Kildare trio charged with 68 money laundering offences

ireland
Declan Brady is charged with 16 non-scheduled offences, his wife Deirdre Brady is charged with 36 non-scheduled offences and Erika Lukacs is charged with 16 non-scheduled offences
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Alison O’Riordan

A Kildare man, his wife and another woman have been charged this morning at the non-jury Special Criminal Court with a total of 68 crime cash laundering offences spanning five years.

All 68 charges, which involve amounts ranging from €2,000 to €269,000, were read out to the three accused by the court registrar, which took nearly two hours.

Declan Brady (54), with an address at The Park, Wolstan Abbey, Celbridge, Co Kildare, his wife Deirdre Brady (53), of The Bailey, Castelfarm, Naas, Co Kildare and another woman Erika Lukacs (37), of Lakelands, Naas, Co Kildare appeared before the three-judge court today.

Declan Brady is charged with 16 non-scheduled offences, his wife Ms Brady is charged with 36 non-scheduled offences and Ms Lukacs is charged with 16 non-scheduled offences. All the charges come under Section 7 of Criminal Justice Act 2010 and relate to money laundering and terrorist financing within the State.

Alleged money laundering

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Under Section 7 of the Act, "a person commits an offence if the person engages in acts in relation to property that is the proceeds of criminal conduct in concealing or disguising the true nature, source, location, disposition, movement or ownership of the property in converting, transferring, handling, acquiring, possessing the property".

The alleged offences all occurred within the State between January 1st, 2012 and January 24th, 2017, inclusive.

Declan Brady is charged with concealing cash to the value of €2,000 and £10,000 sterling within a breadbin at The Dairy, Rathasker Road, Naas, Co Kildare on January 24th, 2017, knowing or believing or being reckless as to whether the property was the proceeds of crime. He is also charged with concealing cash to the value of €268,940 in the attic of The Dairy, Rathasker Road, Naas, Co Kildare on the same date.

Ulster Bank and PTSB

He is further charged with concealing, disguising, converting, transferring, handling, acquiring, possessing or using money credited to Ulster Bank Account and Permanent TSB, in the names of Declan Brady and Deirdre Brady, on various dates between January 1st, 2014 and December 31st, 2016, within the State, knowing or believing or being reckless as to whether the property was the proceeds of criminal conduct.

In addition, he is charged with possessing, using, converting, transferring or handling €27,265 in discharging sums due and owing to the Druids Glen Hotel in Co Wicklow, on dates between May 1st and May 4th, 2015, the proceeds of criminal conduct.

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Ms Brady is charged with converting, transferring, handling, acquiring, possessing, using, concealing and disguising the true nature or source of money credited to Ulster Bank, Allied Irish Bank and Permanent TSB on various dates between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016, within the State, knowing or believing or being reckless as to whether the property, in the names of Deirdre Brady and Declan Brady, was the proceeds of criminal conduct.

Cash in breadbin

Along with Mr Brady, Ms Lukacs is also charged with concealing cash to the value of €2,000 and UK£10,000 within a breadbin at a premises known as The Dairy, Rathasker Road, Naas, Co Kildare on January 24, 2017, knowing or believing or being reckless as to whether the property was the proceeds of crime. She is also charged with handling and/or possessing €268,940 in the attic of the said premises on the same occasion, the proceeds of crime.

She is further charged with converting, transferring, handling, acquiring, possessing, using, concealing and disguising the true nature or source of money credited to Allied Irish Bank various dates between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016, within the State, knowing or believing or being reckless as to whether the property, in the name of Erika Lukacs, was the proceeds of criminal conduct.

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Three detectives, from the National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB), gave evidence to the Special Criminal Court of their arrest, charge and caution.

Detective Garda Paul Kane told State Solicitor Ciara Vibien that he applied for a warrant yesterday for Brady to be produced in court today. The detective said he met the accused man in the precincts of the court today, where he handed him a copy of the original charge sheet, which was explained to him.

Brady, who appeared before the court wearing a wax jacket and trousers, stood as requested when the court registrar began to read the 16 charges to him.

Charge sheet

Detective Garda Fiona Connaughton told Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, that she met Ms Brady in the confines of the court this morning and executed the warrant. The officer said she read over the 36 charges to Ms Brady prior to the court sitting this today, explained the substance of the charges to her and handed her a copy of the original charge sheet.

Sergeant Tom Anderson said he met Ms Lukacs by arrangement at 9.50am this morning in the body of the Criminal Courts of Justice building, where he arrested her. Following the execution of the warrant, Sgt Anderson said he read over the charges to her.

Following this, Ms Vibien explained that three books of evidence were ready to be served on the accused and said a USB key containing the exhibits were attached to the books of evidence.

Mr Justice Hunt, sitting with Judge Gerard Griffin and Judge Flann Brennan, listed the case for mention again on March 24, when it is expected there will be applications for free legal aid for the three accused.

There was no objection to bail for Ms Brady and Ms Lukacs, who had a warrant executed upon them, by arrangement, before the court hearing. They were each remanded in custody until March 24 with consent to bail on their own bond of €10,000 and subject to a number of conditions, including the requirement to provide a phone number to gardai at which they can be contacted and not to surrender their passport nor to apply for a new or duplicate one.

Co-accused Brady was remanded in custody to the same date.

 

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