A Dublin grandfather on disability benefit has been accused of money laundering by having more than €100,000 in alleged crime proceeds “secreted” in socks and gloves in a hidden compartment under his stairs.
Brendan Colley (54), of Galtymore Close, Drimnagh, appeared before Judge Michele Finan at Dublin District Court on Saturday.
He was charged with an offence under section seven of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 following a search of his home on Thursday night.
Det Garda Brian O’Carroll told the court Mr Colley was arrested, taken to Kevin Street Garda station and “made no reply” to the charge.
The detective objected to bail due to the seriousness of the case and fears Mr Colley was a flight risk or would dispose of allegedly illegally obtained assets.
Det Garda O’Carroll told a contested bail hearing that Mr Colley was accused of money laundering after gardaí searched his house.
He said, “During the course of the search, €102,726 in cash was found. This was wrapped in bundles of €1,000 and hidden in socks and gloves in a hidden compartment underneath the stairs.”
It was alleged gardaí recovered mobile phones and a “copious amount” of weighing scales and bagging.
The detective maintained Mr Colley was “caught essentially red-handed” with a significant sum of cash “secreted under the stairs at his home” and may attempt to flee.
The officer also expected the case to be sent to the Circuit Court, which has broader sentencing powers.
He said the accused had a residence and a partner in Spain and could dispose of allegedly illegally acquired property if released on bail.
Cross-examined by defence solicitor Danica Kinane, he agreed that the accused had lived his entire life at his family home in Drimnagh and accepted it would take a long time before the case was finalised.
The judge noted that family members were in court, and one offered to stand bail.
Pleading for bail, Ms Kinane argued her client had ties to this jurisdiction and was undergoing treatment for health issues.
She submitted that the judge could impose conditions on her client, who did not address the court.
He has yet to indicate a plea.
Judge Finan held that the court could grant bail under “stringent conditions”. He was ordered to lodge €1,000, surrender his passport and provide a new contact phone number. An independent surety was set at €10,000.
Judge Finan remanded him in custody with consent to bail to appear at Cloverhill District Court on Tuesday. Once it has been taken up, he must not leave Dublin, go to Dublin Airport or apply for duplicate travel documents.
He has to sign on three times a week at a Garda station and remain contactable 24/7.
Legal aid was granted after the judge noted he received a disability payment.