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Gang boss Christopher 'Git' Russell has home seized by CAB

NewsBy Sunday World
Christopher 'Git' Russell
Christopher 'Git' Russell

One of Ireland's most secretive alleged crime figures, Christopher 'Git' Russell, had his family home in Dublin seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), according to the body's annual report for 2014.

Russell's name features in the report as they publish details of the case 'CAB v. SR and Christopher Russell'.

The case reveals that despite the fact Russell has only one relatively minor conviction to his name from 1992 Judge Birmingham decided that: "I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that Mr Russell was indeed involved in serious criminality over the years."

Russell and his mob are known to prefer to keep a low profile but he was involved in a high-profile dispute with 'Dapper Don' Christy Kinahan over an alleged €1.5m drugs debt.

Russell was repeatedly targeted by Kinahan’s henchmen Paul Rice and Gerard ‘Hatchet’ Kavanagh over the alleged debt.

The CAB case involved a Dublin house that was used as the family home for his wife and two minor children. The Bureau’s case was that Mr Russell had been engaged in serious criminality and the property represented the proceeds of that criminality. 

Russell's wife did not accept that her husband was involved in any form of criminality and it was put to the court that Russell had a legitimate business, with the proceeds from that business providing the income for the purchase of the house.

The house was bought by a third party and given to Russell's wife. Gift tax was paid on it at this stage.

But the court did not believe Russell had any legitimate business.

The judge said: "I do not accept that the second named respondent had any income from a towing business, CR Towing Services. Indeed, I believe that no such business ever existed. The applicant [CAB] has been left in the position of seeking to prove a negative. If such a business had ever operated, it would have left traces. No such business could exist without an entry in the Golden Pages Directory, or a presence on the internet. If it had existed, there would have been records of dealings with garages
or clients and there would have been records relating to the tow truck, but no records whatever has been produced forcing me to the conclusion that such
business never existed. It follows that the tax returns were false and designed to mislead those investigating Mr Russell’s affairs into believing that he had an involvement in a business which would provide an explanation for some or all of the funds available."

The court also made other allegations about criminal activity by Russell.

In the report they say: "No withstanding the complete absence of significant criminal convictions recorded, cogent evidence has been put before the courts of links that
are both close and extensive between the second named respondent and persons involved at the upper levels of serious crime. There has also been evidence linking him directly to the seizure of 40kg of cannabis on the 11th June, 2009, though it must be appreciated that Mr Russell has never been convicted or even charged in relation to
that incident."

The court ruled that Russell's wife made some contribution to the home, via limited earnings and child benefit, and that the house was 'modest' rather than a 'trophy' home.

As a result, she would be entitled to 12.5 per cent of the money made from the sale of the property.

Russell and his mob are known to prefer to keep a low profile but he was involved in a high-profile dispute with 'Dapper Don' Christy Kinahan over a €1.5m drugs debt.

Russell was repeatedly targeted by Kinahan’s henchmen Paul Rice and Gerard ‘Hatchet’ Kavanagh