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money laundering Graham 'The Wig' Whelan used 5-star hotel and home renovations to launder cash, court told

Graham Whelan (38) appeared before the three-judge court yesterday charged with 10 non-scheduled offences that include charges related to drug trafficking.

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Graham 'The Wig' Whelan

Graham 'The Wig' Whelan

Graham 'The Wig' Whelan

A father-of-four has appeared before the non-jury Special Criminal Court accused of laundering cash through spending at a five-star Dublin hotel and with renovations to his home.

Graham Whelan (38), with an address at Walkinstown Avenue, Walkinstown, Dublin, appeared before the three-judge court yesterday charged with 10 non-scheduled offences that include charges related to drug trafficking.

The court was told that Mr Whelan refused to deal with the arresting officer when he tried to explain the charges to him.

Mr Whelan is charged with converting, transferring, handling, acquiring, possessing or using money in the amounts of €1,275 and €2,140 at the Intercontinental Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, on January 31, 2019.

He is alleged to have done this knowing or believing or being reckless as to whether the property was the proceeds of criminal conduct.

The amount of €2,140 was paid for a room at the five-star hotel.

He is also charged with converting, transferring, handling, acquiring, possessing or using an Audemers Piguet Royal Oak Gentleman's watch at the same time and location.

Mr Whelan is further charged with possessing or controlling an article to wit a tick list in circumstances giving rise to a reasonable inference that he possessed or controlled it for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation, facilitation or instigation of a drug trafficking offence on the same occasion.

Among other charges, he is also charged with possessing cocaine and cannabis in a room at the hotel on the same date.

He is also charged with possessing cannabis on Walkinstown Avenue on May 1, 2019.

The defendant is further charged with concealing and disguising the true nature or source of money used in the improvement and/or refurbishment of property at Walkinstown Avenue between August 21, 2018, and May 1, 2019, knowing or believing or being reckless as to whether the property was the proceeds of criminal conduct.

Detective Garda Donal Donoghue gave evidence of Mr Whelan's arrest, charge and caution.

He told State Solicitor Ciara Vibien that he arrested the accused on Walkinstown Avenue at 12.35pm yesterday afternoon.

The detective said he then met the accused man in the precincts of the court later, where he handed him a copy of the original charge sheet.

He told the court: "I attempted to explain the substance of the charges to him, however he did not want to deal with me."

After informing Mr Whelan that he would be brought before the Special Criminal Court, Det-Gda Donoghue said the accused man refused to take a copy of the charge sheet and a copy of the Director of Public Prosecution's certificate from him.

"I handed a copy of both to the accused's solicitor," he added.

The detective told Keith Spencer BL, defending, that he was objecting to bail.

Mr Whelan stood when the court registrar began to read the 10 charges to him.

Mr Spencer asked the non-jury court for the bail application to be dealt with yesterday as he said the charges clearly related to 2018 and 2019 and his client had remained in the jurisdiction since then.

The detective agreed that the accused was able to present himself at a garda station if he was to be charged.

Ms Vibien told the three-judge panel that gardaí had serious objections to bail and had concerns about Mr Whelan's access to money saying: "For this reason gardaí wish to make enquiries in advance of that."

She asked for him to be remanded in custody until tomorrow morning.

Mr Justice Michael MacGrath, presiding, sitting with Judge Sinéad Ní Chúlacháin and Judge Dermot Dempsey, remanded the accused in custody until tomorrow morning, when a bail application will be made.


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