CAB sells €240k home of crime suspect
It took the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) almost 18 years to sell the home of a Dublin man who gardai believed was involved in organised crime.
The Herald can reveal that the Inchicore home of John Kelly (56) was finally sold last month for around €240,000.
In December 2012, CAB was successful in a Supreme Court judgement involving counterfeit clothes dealer Kelly, who had been convicted of possession of cannabis for sale and supply but was later acquitted on appeal.
Lawyers for his partner, who cannot be named by order of the court, argued that she and their two children should be allowed to remain in the house at The Belfry complex in Inchicore as they had a constitutional right to live in the family home.
However, the Supreme Court ruled against her and the property was transferred to the Minister for Finance as a result.
The decision ended a court battle that began in May 1997 when the bureau obtained a short-term freezing order against the property.
CAB also issued tax collection proceedings against Kelly for €378,522 that he allegedly owed in income tax.
In March 1998, the High Court granted an order freezing Kelly's assets for seven years.
In July 2000, he was convicted of having 48 slabs of cannabis resin for sale and supply in May 1997.
His conviction for drug dealing was quashed by the court of criminal appeal in March 2002 on technical grounds and he was subsequently acquitted of any outstanding charges
However, the Supreme Court found this "of limited weight" in view of the concessions that had been made by Kelly during the hearing.
The court also said his partner had given no evidence that she paid for the property.
The judgement added: "One cannot lose sight of the fact that for some 22 years since 1990, and as distinct from many in the community, the appellant has had the benefit of living rent and mortgage-free in the property, which was acquired by the proceeds of crime."