Drumm led teams on ‘merry dance’

Dublin District Court has been told that since former Anglo chief executive David Drumm went to America in 2009 he “engaged in a careful and considered and perfectly lawful attempt to ensure that this day never came”.

David Drumm, in striped shirt, arrives at Dublin's Criminal Courts of Justice yesterday for a district court appearance. Picture: Courts Collins

Dean Kelly, prosecuting, said Mr Drumm led investigators on “merry dance” and fought “tooth and claw” to avoid extradition to Ireland.

The former banker was accompanied by gardaí on Aer Lingus flight EI136 from Boston which touched down at 5.10am yesterday. He was arrested at 5.30am and then escorted to an unmarked car which whisked him off to Ballymun Garda Station where 33 charges were put to him.

Dressed in a navy business suit, the former Anglo boss was brought by gardaí to the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin city centre. He then had to make his appearance before Judge Michael Walsh at Dublin District Court.

Det Sgt Michael Prendergast and Det Sgt Michael McKenna of the fraud squad said Mr Drumm made no reply to the charges. Some of the offences can on conviction carry possible sentences of up to 10 years, while others have unlimited terms, Judge Walsh was told.

In the objection to bail, Det Sgt McKenna said Mr Drumm, aged 49, was a flight risk with the “capacity to marshal significant sums of money” despite having €8.5m of debts.

He agreed with Dean Kelly, prosecuting, that Mr Drumm was a “voluntary exile” in the US since 2009 and had not co-operated with the investigation or attempts to arrange meetings to be interviewed at venues in Ireland, the US, or elsewhere.

The State argued Mr Drumm only agreed to return after his bail application in the US failed and before that he led the two investigation agencies in Ireland — The Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement — on a “merry dance” and fought “tooth and claw” to avoid extradition.

Det Sgt McKenna said Mr Drumm had placed himself beyond reach of both investigating agencies.

Mr Drumm spoke briefly when he entered the courtroom and the judge greeted him and asked him to sit down. “Good morning, thank you,” Mr Drumm replied. He then turned and blew a kiss to family and friends in the public gallery of a packed court number three. He then sat down with his hands clasped on his lap.

Documents from his US proceedings were considered by the judge for the purpose of deciding on bail.

Solicitor Deirdre Manninger for the State also said the DPP has directed Mr Drumm must face trial on indictment and a book of evidence was served.

Mr Drumm stood up to move his overcoat to make room for a box of evidence on his bench. His case will go forward to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court and could be split into two trials, neither of which is likely to get under way until next year.

Some 31 of the charges related to his alleged role in the so-called Maple Ten transactions to secure Anglo’s falling share price and two charges in relation to €7bn back-to-back transactions with Irish Life and Permanent designed to strengthen the bank’s books.

There are six types of offences alleged including charges relating to forgery and falsifying documents, conspiracy to defraud, giving unlawful financial assistance for share-purchasing purposes, false accounting practices, and the disclosure of false or misleading information in a management report.

Defence solicitor Michael Staines said Mr Drumm has 47 relatives in Ireland. Four of them were prepared to put their houses on the line to help him get bail. Mr Drumm offered to be electronically tagged but there are no provisions for that enacted yet in Irish law.

The defence solicitor said that if remanded in custody, his client would not be able to prepare for his trial as he would not have access to the electronic evidence.

His wife is putting their Boston home up for sale and she is returning to Ireland in June.

Mr Staines said his client would surrender his passport and sign on twice daily at a Garda station.

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