'sophisticated' | 

Man accused of being key member of European crime group charged over €300k of stolen property

Andrius Parfionovas (39), of Lucan, Dublin, was brought before a special sitting of Longford District Court yesterday evening

Longford District Court

Independent.ie

A man accused of being a key member of an "extremely sophisticated" eastern European crime gang has been remanded in custody after appearing in court charged in connection to the alleged theft of €300,000 of stolen property.

Andrius Parfionovas (39), of Oldbridge Park, Griffeen Valley, Lucan, Dublin, was brought before a special sitting of Longford District Court yesterday evening.

The Lithuanian national was charged with 10 counts of handling and possession of stolen property at various commercial and residential properties in Longford and Dublin.

They included 14 outboard Yamaha engines, 14 Hummingbird fish finders, four marine radios, four propellers, eight GPS systems, two wave boards, and £3,115 in cash, amounting to a total of £48,000.

Those items, the court heard, had been allegedly stolen from a house in Omagh, Co Tyrone, barely 12 hours before the accused was arrested by gardaí at a property he had been renting in Granard, Co Longford.

Mr Parfionovas was further charged with handling a stolen Renault Master Van valued at €20,000 which had been fitted with false plates after it had also been allegedly stolen from a property at Edenderry, Co Offaly, on July 25.

The accused was further charged with handling a string of alleged stolen car components, among which included parts belonging to a BMW M5 181 registered car valued at €90,000 after it too was allegedly stolen in Navan, Co Meath, on July 5.

Mr Parfionovas was arrested by gardaí at a property being rented by the accused in Granard on Tuesday and detained under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Detective Sergeant Keelan Brennan gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution, revealing how the accused made no reply when each of the charges were put to him at Longford garda station shortly before 11.30pm last night.

During a near two-hour contested bail hearing, presiding Judge Bernadette Owens was told that when gardaí carried out a search of Mr Parfionovas' leased property in Granard, they found the accused washing clothes in a washing machine, hours after the burglary in Omagh had been reported.

He said a number of cloned registration plates and keys linked to a number of other properties were found including those belonging to a commercial premises in Lacken, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford and a unit at Citywest, Dublin.

Both of these properties, together with the house in Granard were all being leased by the accused at a combined total of €1,900 a month, the court was told.

The accused was also renting a property with his long term partner in Lucan at a cost of €600 a month, a residence which was also searched by gardaí as part of the investigation.

Detective Sgt Brennan said Mr Parfionovas claimed to be employed as a painter with a company that has links both in this jurisdiction and in Lithuania.

However, he said gardaí harboured concerns as to the authenticity of the company cited by the accused, adding enquiries were underway to establish alleged links between it and a "highly sophisticated" organised crime group.

The court was further told €65,000 in a bank account Mr Parfionovas shared with his partner had been seized.

It was further revealed that during a search of unit at Citwest, garda uniforms, metro flashing blue lights used by gardaí in the course of their duties and GPS signal blockers were also found.

Car parts belonging to a stolen 172 registered VW Touraeg valued at €40,000 were found at Mr Parfionovas’ family home in Lucan.

That particular vehicle, it was alleged, had been stolen from a business premises in Ballymount, Dublin on June 29.

When gardaí carried out a search of a commercial premises in Edgeworthstown, they found a number of work stations which were suspected of being used for the purposes of an organised "chopshop" operation.

Inspector Paddy McGirl said the State would be objecting to bail on a number of grounds, most notably the seriousness of the charges before the court, the strength of the evidence including how the accused was allegedly found in possession of stolen property taken from a residence outside of the jurisdiction just hours earlier.

He also said the State was objecting to bail owing to fears Mr Parfionovas was a flight risk while there were also fears property allegedly stolen as a result of the investigation's findings could be disposed of.

In defence, solicitor Fiona Baxter said her client upheld the right to the presumption of innocence.

She refuted claims by the State that Mr Parfionovas had no ties to the local community, adding his long term partner who is six months pregnant boasted a 16-year long work history with a creche in Dublin.

Ms Baxter also alluded to how her client's refusal to liberty could be a particularly lengthy one given the time it takes to compile and receive directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions in disposing of cases summarily.

Judge Owens denied bail and remanded Mr Parfionovas in custody to appear back before a sitting of Longford District Court via video link on Tuesday.


Today's Headlines

More Courts

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos