The High Court has ruled €136,000 held in savings accounts belonging to a Portlaoise man whom the Criminal Assets Bureau claim is involved in the illegal drugs trade are the proceeds of crime.
CAB sought the orders in respect of money held in three savings accounts belonging to 27-year-old Charles Darren McInerney of New Road, Portlaoise.
In his decision Mr Justice George Birmingham said he was satisfied the money in McInerney’s accounts, held at Mountrath Credit Union, Bank of Ireland Mountrath and Portlaoise Post Office, are the proceeds of crime. The accounts had previously been frozen by the court, but McInerney denied the money came from any illegal activities.
The judge dismissed McInerney’s claims as to how the cash was generated as being “quite unconvincing indeed.” The judge said evidence was given by both CAB and senior gardai that McInerney was involved in the illegal drugs trade. He had 27 previous convictions including ones for the possession of illegal drugs.
Evidence was given that gardai had found cannabis, a weighing scales and a knife in McInerney’s house. Evidence was also given that McInerney is involved in the sale and supply of controlled substances. A total of €525,000 was lodged to the three accounts between 2006 up until the time they were frozen in 2012.
McInerney’s only legal source of income during that period was social welfare. Mr Justice Birmingham said during the hearing McInerney did not present himself to the court for cross examination on his explanations where the money had come from.
Notwithstanding his failure to attend court McInerney said in his sworn statement to the court he had been left six horses by his late grandfather when he was 15 years of age. McInerney claimed that from his inheritance he successfully bred horses which he sold “at various fairs around the country”.
Following on from that trade he claimed he moved into the car trade business. The money in the accounts was income from those businesses, he claimed.
The judge said the money contained in the accounts was the proceeds of crime, and appointed a receiver over the money held in the accounts.