Man charged with money laundering in connection with 'tiger' kidnapping

A father-of-one has been charged with money laundering in connection with last week's €300,000 tiger kidnapping in Dublin.

Raymond Rea (aged 29), who also has a pregnant partner due a baby in three weeks, from Ryebridge Close, Kilcock, Co Kildare, was brought before the Dublin District Court this evening.

He became the first person in the State to be charged under the Criminal Justice Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act 2010, which was passed into law in May.

Conviction on indictment, which the DPP has directed in this case, can result in a sentence of up to 14 years.

His charge alleges handling, acquiring or possessing €30,000, the proceeds of criminal conduct, on September 4 last at his home address.

Detective Sergeant Joseph Molloy told Judge William Hamill that the accused, who was dressed in navy jeans and a dark blue t-shirt, replied “nothing to say” after the charge was put to him at Terenure garda station this afternoon.

The defendant spoke briefly when a legal aid application was made on his behalf by defence solicitor Padraig O'Donovan.

Mr Rea was asked by the judge if he had a job and replied: “I was employed at the time, I am not too sure if I'm still employed.”

Det-Sgt Molloy objected to bail citing the seriousness of the alleged offence and said the amount of money recovered was a “small percentage of a large sum of money taken in a criminal enterprise”.

He also said transport and a firearm used was still outstanding and the “investigation is still live”.

He agreed with Mr Donovan that he would consent to conditional bail with an independent surety of €10,000, subject to the accused surrendering his passport and not having contact three individuals allegedly connected to the incident.

Judge Hamill imposed the conditions and remanded the accused in custody with consent to bail which the court heard he would not be taking up immediately.

He will appear again at Cloverhill District Court on September 16 next. As conditions of his bail the accused would also have to sign on daily at his local garda station and obey a curfew there from 10pm to 7.30 am.

Gardaí in Terenure launched an investigation following an abduction of the wife of a bank official attached to AIB, Clondalkin, from her home in Domville Drive, Templeogue, Dublin 6, in the early hours of September 2 last.

The woman was taken from her house in a black Volkswagen Golf. A demand was made that the bank official obtain a sum of money from the bank and await instructions.

Just after 12.45pm that afternoon, the woman was released uninjured and sought help from a local resident in Ballybrew, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow.

Eight people have been arrested by gardaí investigating the theft. Last week following raids by gardaí, five men, including the accused, had been held under section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act. Three were released on Sunday night without charge with a file to be prepared for the DPP.

Today, three more were arrested in connection with the investigation when gardaí including the Organised Crime Unit and the Emergency Response Unit carried out a search and arrest operation.

A number of houses were searched in Lucan, Co Dublin and Navan Co Meath.

Two males, who are in their early thirties, and a 29-year-old woman were arrested and detained at Crumlin, Rathmines and Terenure garda stations under Section 50, Criminal Justice Act 2007.

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