Convicted cigarette smuggler ordered to explain source of funds used to build house

UK’s National Crime Agency obtained order at Belfast High Court in first use of an unexplained wealth order in Northern Ireland

A man suspected of involvement in serious organised crime has been ordered to explain to the UK’s National Crime Agency where he got the funds to build a house in Northern Ireland.

Aidan Grew and his wife, Nuala, who now live in Co Monaghan, built the house in Co Armagh which is estimated to be worth about £275,000 (€321,400).

The Grews will now be required to explain on affidavit the source of the funds used to build the house, in the first use of an unexplained wealth order since parts of the UK’s Criminal Finances Act came into force in Northern Ireland in June 2021.

Mr Grew in 2008 pleaded guilty to evading duty on millions of cigarettes recovered during a police and customs operation near Armagh City in 2005.


In a statement, the agency said the order was obtained in the High Court in Belfast on Friday as part of a continuing civil recovery investigation.

“NCA investigators believe that the man, who is now resident in the Republic of Ireland, has connections to paramilitary activity, cigarette smuggling and money laundering,” it said.