THREE men have had more than €100,000 confiscated as the proceeds of crime after they were stopped at Dublin airport by Revenue officials.
Samuel McLoughlin (35) claimed he was carrying the money to buy furniture at a trade fair, but investigators discovered the fair had ended the previous week.
MR MCLOUGHLIN, OF WATERVIEW, DUNDALK; MICHAEL HENRY DUFFY (32), OF FATIMA PARK, DUNDALK; AND PAUL BRENDAN BYRNE (40), OF BROOKVIEW, TALLAGHT, DID NOT CONTEST THREE SEPARATE APPLICATIONS BROUGHT ON BEHALF OF THE REVENUE COMMISSIONERS TO CONFISCATE THE MONEY.
John Byrne BL, prosecuting, told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that customs officers stopped Mr McLoughlin at Dublin Airport on January 25, 2013.
He told them he was flying to Scotland, but he was booked on a flight to Brussels Charleroi airport and was booked on a return flight the same day.
He said that €10,000 he had on him was for the purpose of buying furniture at a trade fare in Cologne. Investigators established the trade fair had finished five days earlier.
Mr McLoughlin said he was in the furniture trade and produced documents and invoices from Everyday Country, a Vietnamese company involved in exporting furniture.
Counsel told the court that Everyday Country was the shipping agent for a €5.18m shipment of contraband cigarettes delivered to a Dundalk furniture company.
Revenue officials stopped Mr Duffy on April 18, 2012 after a cash detector dog reacted to his luggage. He denied at first that he had cash on him, but later admitted he had €50,000.
When officials searched his bag they found the money in two gift-wrapped packages.
On April 22, 2012 customs officers stopped Mr Byrne before he boarded a flight to Murcia, Spain, and found €39,800 in cash in his luggage.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring granted the applications and confiscated the cash amounts.