A Louth taxi driver who travelled to Limerick to collect ‘hot’ cash for criminals discovered that an envelope and a sock he picked up from men at two filling stations contained almost €28,000.
Derek Gallagher, aged 51, of 20 Church St, Drogheda, pleaded guilty at Limerick Circuit Court to handling or transferring money contrary to money-laundering legislation.
He was paid €200 for the run from Drogheda to Limerick in his taxi van.
Detective Garda David Boland said he and Detective Garda Martin McCarthy stopped a VW van on the M7 near Limerick on November 7, 2013.
Gallagher was driving and, on searching a glove compartment, they found a brown envelope with €14,000 in cash and a black sock with €13,950 in cash.
Gallagher said he had been asked by a man in Drogheda to do a run to Limerick to pick up two packages for a fee of €200.
He said this was the first and last time he was asked to do something of this nature.
Anthony Sammon, defending, said Gallagher was a humble taximan who had never been in trouble in his life and was ashamed and embarrassed over what he got involved in.
Gallagher, he said, was used by cunning criminals.
Judge Tom O’Donnell said Gallagher had got involved in a bizarre enterprise collecting large amounts of money in an envelope and a sock. He said gardaí were satisfied that Gallagher acted more out of naivety than criminal intent.
A comprehensive probation report stated Gallagher was extremely remorseful and embarrassed.
He imposed a two-year suspended sentence.
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