Wednesday 22 January 2020

'Man arrested in operation targeting Kinahan gang had watches worth €80k', court hears

Naoufal Fassih (Credit: RTE)
Naoufal Fassih (Credit: RTE)
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

A Dutch national was arrested in Dublin during a search carried out as part of an operation targeting "the Kinahan organised crime gang", a court has heard.

Naoufal Fassih (35), who is of Moroccan origin, was refused bail by a judge after gardai said a passport and identification card he produced were false.

Judge Cormac Dunne deferred a decision on legal aid after hearing that the €2,900-a-month apartment he was arrested in contained three watches worth more than €80,000 and €13,000 in cash.

Dublin District Court was also told that the runners he was wearing in court were worth at least €800.

Judge Dunne remanded him in custody to appear in Cloverhill District Court next Friday.

Mr Fassih is charged with having a false Dutch passport and presenting it to gardai as being genuine.

He is also accused of having a false Belgian ID card and a small quantity of cannabis and faces two immigration charges.

The offences are alleged to have happened at an apartment at Baggot Street Lower on April 7.

The passport he offered gardai had a false name on it, the court heard.

Gda Eoin Kane said he charged the defendant at 10.30am yesterday and he made no reply after caution.


Gardai had asserted at a previous court hearing that the passport and ID card were false and the accused's solicitor had made his own inquiries about this.

"That would appear the case," solicitor Niall O'Connor said.

The court heard that gardai had objected to bail on the basis that they believed Mr Fassih to be a flight risk.

Defence barrister Keith Spencer said that now the accused's identification had been "crystallised", he wished to continue with his bail application.

"It has crystallised because of the garda detection of his false identity on the passport," the judge said.

Judge Dunne said he was not satisfied to defer the decision on bail and formally refused it.

He remanded the defendant in custody for the directions of the DPP to be made available.

Mr Spencer made a legal aid application, but Gda Kane said that found in the apartment were £300 (€378), €12,825 in cash, one Rolex watch worth €8,350 and another worth €35,000. A third limited edition Audemars Piguet Royal Oak limited edition Michael Schumacher watch was worth €40,000.

"The runners he is wearing are worth upwards of €800. This gives an example of the means of this man," said Gda Kane.

Mr Spencer said he did not think it had been suggested that the items in the apartment were the accused's, and he thought it had been asserted that the apartment owner was the owner of the watches.

The court heard Mr Fassih had refused to answer any questions that were put to him.

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