Ross Browning was described as being the No.1 man in Ireland at the heart of an international crime gang involved in €1 billion worth of illegal activities.
These included Daniel Kinahan, Liam Byrne and Fat Freddie Thompson who is serving life for the Kinahan/Hutch feud murder of Daithi Douglas.
Also named was another trusted Kinahan gang member, Gary Finnegan and his cousin Barry who is the partner of Browning’s sister, Cheryl.
Barry Finnegan is a senior member of the crime gang, according to CAB, while his cousin Gary was previously reported to be the gang senior lieutenant on the Costa del Sol before moving to Dubai earlier this year.
Another associate is Ian O’Heaire – who CAB say was used to buy a property at the centre of the case.
Other associates named were Stephen Fowler, jailed for a €880,000 cannabis grow house and last year convicted for his role in a plot to kill Hutch rival James ‘Mago’ Gately after collecting hitman Imre Arakas.
Another, James Farmer, served a seven year sentence for drugs and in 2019 was arrested over the attempted murder of Lee Boylan in 2019.
It was heard while Farmer was not the trigger man, he was believed to be centrally involved in attack of Boylan who was thought to have shot Stephen Fowler’s son Eric in December 2018.
During today’s case Ross Browning was described being the No.1 man in Ireland at the heart of an international crime gang involved in €1 billion worth of illegal activities.
Browning’s key role in the drug-dealing gang was highlighted at the opening of a €1.7 million Criminal Assets Bureau against him in the High Court today.
CAB’s case against Browning is that various properties, vehicles and jewellery were purchased from the proceeds of crime despite efforts to disguise the origin of the money through various family members.
Counsel for CAB, Benedict O Floinn, referred to affidavits sworn by gardai who also listed Browning’s association with Daniel Kinahan who, with his brother Christopher jr, runs the day-to-day operation from Dubai.
Named in the court documents today was his mother Julie Conway and her partner ex-garda David O’Brien who live in one of the properties CAB says was acquired with the proceeds of crime.
It is one of two houses at a Garristown site where Browning built a family home and renovated a derelict cottage, according to CAB.
A ‘third of a million’ euros was spent on cottage renovations, according to CAB, although Julie Conway told investigators that the renovations were “all me and Dave” including €40,000 borrowed from St Raphael’s Garda Credit Union.
It was also stated by CAB that Julie Conway used a credit card to book flights for various people connected to the Kinahans.
This included a flight from the US for a Kinahan relation in 2014 to attend the funeral of mother Jean Boylan.
Other flights booked including one for David Rock, who it was stated was suspect in the murder of Eddie Hutch, and another for a relation of convicted killer James Quinn serving life in Spain.
CAB’s case is that the ‘co-mingling’ of finances was used to hide the money’s origins and is being contested by family members.
Key to CAB’s case is that a Finglas house purchased by convicted drug smuggler Ian O’Heaire was in fact controlled by Ross Browning.
The Deanstown Road house, bought for €57,000 in 2012 by Browning’s late grandfather William Conway and sold within 12 months for almost twice the price was an attempt to disguise the true origin of the cash.
Paddocks, and an indoor show-jumping arena were built as well as the completely renovated cottage now called Chestnut Lodge.
A number of family members are named in the CAB case as being used to disguise Ross Browning’s involvement – including his sisters Cheryl and Robin, his mother Julie Conway and her late father William Conway
It was heard how Ross Browning’s involvement with the Kinahan gang became known in 2010 during a multinational police operation against them which saw several arrests in Spain.
Browning had worked as brick-layer and had declared himself a gym owner to Revenue, according affidavits open in court today.
It was also stated that he is a close and trusted lieutenant of the Kinahans and is regarded their ‘principal representative’ in this country.
In his role for the gang, he remains “hands-off” and is removed from the actual handling of drugs.
He has flown to Dubai where the Kinahans are based as well as to Perth, Lisbon and Phuket.
Ian O’Heaire, who was used to purchase the Deanstown Road house according to CAB, was jailed after being caught with the haul at Perth International Airport in March 2015 after ingesting 27 balloons of cocaine and attempting to smuggle it into the country after taking a flight from Dubai.
The Sunday World previously revealed how fitness fanatic Browning has portrayed himself as an ordinary gym owner and kept an address at Hardwicke Street flats where he grew up.
He followed a spiritual guru, Dr Robert O’Young, and followed a vegan zen life and had even taken part in an RTE’s Fittest Families show in 2016 which was cancelled.
The case against Browning is part of the massive on-going effort to bring down the Kinahans which recently saw five people, including Daniel and his father Christy, placed on US sanctions list.