Gardai remain unable to locate a businessman being pursued by NAMA in its effort to enforce a €24m judgment against him, the Commercial Court was told yesterday.
There was no sign of life when gardai attended at John Shee's home at South Circular Road, Limerick city, and discussions with various relatives of his had not resulted in any information about his whereabouts, Sergeant Gearóid Thompson said. There has also been an all ports entry and exit alert in relation to him, the sergeant said.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly said there appeared to be "a kind of conspiracy of silence" concerning Mr Shee's whereabouts and it appeared there was very little more the gardai could do in this matter of civil contempt.
The judge said he would leave in being the court's order directing gardai to continue efforts to find and arrest Mr Shee for the purposes of bringing him before the court to explain why he should not be jailed for contempt of an order requiring him to provide a sworn statement of his assets and liabilities.
On January 27 last, Andrew Fitzpatrick, for NAMA, had secured an order directing gardai to arrest Mr Shee arising from his failure to adhere to the terms of a court order requiring him to provide a statement of affairs by January 6.
The matter was returned to February 10 and again to yesterday when Sergeant Thompson, stationed at Roxboro Road, Limerick, outlined a series of further unsuccessful efforts to locate the businessman, including attendance at various properties in Dublin and Limerick.
Sgt Thompson said an entry and exit alert had been issued for all ports but, he noted, a person may leave the country without using a passport. Mr Shee was not known to the gardai and, without more firm information, he considered it would be fruitless to attend at several other properties around Ireland which had been referred to, he added.
Mr Fitzpatrick said NAMA was very frustrated it had not proven possible to locate Mr Shee but it appeared little more could be done at present.
NAMA had obtained the orders requiring Mr Shee to provide a sworn statement of his assets and liabilities, plus relevant books and records, for use in a court examination of Mr Shee about his financial affairs, which had been scheduled for February 7.
The examination was sought arising from a failure by Mr Shee and others to make repayments under a €24m judgment obtained against them in March 2011. The judgment related to unpaid loans advanced by Allied Irish Banks and was later transferred to NAMA.
* In a separate case before Mr Justice Kelly, a businessman consented to a €19.5m judgment order being entered against him in favour of a NAMA company.
He granted judgment for €19.5m against Eugene McManemy, Dunguir, North Circular Road, Limerick.