THE home of a leading figure in a criminal gang is to be sold after the High Court ruled it was bought with the proceeds of crime.
Pascal (also known as Pat) Kelly (48), who the court heard has links to a tiger kidnapping gang and is currently on the run, must also forfeit a 4x4 vehicle, €11,000 from the sale of another car, and around €3,000 in cash seized from the house, "Hillview", Cormeen, Castlerahan, Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan.
The bungalow, on three-quarters of an acre, was bought in 2004 by Kelly for €190,000 and is now estimated to worth between €250,000 and €275,000. He added a number of extensions and horse riding stables at what the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) says was "considerable expense."
Kelly is unemployed and the only tax returns he made were for work as a window cleaner although he also held a taxi licence and claimed to have sold cars and scrap.
It was bought with a Permanent TSB mortgage for €150,000, for which there was no legitimate explanation as to how repayments were made and for which fictitious income documents were used, Mr Justice George Birmingham said yesterday when he gave CAB the go-ahead to appoint a receiver to sell the house following a previous order freezing the assets. A further €40,000 in cash was paid for the house from an unknown source.
The judge said a CAB financial investigator found that a total of €275,000 had been lodged in Kelly's accounts from unknown sources.
Using a lifestyle analysis, in accordance with Central Statistics Office methodology, there would be a deficiency of €537,000 between what he claimed to be earning and what he actually owned and spent, the judge said.
Apart from a brief period between 2003 and 2004 when he was a window cleaner, he had no record of employment, the judge said. "His lifestyle is not at all compatible with somebody who worked for a for a brief period and who has not drawn social welfare since 2004," he said.
Kelly had not engaged in a substantial manner with the application against him by CAB which had made out a case where the court had not option but to make the proceeds of crime orders sought, he said.
The judge noted he had been awaiting trial on revenue offences but had failed to turn up on bail. A warrant was later issued for his arrest which has not been executed as his whereabouts is unknown.
The judge heard evidence from CAB that Kelly had 42 previous convictions, including one for which he received ten years imprisonment for robbery of travel agents. He had links with criminal associates and there was evidence he plays a "leading role in an organised criminal gang", the judge said.
The court also heard Kelly and his associates had access to a number of vehicles which he drove using a general car dealer's/garage insurance policy even though he has no record of involvement in the motor trade.
A CAB officer said in an affidavit a Toyota Hi-lux 4x4, worth €33,000, was bought by Kelly under a false name and address from Kanes of Granard in Longford. The vehicle was later detained on suspicion that it was involved in a tiger kidnapping of a Bank of Ireland official from his home in Swords, Co Dublin, on January 30, 2007.
The judge today ordered the forfeiture of that vehicle along with €11,000 obtained from the sale of a Ford Focus, which Kelly also had also used and CAB said was bought from the proceeds of crime. Further forfeiture orders were made for an amount of cash seized from his home in February 2007, including €2,000, st£865 and small sums in Thai Baht, Czech Koruna and Turkish lire.