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encro case Cavan businessman Roger O'Grady charged with conspiracy to import cocaine

The car dealer previously handed over around €100,000 in cash and vehicles to CAB.

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Roger O'Grady

Roger O'Grady

Roger O'Grady

A millionaire Co Cavan businessman has been charged with conspiring to import, possess and being concerned in the supply of cocaine and cannabis into Northern Ireland. 

Roger O’Grady was arrested this week as part of UK National Crime Agency’s Operation Venetic – which focuses on the use of encrypted phones.

O'Grady (37), from Brackley Bawnboy, Co Cavan, is the latest person to be brought before the courts after the secretive EncroChat phone system was successfully hacked into by law officials..

The Cavan-based car dealer has been described as a 'colouful' character and previously handed over around €100,000 in cash and vehicles after the Criminal Assets Bureau took a proceeds of crime case against him.

In 2012, the High Court ordered that the assets be disposed of which included a red Ferrari F355 car, sold for €41,900, and a Robinson R22 helicopter for €15,000.

The court heard the businessman, with addresses in Roscommon and Cavan, was alleged to have submitted fraudulent claims to Revenue.

Yesterday, O’Grady was remanded into custody after appearing in Dungannon Magistrates Court.

As well as the drugs charges, O’Grady is further accused of conspiring to transfer criminal property, namely cash and entering into an arrangement facilitating the acquisition of criminal property.

Offending is alleged to have occurred between March 25 and June 15 2020.

O'Grady also faces a charge of having no insurance for a Yamaha motorcycle when stopped by police on July 7 in Letterbreen, Co Fermanagh.

A detective constable told Dungannon Magistrates Court she believed she could connect O’Grady to the charges, however no details surrounding his arrest were disclosed.

In response to an enquiry by the defence, she explained the overall investigation is vast and while there are others to be spoken to, she did not think it would delay O'Grady's case.

The only factor which may potentially stall proceedings would be if analysis is required to be carried out on phones.

While the detective pointed to “difficulties in locating O’Grady”, the defence pointed out he was known to be residing in Co Cavan for some time.

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There was no application for bail.

Deputy District Judge Sean O’Hare remanded O’Grady in custody to appear on August 2 at Enniskillen Magistrates Court by video-link.

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