Ireland: Money-launderer had enough weapons ‘to arm a small country’
25 Nov 2020

A woman and her partner, who was rumbled as he left an arsenal of firearms and ammunition that could “arm a small country”, laundered hundreds of thousands of euro in organised crime cash, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

Forensic analysis of accounts linked to Carol Davis (45) revealed that over €44,000 was spent on travel while €40,000 was spent on a mobile home, the non-jury court also heard. An analysis of accounts linked to her partner Jonathan Harding (48) showed that €52,000 was spent on travel alone, but that gardaí­ had no ability to say who took the flights concerned.

Jonathan Harding (48) of Kerdiff Avenue, Naas, Co Kildare, has pleaded guilty to five charges of converting, transferring or handling property, to wit money, between January 1st, 2012, and December 31st, 2016, at EBS, Bank of Ireland and AIB accounts, the proceeds of criminal conduct.

Co-accused, Carol Davis, (45) of Clonmacnoise Road, Crumlin, Dublin 12, pleaded guilty to three offences between January 1st, 2014, and December 31st, 2016, relating to accounts held in her own name also at EBS, AIB and Bank of Ireland.

The pair had originally been charged with 50 offences but pleaded guilty to a total of eight offences.

A sentencing hearing at the non-jury court on Monday heard that the charges come under the Criminal Justice Act 2010 (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing).

Detective Sergeant Tom Anderson, of the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, told Ms Fiona Murphy SC, prosecuting, that on January 24th, 2017, on foot of a warrant targeting organised crime, gardaí­ went to a business premises in Greenogue, Rathcoole, Dublin 24.

Det Sgt Anderson said that two men were observed leaving the premises while the search was about to be executed.

The witness said that 15 firearms, including a Kalashnikov, a sub-machine gun, and a semi-automatic weapon were found alongside a device to manufacture vehicle registrations, while a stolen forklift and a mobile tracking device were also found.

Harding previously pleaded guilty to the possession of nine revolvers, four pistols, a sub-machine gun, an assault rifle and various ammunition magazines and was sentenced to 10 years in prison with one year suspended in January 2018.

In July 2019 Declan Brady (54), who is known as “Mr Nobody” and who was tasked by senior criminal figures abroad to supervise the weapons cache, was sentenced to 11-and-a-half years imprisonment after pleading guilty to possession of the weapons.

Det Sgt Anderson said that one of the two men leaving the premises was Jonathan Harding and a follow-up search of his Naas home resulted in financial information that led to an AIB account holding €48,553 being frozen by the Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab) before being seized by the State.

Information regarding 13 accounts in various financial institutions were investigated by gardaí­ with five accounts deemed relevant to Harding’s and Davis’s laundering charges.

By Paul Neilan, The Irish Times, 24 November 2020

Read more at The Irish Times

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