Couple with 'affluent lifestyle' to leave home Criminal Assets Bureau says was bought with proceeds of crime
A couple has agreed before the High Court to vacate their home which the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) claims was acquired with the proceeds of crime.
Kenneth Carpenter and Elaine Byrne gave the undertaking before Ms Justice Carmel Stewart to leave the house at Rowlagh Park, Clondalkin, Dublin, by July.
CAB, which has various freezing orders against the couple, alleges Mr Carpenter is active in the sale and supply of drugs, has a number of previous convictions for drugs offences, and associates with known criminals in south and west Dublin.
CAB claims the couple have enjoyed an affluent lifestyle and spent lavishly despite the fact there is no credible explanation for the source of their funds.
The sums of money spent by them do not correlate with their known income, CAB also claims.
CAB had sought an order deeming the house, which was purchased for €317,000 in 2007 as being acquired with the proceeds of crime.
CAB claims Mr Carpenter submitted false information to obtain a mortgage for it. He described himself as being a salesperson with a motor car company earning some €75,000 per year.
CAB said Mr Carpenter did not work for that firm.
CAB claims the house is worth some €220,000 but that some remains €284, 500 remains due and owing on it.
CAB claims mortgage payments made on the property by Mr Carpenter came from the proceeds of his criminal conduct.
CAB officers claimed that extensive works have been done to the house, which has been finished to a high standard. The renovations include the installation of CCTV to the front and the back of the property.
Mr Carpenter had claimed to gardai to have worked various jobs, including truck driver and a plumber, as a courier and more recently had sold items online.
The court heard that CAB officers seized a number of items from the house following a search in May 2017.
During the search, gardai discovered and seized quantities of cash some €20,000 and a bulletproof vest.
When asked about where the cash came from, Mr Carpenter allegedly told the Gardai that the money was his and he was saving it up for a holiday and was considering it giving some of it to charity.
Other items including luxury Rolex, Breitling and Hublot watches, a Chanel handbag estimated to be worth more than €70,000 were also discovered and seized by the Gardai.
The court heard the couple had travelled extensively in recent years.
CAB claims that since 2010 the couple has spent some €20,000 on flights alone, to various destinations including the UK, various European destinations and several trips to the United States, where they went on a cruise, as well as to Mexico and Dubai.
It is claimed that in 2016 and 2017 Ms Byrne purchased thousands of euros worth of high-end designer goods and had a platinum loyalty card in Brown Thomas despite claiming that her only source of income was her lone parent's allowance.
Aside from the house, the court heard that the couple had consented to orders being made under Section 3 and 4 of the 1996 Proceeds of Crime Act. in relation to others items seized from them which CAB say are the proceeds of crime
They included a BMW and a Citron car which were purchased in 2016 in exchange for cash and a trade in.