Judge rules €875,000 held in bank accounts are ‘proceeds of crime’

Criminal Assets Bureau claims Adam Shina Muhammed is involved in money laundering

The High Court has ruled €875,000 held in bank accounts controlled by a man whom the Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab) claim is involved in money laundering are the proceeds of crime.

Cab sought orders in relation to monies held in several accounts belonging to Adam Shina Muhammed, aged in his early forties, with an address at Cherry Orchard Green, Ballyfermot, Dublin.

Ms Justice Carmel Stewart said she was satisfied the monies in the accounts, held at different Irish based financial institutions, are the proceeds of crime.

The accounts were previously frozen following an application by Cab, represented by Jim Benson BL, to the court.

Mr Muhammed did not formally oppose Cab’s application, but in earlier proceedings where he sought and was refused legal aid, he denied being involved in money laundering and claimed the monies were loans for his business called Eirclean.

In her ruling, Ms Justice Stewart said there was no evidence before the court to support Mr Muhammed’s claim.

Large sums

The evidence from Cab included evidence large sums of money had been lodged into various accounts controlled by Mr Muhammed between May 2014 and November 2015, she said.

The monies were transferred to the Irish based accounts from locations including Hong Kong, China, the US and Nigeria.

Cab officers said approximately €1.5million was lodged, via several six figure sums, to the Irish accounts.

Some of the monies were dissipated from the accounts and, when the freezing orders were obtained, some €875,000 remained in the accounts.

The judge said Cab officers had searched for details about Mr Muhammed’s company in Ireland and abroad and could find no records to show the company had been trading.

Cab said the firm had no business premises, no employee records and no returns with Revenue. Searches abroad also failed to produce any records about the company Eirclean, she added.

In all the circumstances, she was satisfied to make an order under Section 3 of the 1996 Proceeds of Crime Act declaring the monies are proceeds of crime. She also appointed a receiver over the monies.