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Kildare student charged in major gangland money-laundering investigation

It was previously heard that Akeen Ahmed had €22,000 in stolen money, taken in ‘smishing’ attacks on AIB customers

Naas District Court

Ken FoyIndependent.ie

A college student has appeared in court charged as part of a major gangland money-laundering investigation.

Akeen Ahmed (20) who is from Athy but has an address of Elsmere Close, Naas, Co Kildare, appeared at Naas District Court last Thursday.

Mr Ahmed was charged in court with offences contrary to Section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006.

It is alleged that Mr Ahmed “with knowledge of the existence of a criminal organisation, and with the intention of enhancing the ability of the said criminal organisation, or any of its members, to commit a crime or serious offence, namely money laundering, participated in or contributed to activities connected with the said offences contrary to Section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006”.

It is alleged to have happened from February 1, 2020, to June 19, 2022.

He was also charged with driving without insurance or a driving licence at Toughers Industrial Estate in Newbridge, Co Kildare, on April 4 last year.

Mr Ahmed was remanded in continuing custody after the brief court hearing but is expected to make a bail application.

Evidence of arrest, charge and caution was given by Detective Stephen Kelly of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB).

The defendant is also facing charges related to money laundering as part of the same GNECB investigation after appearing before Dublin District Court last September.

On that occasion, the court heard that Mr Ahmed had €22,000 in stolen money, taken during a series of ‘smishing’ attacks on AIB customers.

Detective Kelly told Judge Bryan Smyth that bank customers were contacted by text messages purporting to be from AIB.

It allegedly happened over four weeks, between the end of December 2020 and January 2021.

The court heard it resulted in seven bank account holders transferring a total of €92,988 to other accounts.

Mr Ahmed faces charges for possessing stolen money totalling €22,000 which he allegedly withdrew or transferred using ATMs in Dún Laoghaire and in Co Kildare. CCTV evidence has been obtained, the court heard.

There was an objection to bail based on the seriousness of the case and flight-risk concerns. However, the GNECB detective accepted that the accused was born and raised in Ireland and had ties here. His family had property in Nigeria but he has not been there since he was aged 10, the court was told.

Mr Ahmed is the third person to be charged with gangland-type offences as part of the GNECB investigation.


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