Monday 19 August 2019

CAB wants to sell multi-million euro fleet of 114 cars seized in major raid

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Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

THE Criminal Assets Bureau is seeking to sell a multi-million euro fleet of 114 cars it seized in a major raid on a motor dealership in Limerick.

CAB wants to sell the vehicles to "preserve their value" while it pursues a case in the High Court, alleging that the cars are the proceeds of crime.

Ms Justice Carmel Stewart adjourned the case to a date next month for the application on the sale of the cars to be heard.

The proceedings are being brought against two respondents; Stephen Bawn Motors Ltd, trading as Bawn Motors, Old Ballysimon Road, Limerick and Nike Nash of Newcastle West, also in Limerick.

A barrister for CAB said there were 114 cars listed in the schedule of property seized and she was applying to sell them as they were “depreciating assets.”

She had spoken to counsel for the respondents and they had agreed on a timetable for the exchange of affidavits, she said.

“The bureau is anxious to get the sale of the cars dealt with as quickly as possible” due to the cost of keeping them, she said.

Mark Lynam BL, for Stephen Bawn Motors, said Stephen O’Sullivan was the sole director and owner. Mr Lynam had taken instructions and a “very large number of issues arise in this matter,” he said.

Ms Justice Stewart said aside from the substantive matters, the immediate application was for the 114 vehicles to be sold and the proceeds of that would be preserved, pending the outcome of the overall case.

Paul Comiskey O’Keeffe BL, for Mr Nash, said he had not had an opportunity to consult his client, who was served with papers last Thursday.

On the sale of the cars, he said he accepted they were depreciating assets but they were not “perishable goods.”

He also pointed out that they were “heading into the holiday period” when cars are not sold.

A barrister for CAB said all the sale would do is turn the cars into cash and there was no prejudice to the resspondents.

Another barrister said he appeared for another man who had a share in some of the cars, and was applying to be made a notice party.

The judge said she would not do this until an affidavit was submitted.

She adjourned the case to August 15, when the application for the sale of the cars will be heard.

On that date, the court would purely deal with the question of the sale and the preservation of the monetary value of the cars, she said.

The proceeds of crime application would be mentioned on that date.

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