Money laundering trial jury sworn in

A jury has been sworn in for the trial of a Cork financial advisor accused of laundering money arising out of the notorious robbery of the Northern Bank in Belfast in 2004.

Timothy Cunningham, aged 65, of Woodbine Lodge, Farran, Co Cork, was arraigned at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday on a total of nine charges of money-laundering. He pleaded not guilty to all counts. The charges relate mainly to allegedly transferring cash to named individuals.

Tom O’Connell, prosecuting, who said the case concerned over £600,000 (€730,000) outlined the framework of the anticipated evidence for the jury and Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin, making it clear that this outline was not itself evidence.

A total of £26.5m was robbed from the Northern Bank cash centre in Belfast on December 20, 2004, in £20 Northern sterling notes.

“The prosecution is concerned with events which took place in Cork from mid to late January 2005 and the middle of February 2005. What the prosecution in essence say is that sterling which emanated from the robbery was used by the accused, Timothy Cunningham, in Cork, over a period of two to three weeks, about five to six weeks after the robbery, and at the time he used this sterling he knew… or was reckless about whether it came from the robbery at the Northern Bank.

“Based on circumstantial evidence and a certain amount of inference, Timothy Cunningham knew or believed or thought this money emanated from the robbery or was reckless as to whether this money came from this criminal source.”

The first count states on January 15, 2005, at Tullamore, Co Offaly, knowing £100,040 the proceeds of a robbery at the Northern Bank Cash Centre, Donegall Square West, Belfast, on December 20, 2004, or being reckless as to whether it represented such proceeds, used the property to transfer it to a named person.

The second count relates to February 7, 2005, at Ballincollig and that knowing or being reckless as to whether £175,360 represented proceeds of the same robbery, used it by transferring it to another named person thereby obtaining three cheques to a total value of €200,000.

The next charge also relates to February 7, 2005, when in similar circumstances €56,000 was transferred to someone else. Fourthly, he is charged with lodging two cheques to a total of €144,000 to his account at Agricultural Credit Corporation, Wicklow, on February 7, 2005.

Charge five states that on January 21, 2005, at Farran, £200,000 was transferred to another person.

Charge six relates to a €10,000 Mitsubishi Pajero, again allegedly representing proceeds of the Northern Bank robbery, transferred to another person with the intention of concealing or disguising its source on January 21, 2005. Charge seven is a similar count of allegedly transferring a Honda Civic valued €5,000 to another person on January 28, 2005.

There is another charge related to a €6,000 Nissan Pulsar allegedly transferred to another person on January 15, 2005.

Finally, there is a charge that on February 2, 2005, £100,060 was transferred to another person in Tullamore.

The trial continues today.


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