Ex-model, airport policeman from Dublin extradited to North over money laundering

Man faces charges linked to €180,000 found in his luggage at Belfast Airport in 2018

Mark Adams is charged with three counts of money laundering

Mark Adams is charged with three counts of money laundering

 

A former male model, airport policeman and reality TV contestant from Dublin has been extradited to the North on money-laundering charges after having already been jailed in the Republic, also for money laundering.

Mark Adams (41), of Castleheath, Malahide, Co Dublin, was transported by the Garda to the Border at Newry and surrendered to officers from the National Crime Agency (NCA). Now that his extradition has been completed, which has been sought since last year, Adams faces charges linked to the discovery of €180,000 in his luggage at Belfast International Airport in May, 2018.

Following his extradition on Wednesday, Adams has already appeared before Antrim Magistrates. He is charged with three counts of money laundering and has been remanded in custody until September 7th.

NCA Belfast branch commander David Cunningham said his agency was grateful to the Irish authorities for their assistance in the extradition.

“It demonstrates our commitment to work together to tackle organised crime impacting on both sides of the Border,” he said.

While Adams was initially arrested in May, 2018, when the €180,000 was found in his luggage he was later released on bail. After he failed to return to the North a European arrest warrant was issue for him in January of last year.

However, by that stage Adams was before the courts in the Republic on money-laundering charges relating to much larger sums. In September, 2019, he was charged with four offences under the Criminal Justice Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act relating to his role in laundering some €1.2 million in cash that was the proceeds of crime. At the end of last October he was jailed for five years by Dublin Circuit Criminal Court having been convicted for his role in money laundering.

When he was caught with almost €600,000 at Dublin Airport in 2015 he refused to say where the money had come from.

“If I tell you I am a dead man, even if I don’t tell you I am a dead man anyway,” he said when asked about the source of the cash in the airport

Adams later pleaded guilty to engaging in handling €582,045, the proceeds of criminal conduct, at Dublin Airport on September 11th, 2015. He also pleaded guilty to money laundering in relation to €227,130 at Bank of Ireland, Dublin Airport; €298,280 at PTSB, Main Street, Malahide and €78,990 at Bank of Ireland Credit Card Centre on dates between January 2012 and March 2017.

Judge Martin Nolan said as an airport policeman for 13 years, Adams “knew the ways of the world” and would have been under no illusions that he was aiding and assisting criminal enterprises. He noted Adams had pleaded guilty, made admissions and had no previous criminal record. He took into account Adams’s a work history and that is a good father and family man.

The court was told Adams was addicted to drugs and gambling and that this had “blighted” his life. He was on a career break from his job as an airport policeman when he was caught with the €582,045 in Dublin Airport in 2015. He was on his way to Brussels and claimed the money was from modeling, as he had been on the books of a modeling agency. Records down 253 flights booked in his name in the two years before he was caught.

Adams had appeared in 2010 on the RTÉ TV dating show One Night Stand and audition for Big Brother.