Kinahan chief Ross Browning bought luxury €1.4m properties with crime cash, judge rules

Browning was described as being “at the heart” of an international crime gang involved in €1 billion worth of illegal activities

Convicted criminal Ross Browning at the CCJ in Dublin.Browning is a close associate of Daniel Kinahan..Pic by Padraig O'Reilly 23 Nov 2016

Ross Browning

Ross Browning

Ross Browning's mother, Julie Conway

Eamon DillonSunday World

A judge has ruled properties linked to Ross Browning, described as the Kinahan Cartel’s No.1 man in Ireland, were bought with the proceeds of crime.

In his judgement today Judge Alex Owens, in the $1.7 million Criminal Assets Bureau case, said the evidence supported the case criminal cash was used to acquire and renovate his luxury home.

CAB’s case against Browning was that vehicles and jewellery were also bought from the proceeds of crime despite efforts to disguise the origin of the money through family members.

While Browning did not contest the case, members of his family denied CAB’s claim and said that money used came from legitimate sources.

Judge Owens found that CAB’s case that the property at Naul and the renovations carried out there was done “with money supplied by Ross Browning which represented proceeds of crime.”

Ross Browning

CAB had sought to have Browning’s luxury house and compound cleared with the proceeds of crime – along with a renovated cottage on the property.

Paddocks, and an indoor show-jumping arena were built as well as the completely renovated cottage now called Chestnut Lodge.

His home even featured an escape chute at the bottom of which a motorbike was parked.

Browning’s association with Daniel Kinahan who, with his brother Christopher jr, runs the cartel’s day-to-day operations from Dubai was highlighted in the High Court case.

Also named in the court documents was his mother Julie Conway and her partner ex-garda David O’Brien who lived in one of the properties CAB says was acquired with the proceeds of crime.

Ross Browning

There were two houses at a Garristown site where Browning built a family home and renovated a derelict cottage, according to CAB.

They stated a ‘third of a million’ euros was spent on cottage renovations although Julie Conway told investigators that the renovations were “all me and Dave” including €40,000 borrowed from St Raphaels Garda Credit Union.

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.

Browning’s key role in the drug-dealing gang was highlighted at the opening of a €1.7 million CAB against him in the High Court last October.

He was described as being “at the heart” of an international crime gang involved in €1 billion worth of illegal activities.

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.

Ross Browning's mother, Julie Conway

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 as their ‘principal representative’ in this country.

In his role for the gang he remains ‘hand-offs' 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.

The case also revealed the Kinahans were linked to the violent Mr Flashy gang through a convicted drug dealer Browning was said to have used by a house in Finglas.

CAB’s case was that the house purchased by 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.

O’Heaire was jailed after being caught 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.

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