Two Louth men had €70,000 confiscated as proceeds of crime after they were stopped , in separate incidents, at Dublin airport by revenue officials.
Dundalk man 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.
Customs officials found cash gift wrapped with a gift card made out to “baby Paula” in the luggage of Michael Henry Duffy (32), of Fatima Park, Dundalk, Louth.
Mr McLoughlin of Waterview, Dundalk, and Mr Duffy did not contest the two separate applications brought on behalf of the Revenue Commissioners to confiscate the money seized from them, under Section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1994 and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2005
John Byrne BL, prosecuting, told the court that customs officers stopped Mr McLoughlin at Dublin Airport on January 25, 2013.
He told them he was flying to Scotland but it later emerged that he was actually 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.
After searching his hand luggage customs officers found another €10,000 concealed in the pockets of jeans.
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 Eur5.18 million shipment of contraband cigarettes delivered to a Dundalk furniture company .
Counsel said that in her affidavit Ms Smullen outlined that the shipping agent had confirmed that the importation had been arranged by a “Sam McLoughlin”.
Revenue officials stopped Mr Duffy on April 18, 2012 after a cash detector dog reacted to his luggage. Mr Duffy denied at first he had cash on him but later admitted he had €50,000 in cash. When officials searched his bag they found the cash in two gift wrapped packages.
The packages had gift cards attached reading “To Conor with lots of love” and “To baby Paula with lots of love”.
Mr Duffy said he worked as a lorry driver and had borrowed the cash in order to pay down a mortgage in Torrevieja in Spain.
Judge Ring granted the applications and confiscated the cash amounts.