Thursday 23 January 2020

€1.1m seized from associates of 'Slab' goes to State

Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy. Photo: PA
Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy. Photo: PA
Tom Brady

Tom Brady

More than €1.1m seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) from a fuel laundering enterprise run by associates of the former Provisional IRA leader Thomas 'Slab' Murphy is to be handed over to State coffers.

Approval for the confiscation of the assets has been given by the High Court after a CAB-led investigation that began six years ago.

A written judgment is due to be given this morning in the High Court in Dublin.

It followed cross-Border inquiries into the activities of a now dissolved company Base Garage Supplies Ltd which had premises at Ballybinaby, Hackballscross, Co Louth, near the Border with south Armagh, as well as others.

The inquiries, which were initiated in 2012, focused on the profits being generated from the illegal fuel trade and, in particular, the suspected involvement of an organised crime group based in the Louth- Armagh region with close links to former Provisionals.

This culminated in a massive multi-agency search operation led by the CAB the following March. The investigation resulted in the seizure of a huge quantity of documentation, business records and computers as well as a large quantity of cash at two locations. A fuel plant, capable of laundering hundreds of thousands of litres of diesel, was also uncovered.

CAB also froze more than 25 bank accounts suspected of being linked to the laundering operation and initiated action against 21 people and companies targeted by the investigation. Murphy was not included in the group.

In 2016, Murphy, whose farm straddles the Border at Ballybinaby, was sentenced to 18 months for non-filing of tax returns related to farming income.

Irish Independent

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