Court rules that €17k seized in flat owned by friend of Daniel Kinahan are proceeds of crime

Court rules that €17k seized in flat owned by friend of Daniel Kinahan are proceeds of crime
Gardai and CAB officers at an unrelated raid

€17,000 cash found in the apartment of a man described as a childhood friend of Daniel Kinahan are the proceeds of crime, the High Court has ruled.

The cash was seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB)in the apartment of Jeremy Skerritt following a search in April 2016.

In a ruling, Ms Carmel Stewart deemed that the cash was the proceeds of crime, and appointed a receiver over the monies.

Mr Skerritt, aged 42 years, did not contest CAB's application under Section 3 of the 1996 Proceeds of Crime Act, nor was he present in court for the hearing.

He did not claim ownership of the money, nor did he give any explanation where the cash came from, CAB said, adding that he had been put on notice of the application.

CAB argued the money was the proceeds of crime, namely the sale and supply of controlled drugs, and that Mr Skerritt has no legitimate source of income other than social welfare payments.

The court heard the cash was discovered following a search Mr Skerritt's flat at North Circular Road, Dublin 7 on April 7th 2016.

The search was conducted as part of Operation Thistle which CAB said was a Garda operation against members of the Kinahan organised crime gang.

Gardai found the cash wrapped in tinfoil under a mattress in the centre of the living area in the apartment.

CAB said the money was packaged in three bundles of €5000, and one bundle of €2000 all neatly wrapped in tinfoil bundles.

The method each parcel was packaged and concealed was consistent with drug dealing and money laundering, CAB said.

The court heard Mr Skerritt had 22 previous convictions for offences including assault and drug offences and was jailed for 15 months in 2001 for his part in the assault of an off-duty garda.

CAB described Mr Skerritt as a low to mid-ranking member of the Kinahan organised crime and is a childhood friend of one of that gang's leading members Daniel Kinahan.

The court also heard that Gardai found a set of keys for an apartment at Lower Baggot Street, Dublin following a search of Mr Skerritt's girlfriend's home in Oliver Bond House, Dublin 8 also conducted on April 7th 2016.

When Gardai searched the premises at Lower Baggot Street they discovered a Dutch Moroccan man called Naoufal Fassi.

In addition, a quantity of cannabis, a false Belgian ID card, cash, mobile phones, high watches and documents linking the address to the Kinahan organised crime gang was also found in the Lower Baggot Street apartment.

After a brief stint in custody in Ireland Fassi was extradited to the Netherlands where following a trial was jailed for 18 years for his role in organised crime and attempted murder.

The court heard Daniel Kinahan was a named party on Mr Skerritt's motorbike insurance policy.

CAB said the policy, which was discovered in the search of the property at Oliver Bond House came into effect days after David Byrne, who was also a member of the Kinahan organised crime gang, was shot dead in the Regency Hotel attack on 5th 2016.

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