A Dublin plumber faces up to 14 years imprisonment after being caught money laundering for a criminal gang.
Wayne Reid (aged 29) was caught transporting €48,000 behind the dashboard of a car on the day of a cash-in-transit robbery in Bayside, Sutton, north Dublin in July 2008. Reid was unaware that the robbery had taken place and was acting on instructions he received in a phone call.
The married father of two would not tell gardaí who he was working for, only that they were “a very dangerous gang” to whom he owed a €2,300 cocaine drug debt. He has no previous convictions.
Reid, of North Clarence Street Flats in the north inner city pleaded guilty to possession of the money at Ring Road, Beaumont Hospital on July 17, 2008 and that he was at the time reckless as to whether it was or represented the proceeds of criminal conduct.
Judge Katherine Delahunt at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court made an order forfeiting the cash to the State and remanded Reid in custody until December 6 next for sentence.
Garda Manus Keane told Mr Garnet Orange BL, prosecuting, that following the cash-in-transit robbery garda units were on surveillance duty throughout the north side of Dublin. He said that at 2pm he was stationed in a patrol car at Oscar Traynor Road in Coolock.
He followed a car which left the area and took a route through the grounds of Beaumont Hospital. A decision was made to stop the car and the driver initially gave the name “Declan Gavin” but on producing his driving licence his name was found to be Wayne Reid.
Gardaí noticed Reid was nervous and his breathing was fast and heavy. He was searched and then detained for interview. The car was later inspected by Garda Noel Traynor who noticed part of the dashboard was protruding and on removing it found €48,000 in cash behind the radio and ventilation unit.
Reid told gardaí he had received a phone call telling him to make a collection that day from Oscar Traynor Road. He said he had done it before for small sums of money and that he owed a drug debt.
He was in fear of the people he was working for and would not identify them except to say they were “a very dangerous gang.”
Gda Keane agreed with defence counsel, Mr John Moher BL, that Reid was shocked at the amount of money involved and knew nothing of the robbery that had occurred that morning.
He agreed that Reid had described to gardaí how, after his car was burned out two months before this offence, he received a call asking if he had got any insurance money. Reid said he had not as the car was on hire purchase and was told he would have to pay off his debt by doing collections.
Mr Moher said Reid had run up a drug debt through his cocaine use and agreed to do the collections after receiving threats. He asked the court to take into account his “otherwise unblemished character”, his long work history and the fact he came from a decent family.
He said Reid’s father had “discharged his drug debt” and he was no longer under threat. He submitted that Reid had appeared to have rehabilitated himself and appeared to be at low risk of re-offending.