A Dublin man given eight years for laundering €660,000 linked to the Kinahan crime gang has lost an appeal against the severity of his sentence.
Paul Carew (42), with an address at Saggart Court Ledge, Saggart, in Dublin pleaded guilty to three counts of money-laundering in the capital on dates between 2014 and 2016.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Carew was caught transporting €191,160 of criminal proceeds in an adapted van at Liffey Valley Shopping Centre in Dublin on August 27th, 2016.
The cash was found in a lever-operated concealed compartment of the van driven by Carew, who was described as “trusted” and “highly involved” in an illicit crime cartel.
Just two months earlier on June 24th, Carew had been arrested at Dublin Auto Prestige Car Wash, Greenhills Road in Dublin, after gardaí saw him placing a box containing €350,000 in cash into a van. This money was also described as the proceeds of crime.
Carew, had previously received a suspended sentence for possessing almost €68,000 of criminal proceeds in 2014.
Sentencing him to eight years imprisonment, Judge Martin Nolan said Carew had committed the "very serious offence" of money-laundering for an organised crime cartel.
“Money is what it’s all about to them. They have to get their money out of the country or move it where they can use it, and people such as Carew are very useful to them and to some degree must be trusted,” said Judge Nolan, adding that most of this money came from drug-dealing.
The judge remarked that Carew had led a “blameless life” until his first offence and had been a responsible citizen and parent, noting that he was doing well in prison and “could be reformed”.
Carew lost an appeal against the severity of his sentence on Monday, with the Court of Appeal holding that the overall sentence was “no longer than the relevant offences merited”.
Giving judgment in the three-judge court, Ms Justice Máire Whelan said money-laundering was an essential component of a criminal organisation’s capacity to carry out serious criminality as the funds are used to advance further criminal projects and enterprises.
Ms Justice Whelan said Carew had claimed he was acting under duress. However, she said “every person is required to obey the law” and Carew was very much a trusted person in the criminal organisation.
She said two of the offences were committed within a close time period and involved ever increasing sums of money.
Ms Justice Whelan, who sat with President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice George Birmingham and Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy, dismissed the appeal.