garda probe | 

€92,000 seized from slain gun victim John Gibson found to be proceeds of crime, court hears

Gardai from the Technical Bureau at the scene as the body of John Gibson (inset) is removed

Gardai from the Technical Bureau at the scene as the body of John Gibson (inset) is removed

Shane Phelan

More than €92,000 in bank deposits and cash seized from a slain fitness instructor before his death were the proceeds of crime, a court has found.

The funds were taken from John Gibson before his death four years ago.

The High Court ruled this week that the money was the proceeds of crime and found an application made by the Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab) in respect of it was not statute-barred as a result of Gibson’s death.

Marlene Walsh, Gibson’s partner and the mother of his two young children, was appointed by the court to represent his estate in the proceedings.

Mr Justice Alexander Owens found she had not succeeded in making out any defence to the bureau’s application.

Gibson was shot dead as he sat in his car outside City West Shopping Centre in Dublin on September 18, 2017.

John Gibson

John Gibson

A man is currently before the courts charged with his murder.

In the case, Cab sought orders in respect of balances in excess of €83,000 in Bank of Ireland accounts in Leixlip and College Green and €5,440 and €4,130 in cash that was seized from Gibson in 2015 and 2016.

The judge said material presented by CAB in evidence established there were reasonable grounds for the belief of Detective Chief Superintendent Michael Gubbins that the seized funds were the proceeds of crime.

“The evidence establishes that the cash seizures related to drug dealing and that the money accumulated in the two bank accounts also had its origins in drug dealing,” the judge said.

“John Gibson was a drug dealer who was involved in organised crime in west Dublin. While his convictions were minor, garda intelli- gence associated him with significant drugs-related activity and with major criminals.”

He said investigations of Gibson’s financial affairs disclosed no plausible legitimate source for the two sums of cash seized from him.

On one of the occasions cash was seized, Gibson was stopped in a car at Balgaddy Road, Lucan, with two mobile phones and bags containing cannabis and heroin on his person and in the vehicle. His passenger also had bags of heroin.

Mr Justice Owens said evidence also established that credit balances in the two bank accounts were sourced from criminal activities and that these balances were indirectly proceeds of crime or were accumulated with property which, directly or indirectly, constituted proceeds of crime.

He said payments to Gibson purporting to be salary did not represent genuine earnings.

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