New challenge to money laundering law


A motor repair and sales business that won a constitutional challenge to money laundering legislation two years ago was given High Court permission yesterday to bring a fresh challenge to a replacement law.

Vehicle Tech, Hillcrest, Cloughran, Co Dublin, secured an extension of time to bring new proceedings over a decision freezing bank accounts containing about €150,000 on grounds of a Garda belief the money was the proceeds of money laundering.

The company strongly denies the claim.

In April 2010, the High Court found the law under which the accounts had been frozen, section 31.8 of the Criminal Justice Act 1994, was unconstitutional.

Mr Justice Peter Charleton was told yesterday by Dr Michael Forde, counsel for Vehicle Tech, that, after the constitutional ruling, gardaí secured new freezing orders over the money under the new law while the Criminal Assets Bureau had taken over as the company’s inspector of taxes.

The company had could not move ahead with its new High Court proceedings after being struck off the companies’ register subsequent to the constitutional ruling. It has since been restored to the register and needed more time to bring its case.