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remanded in custody Man accused in €500k money laundering case is refused bail

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A MAN has been accused of money laundering after more than €500,000 of unknown origin was found to have moved through his bank accounts.

Chukwudi Okeke (30) is alleged to have lodged the money for other people, the cash being dispersed outside the State and now unaccounted for, a court heard.

Judge Gerard Jones refused to grant him bail at Blanchardstown District Court and remanded him in custody for the DPP’s directions.

The accused, a Nigerian national with an address at Navan Road, Dublin, is charged with money laundering.

The prosecuting garda said the accused made no reply to the four charges after caution.

The amount involved in the case was €577,000 and the offences were allegedly carried out at AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB between July 2020 and May this year.

A total of 141 lodgments were made in various amounts to accounts in the accused’s name.

It was alleged the lodgments were made by Mr Okeke.

The origin of the money was unknown and gardaí were not aware of where the money was now, so none of it had been accounted for.

The garda said the accounts had been opened using Revenue and other documents which were found in the accused’s home in a search, and Mr Okeke was in sole

control of the accounts.

The accused came to Ireland in 2019 and had no ties to the jurisdiction, the garda said.

There was a possibility that further charges would be brought.

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Applying for bail, defence solicitor Simon Fleming said the gardaí had arrested his client “without incident” and there was no issue with his identification or documentation.

He was lawfully in Ireland at the moment, Mr Fleming said.

The garda said this was due to be reviewed next month.

Mr Okeke was living in shared accommodation, of a “relatively humble nature”.

Mr Fleming said the alleged offences were of a non-violent nature. There was no indication that the accused was planning to leave the jurisdiction.

Mr Fleming accepted the allegations were serious but said the accused was presumed innocent.

The judge refused bail and remanded Mr Okeke to appear in Cloverhill District Court.

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