Evidence of €4.5m cash from Kinahan to Mansfield may result in criminal charges

Garda sources say money laundering and tax-related charges may follow

Evidence gathered by the Garda about dealings between jailed businessman Jim Mansfield jnr and Daniel Kinahan's representatives could be used to ground money laundering or tax-related charges in the State against Kinahan or his associates, The Irish Times has learned.

A key witness, whose testimony has already been used to secure serious criminal convictions in other unrelated cases, has given detailed statements to the Garda about €4.5 million in cash from the Kinahan cartel being invested in Mansfield’s business.

That evidence was used this week by the Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab) to seize a palatial property in Saggart, south County Dublin. The house, at Coldwater Lakes, was owned by Mansfield but was given to the Kinahan cartel in 2014 as part repayment for the €4.5 million he was supposed to invest in property, though the deal fell through. The witness specifically named Daniel Kinahan when asked who he believed the house passed to for payment of the debt.

The Irish Times understands the outcome of the Cab case and how the key witness's evidence could be used for criminal prosecutions was now under review within An Garda Síochána.

Garda sources said testimony about the €4.5 million in cash from the witness used by Cab could now be crucial in grounding prosecutions for money laundering and related offences.

They added any criminal case would need to generate its own evidence rather than “borrowing” Cab’s evidence. The witness could be re-interviewed about the same matters. Any testimony or evidence they had to offer could be used for a criminal case even if some or all of the evidence had already been used by Cab in its action.

Peripheral evidence

Garda sources said the Cab case was very significant as Daniel Kinahan was named as a respondent in a case in the Republic for the first time. While he had been mentioned in previous cases as the co-leader of the Kinahan cartel, his name and criminal background were included as peripheral evidence as other suspects were being pursued through the courts.

The outcome of the Cab case also meant the High Court accepted as fact that €4.5 million was given to Mansfield, that it was from the Kinahan cartel and came through their intermediary, drugs trafficker Thomas 'Bomber' Kavanagh, Garda sources said.

“This put Daniel Kinahan at the centre of the transaction and as the owner of the money, that’s the evidence the court accepted and it granted permission for the house to be seized after hearing that,” said one source.

The witness who gave evidence for the Cab case set out how €4.5 million was delivered to Jim Mansfield jnr, in two suitcases, on Good Friday in 2009. He said he was present and saw the money. He also named a Kinahan associate as acting as an intermediary between the Kavanagh gang and Mansfield. That man acted as a go-between after the money was effectively lost in the economic crash and efforts were being made to reach a deal to pay it back.

The same witness also told gardaí the €4.5 million was owned by Daniel Kinahan and the Kavanaghs were “nobody and only a go-between”. The witness added a second man, also a Kinahan associate, told Mansfield snr, now deceased, that the money was owned by the Kinahans.

In further testimony to Cab, the witness named three other Kinahan associates whom he said told him “the Kinahans, specifically Daniel” owned the money. He added when the Mansfield house was surrendered in 2014 to repay the Kinahan debt, Daniel Kinahan stayed at the house and that “he got this house arising out of the €4.5 million cash in the suitcases in 2009”.

Kinahan is resident in Dubai and Cab must still serve papers on him before the house at Coldwater Lakes can be sold. Kavanagh – who ran Kinahan's drugs business in the UK and is now serving 21 years for drug trafficking there – must also be served in prison.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times