herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

Designer watches and €50k of cash seized in city raid

Gardai raided the house
Gardai raided the house

Gardai seized €50,000 in cash and a number of expensive watches including Rolexes when they raided a house on Dublin's northside.

Officers from Coolock raided the property at Moatfield Road, Artane, last Friday afternoon after receiving information from the PSNI that a 29-year-old Donaghmede man had been arrested by detectives in the North earlier that day.

Robert Stewart, from Carndonagh Road, has been rem- anded in custody in the North after the PSNI operation in Co Down.

Proceeds

When gardai raided the house in Artane, they found the cash in a bedroom along with a number of watches were seized under proceeds of crime legislation.

Sources said a large amount of documentation was also seized, but there were no arrests.

Stewart appeared before Newtownards Magistrates' Court at the weekend on charges relating to the seizure of more than €121,000 worth of drugs.

He is accused of possessing Class C drugs zopiclone and diazepam with intent to supply, simple possession of a Class C drug, being concerned in the supply of zopiclone and possessing criminal property, all alleged to have occurred on December 18.

The charges arose after police stopped and searched a Renault Traffic van and discovered that Republic of Ireland registration plates on it were false.

Giving evidence, a PSNI officer said his colleagues found three boxes in the back of the van that Stewart was driving, two of which contained controlled drugs.

The officer said all the boxes had been addressed to an Adam Wallace.

He claimed that further inquiries revealed Stewart had been renting space at a nearby storage facility in the name of Adam Wallace. A search there unearthed a further 25,000 sleeping tablets.

Asked by District Judge Greg McCourt what value was attached to the drugs, the officer said that at "£1 per tablet" they were worth £90,000 (€121,600).

As well as the drugs in the van, police also seized €1,000 and a "large amount of documentation" relating to other vehicles and addresses in the Republic.

Dishonesty

Judge McCourt refused to grant Stewart bail because he was "totally satisfied that if I release you, you won't return for trial".

"You are obviously involved in this. It just doesn't ring true that you are driving a van with false plates for a joke and have a false driving licence with 75,000 tablets contained in the van which you know nothing about, from premises rented in a false name - it indicates total lying and dishonesty," he said.

"Even if you were doing it to avoid the revenue in the South, that's still a breach of the law."

The case was adjourned.

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