Browning looks very well, Lovely Coat, Nice Scarf, a man About Town, with that Flashy Look?

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Kinahan cartel lieutenant bought house with ‘8-year-old son’s chequebook’

Claims in relation to Dubliner Browning’s alleged role in the cartel were outlined at the opening of a €1.7million CAB case

Ross Browning leaving the CCJ
Ross Browning leaving the CCJ (Image: Mick O’Neill)

A key Kinahan cartel lieutenant bought a house with his eight-year-old son’s chequebook, the High Court heard yesterday.

It was claimed Ross Browning was “co-mingling proceeds of crime with family members to disguise what he is doing”. And the Criminal Assets Bureau described the 37-year-old as being “at the heart of the €1billion transnational Kinahan Organised Crime Group involved in the trade of drugs, weapons and murders”.

Claims in relation to Dubliner Browning’s alleged role in the cartel were outlined at the opening of a €1.7million CAB case yesterday. The Bureau aims to seize the 37-year-old’s 1.2-acre private estate in Garristown, Co Dublin, as well as two properties in Rush, Co Dublin, and one in Finglas, Dublin.

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They claim these properties “are tainted as they were purchased with the proceeds of crime” in the name of family members.

In one instance, Browning used a cheque from a bank account in his then eight-year-old son’s name to buy a property at Cross Lane in Rush, the court heard. Members of Browning’s family including his mother Julie Conway, sisters Cheryl and Robyn and his late grandfather William Conway, are named in the CAB case, along with Browning.

The family members deny the assets are the proceeds of crime saying the assets were bought with legitimate means. Central to the CAB’s claims is that a house in Deanstown, Finglas, bought by convicted drug dealer Ian O’Heaire, was controlled by Browning.

Browning’s grandfather William Conroy had bought the house, which had been destroyed by fire, for €57,000 in 2012. However, extensive repairs and renovations were completed on the property and it was later sold for double the price in the same year.

CAB alleges money from the proceeds of crime was used to complete the work. And they said cash from the sale was used to buy a derelict cottage with 1.2 acres of land in Garristown where Browning’s mother lives with her partner, ex-garda David O’Brien.

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The cottage – Chestnut Lodge – was extensively renovated while outbuildings, sheds, an equestrian centre were built on the land by Browning along with a new house where he and his family lived. The property underwent €330,000 of renovation and building works, the court heard.

Two further parcels of land in Rush were also identified as bought with proceeds of crime – one in the name of Browning’s mother in 2011 and the property at Cross Lane in Rush. CAB claim Browning is behind both properties. The court heard that during a raid by CAB in February 2018, a blue Audi SUV, a Mercedes van and a Honda motorbike – registered to criminal Stephen Fowler – were seized at the back of the cottage.

Evidence was given in an affidavit by a senior detective that the motorbike was discovered “at the foot of an escape shoot” from an exit from Browning’s house into a shed “was clearly there for Browning’s use”.

Fowler, described by CAB as a debt collector for Browning, initially claimed he asked could he store the motorbike on the premises. However, counsel for CAB said Fowler “hasn’t put in an appearance”. CAB also claim items seized from family members – including a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch worth €25,000, a Rolex worth €9,000, a Breitling watch worth €4,000, a solitaire platinum ring worth €11,300 and a Chronograph watch worth €2,200 – were the proceeds of crime.

The court heard former bricklayer and gym owner Browning came to CAB’s attention in an operation targeting the Kinahans here and in Spain. The Bureau claims Browning is a ‘“close and trusted associate of Daniel Kinahan, is involved in activities necessary to generate large amounts of money and in his role operates on a hands-off basis” to distance himself from detection.

In 2016 Browning became a target of the Special Crime Task Force. CAB claims Browning and his partner took flights to Dubai – where Daniel Kinahan, his father Christy and brother Christopher are based – as well as to Perth, Lisbon, Phuket, Lisbon and Malaga.

Counsel for CAB Benedict O’Floinn said: “The key question is who is paying for the fight. They were booked through an email address of his aunt Leslie Conway.”

The court also heard that Browning’s mother used a credit card in his name to book flights for suspected members of the Kinahan Organised Crime Gang to Malaga as well booking a flight for a female relative of Daniel Kinahan to return home from the USA for Daniel’s mother’s funeral in 2014.

She also booked holidays and flights for Browning and his family which “were not in keeping with a legitimate source of income,” CAB claims.

The case continues this morning in front of Mr Justice Alex Owens at the High Court.

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