Monday 20 August 2018

Revealed: The Monk's €12m property empire that stretches from Dublin to Turkey

Gerry Hutch
Gerry Hutch

Ken Foy

Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch is estimated to be worth between €10m and €12m, thanks to a major property portfolio that stretches from Dublin’s north inner city to Turkey.

The Herald can exclusively reveal today that the convicted criminal has amassed his international property network through a combination of money laundering schemes and shrewd investments.

The north inner city man’s empire includes:

• Millions of euro worth of houses and apartments in Ireland, London and Spain.

• These include his Clontarf house, believed to be worth almost €1m.

• An extensive property portfolio in Izmir and Kusadasi in Turkey.

• A number of residential developments in Bulgaria and Hungary.

• He is also the silent partner in several businesses in Ireland, both in the pub and auto trade.

All this despite the fact that he handed over €1.5m to the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) in 2000 for unpaid taxes, an event that remains An Garda Siochana’s biggest success against the 54-year-old, who is considered one of the biggest criminal masterminds in the history of the State.

The former head of CAB, Felix McKenna, previously described how the bureau landed Hutch with a €1.5m tax liability bill in 1997 after a massive investigation into his finances.

In fact, Hutch was one of the first ever targets of the bureau.

Although the money from the Marino Mart robbery and the Brinks Allied raids has never been recovered, the CAB bill was based on a £300,000 (€450,000) bank account that Hutch admitted to having in Newry.

Mr McKenna told the TV3 programme Dirty Money that Hutch agreed to pay €1.2m in March 2000.

Before his settlement, CAB had said that they investigated IR£4m, which they suspected was the proceeds of criminal activity.

In June 2000, he arrived at the CAB headquarters late one evening and handed over a €500,000 bank draft to part-pay his bill.

He later sold two properties on Buckingham Street and then agreed to deposit the cash at a bank in Talbot Street to settle what he owed.

“He could only be described as ‘a whiter shade of pale’ when he was handing it over. It caused him a lot of grief to part with so much money,” Mr McKenna recalled.

In court, a CAB officer said they hoped the end result of their investigations would lead them to the pot of gold hidden away in properties and bank accounts, but this has proved to be far from the case.

Years later in a TV interview with RTE’s crime correspondent Paul Reynolds, The Monk claimed the settlement was due to his “ignorance” of the State’s tax laws.

“That’s why I paid them that. It’s a crime, so they are probably taxing me on that type of crime,” he said.

“But they didn’t take money off me from security van robberies and say, ‘We want tax out of that’.

“I don’t care what they believe, to be honest, but what can I say? If everyone believes I done it, hands up. I didn’t do them. That’s all I can say.”

In the same interview a decade ago, the multi-millionaire admitted being a criminal but denied any involvement in two of the biggest heists in the history of the State.

Instead, he claimed he made his fortune from compensation claims and subsequently invested funds in the housing market.

“I done a lot of business in property, it was a good time and that’s where I made me money,” he said.

“If people say armed robberies, so be it. I mean, I was questioned about these armed robberies. We’ll let them decide – the people.”

In June 2001, Hutch won a court battle to become a taxi driver after gardai said he was a tax-compliant citizen.

Dublin District Court heard he was unemployed, and as he had left school early and the only skill he had was driving, he now wanted to work as a taxi-driver.

“The only qualification I have is a full driving licence and I like driving,” he said.

He told Judge Terence Finn that it was his intention, if he got his licence, to concentrate full time on taxi driving.

“That would be my first choice. The only other thing I could do would be a labourer and I don’t think I can make much money from that,” he said.

Not long after getting his taxi licence, Hutch set up a limousine service that he cheekily called Carry Any Body (CAB) Limousines, a lampoon on his old adversaries in the Criminal Assets Bureau. Among his fleet was a 28-foot, €150,000 Hummer that could be hired for up to €1,000 an hour.

It was a regular sight on the streets of the capital during the Celtic Tiger boom days, and Hutch’s clients even included former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson, who was driven by The Monk when he visited Dublin in March 2006.

However, when the recession hit, Hutch hung up his chauffeur’s cap and closed down the business.

Throughout this period of his life Hutch also had a prominent role with the highly respected Corinthians Boxing Club in the north inner city and had built up major community links, including a strong anti-drugs stance within the area where he grew up.

After 2010, Hutch was also spending more time at his home on Lanzarote.

When he celebrated his 50th birthday with 250 friends and family members on the Canary island in April 2013, he could have had no inkling of the problems that lay ahead for his family.

He seemed happy in retirement, and why would wouldn’t he, with the massive property portfolio he had amassed.

A senior source told the Herald that he has at least a dozen properties in Ireland, mostly in Dublin, including his family home in Clontarf.

He remains a silent partner in at least five businesses in the capital, some of which are in the motor trade and others are a series of pubs.

Overseas, it is estimated he has a number of apartments in Turkey worth about €2m as well as property in London worth about €2.5m

The senior source also estimated that Hutch has property valued at around €1m in Spain as well as interests in housing developments in Bulgaria and Hungary.

However, it is debatable whether he is now fully enjoying the fruits of his property empire.

Since the capital’s deadly gangland feud kicked off in earnest after the Regency Hotel bloodbath, Hutch has been a man on the run for well over two years and is believed to not feel comfortable staying in any place for too long.

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