State sells drug baron’s apartment

THE State chalked down another notable success in its crackdown on drug barons yesterday when two luxurious homes owned by one of the world’s biggest cocaine traffickers were put up for auction.

A penthouse apartment the scene of many wild parties hosted by English drug baron Mickey Greene was sold yesterday for €555,000.

But his country mansion was withdrawn from auction even though it attracted a bid of €900,000, the same as the guide price.

The Criminal Assets Bureau, which seized the house, and estate agents Lowe & Associates believe they will get a higher price by placing it on the market to be bought privately.

Commenting, CAB boss Chief Supt Felix McKenna said: "This is what we were set up to do, to target and confiscate the assets of so-called organised crime and the criminals that generate huge profits from criminal activity, in this case drug trafficking."

He said he was satisfied with the price for Greene's apartment, set in a plush complex on Dublin's quays.

His colleague, legal officer Barry Galvin, said the decision to withdraw Greene's mansion in Kilcock, Co Kildare was not unusual given that they were dissatisfied with the sum offered.

An anonymous overseas buyer fought off competition from two other bidders to snap up Greene's apartment in Custom House Harbour, near the International Financial Services Sector.

He said the property offered good value for money, particularly since it included two underground car parking spaces valued at €40,000.

The pad, some 1,100 sq ft, contains two large bedrooms, both en suite, together with a large living room and balcony as well as a state-of-the-art sound system.

The interior design would not be to everyone's taste, particularly the shocking pink and black kitchen.

The place has seen its share of parties Lowe sent two professional cleaners into the property to clean the blackened cream carpet, but to no avail.

The buyer reckoned Greene's other house in Pitchfordstown, Kilcock was worth more than €900,000.

That house, Maple Falls, measuring 5,500 sq ft, is set on four acres and boasts five bedrooms, three reception rooms, sauna room, snooker room and a heated indoor swimming pool, with an all-weather tennis court outside.

The main corridor of the house is some 62 ft long.

Under the law, the €555,000 from the sale of Greene's apartment will be placed in a Revenue account for seven years, after which time it will go to the Exchequer.

It is understood Greene agreed by consent to the sale of the two properties and is now thought to be living in Spain.

Greene, 60, left Ireland after his involvement in a fatal traffic accident. He was charged with dangerous driving and causing the death of a

father-of-nine, but escaped with a £950 fine. He also knew CAB were after him.

Greene is just one of 15 major foreign criminals based here who have been, or are being, targeted by CAB.

Last month, CAB seized the Wicklow home of convicted British drug trafficker, Geoffrey William Donovan.

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