be a property letting company, but CAB believed it was used by the smuggling gang to legitimise their funds.
According to documents put before the courts by the CAB, a number of Mutual Legal Assistance requests were furnished to the Hong Kong authorities relating to bank accounts, which revealed that hundreds of thousands of euro was moved by a businessman in the border region through accounts there.
The documents also claimed some of the funds were transferred to a commodities company which sold cigarettes, while other funds were transferred back to White’s company bank account for ‘De Faoite Management Ltd’ in Dublin, on the pretence that it was to be used to purchase property.
During the course of their search at the Drumgarra mansion, CAB officers discovered a cash-counting machine, along with a notebook containing encrypted accounts linked to the smuggled cigarette trade.
As a result of the analysis of those accounts, the Bureau said they were able to link the cash seized in the shed to the sale of illicit cigarettes. None of the matters were disputed by White, who consented to the court order.
At the time White owned two champion racehorses, including Chillie Billie and Total Demolition, which won in Galway in July 2017.