Man accused of laundering money through spending at Dublin hotel

Father (38) allegedly used proceeds of crime to pay for renovations at his house

Graham Whelan is charged with converting, transferring, handling, acquiring, possessing or using money in the amounts of €1,275 and €2,140 at the Intercontinental Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, on January 31st, 2019, knowing or believing or being reckless as to whether the money was the proceeds of criminal conduct.. The hotel is not accused of any wrongdoing. File photograph Nick Bradshaw

Graham Whelan is charged with converting, transferring, handling, acquiring, possessing or using money in the amounts of €1,275 and €2,140 at the Intercontinental Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, on January 31st, 2019, knowing or believing or being reckless as to whether the money was the proceeds of criminal conduct.. The hotel is not accused of any wrongdoing. File photograph Nick Bradshaw

 

A man has appeared before the non-jury Special Criminal Court on Monday accused of laundering money through spending at a five-star south Dublin hotel and by carrying out renovations to his home.

Graham Whelan (38), with an address at Walkinstown Avenue, Walkinstown, Dublin 12, appeared before the three-judge court charged with 10 non-scheduled offences that include charges related to drug trafficking.

The court was told that Mr Whelan refused to deal with the arresting officer when he attempted to explain the substance of the charges to him.

Mr Whelan is charged with converting, transferring, handling, acquiring, possessing or using money in the amounts of €1,275 and €2,140 at the Intercontinental Hotel, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, on January 31st, 2019, knowing or believing or being reckless as to whether the money was the proceeds of criminal conduct. The €2,140 was paid for a room at the hotel. The hotel is not accused of any wrongdoing.

The accused man is also charged with converting, transferring, handling, acquiring, possessing or using an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Gentleman’s watch at the same time and location.

Mr Whelan is further charged with possessing or controlling a tick list and a mobile phone in circumstances giving rise to a reasonable inference that he possessed or controlled it for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation, facilitation or instigation of a drug trafficking offence on the same occasion.

In addition, Mr Whelan is charged with possessing cocaine and cannabis in a room at the hotel on the same date. He is also charged with possessing cannabis on Walkinstown Avenue on May 1st, 2019.

The defendant is further charged with concealing and disguising the true nature or source of money used in the improvement and/or refurbishment of his home between August 21st, 2018, and May 1st, 2019, knowing or believing or being reckless as to whether the money was the proceeds of criminal conduct.

Det Garda Donal Donoghue gave evidence to the Special Criminal Court of Mr Whelan’s arrest, charge and caution. He told State solicitor Ciara Vibien that he arrested the accused on Walkinstown Avenue at 12.35pm on Monday afternoon.

The detective told Keith Spencer, defending, that he was objecting to bail.

Mr Spencer asked the court for the bail application to be dealt with on Monday as he said the charges clearly related to 2018 and 2019 and his client had remained in the jurisdiction since then.

The detective agreed with counsel that his client’s solicitor had previously written to gardaí indicating that the accused was able to present himself at a Garda station if he was to be charged.

Ms Vibien told the three-judge panel that gardaí had serious objections to bail and had concerns about Mr Whelan’s access to money. The State solicitor asked for the accused man to be remanded in custody until Wednesday morning.

The defence barrister said his client only proposed to reside at his home address in Walkinstown, where he cared for his four children and explained to the court that the accused man’s wife had passed away recently.

Mr Justice Michael MacGrath, sitting with Judge Sinéad Ní Chulachain and Judge Dermot Dempsey, remanded the accused in custody until Wednesday morning, when a bail application will be made to the court.