herald

Saturday 19 October 2019

Conman found with 60 guns hasn't paid a cent to fraud victims

Robert Keogh is facing a lengthy sentence in the UK
Robert Keogh is facing a lengthy sentence in the UK

A 37-year-old Dublin criminal who was found with 60 firearms in his car at the port of Dover in England last month is due to appear before a district court this morning on separate fraud-related charges.

However, Robert Keogh will not be present in Dun Laoghaire District Court today because he is locked up in the UK and facing a lengthy custodial sentence there.

The Herald can reveal that gardai plan to "finalise" their case against Keogh today, even though he will be absent.

The convicted conman has paid not one cent back to his victims, even though he promised to reimburse them at a court sitting last September.

Groomed

"This fella is likely to be jailed for up to a decade in the UK next month, so it is highly unlikely at this stage that the three victims in the latest case will ever get any cash off him," a senior source said.

"Gardai are still trying to get to the bottom of the gun seizure in the UK, but are in no doubt Keogh was groomed and promised all sorts while serving a jail sentence for his conman activities.

"He might be considered as something of a soft touch in the world of organised crime, but there is no doubt that this individual has hurt a lot of people with his crimes."

Dun Laoghaire District Court previously heard that the gambler and serial conman duped football fans into handing over money for non-existent tickets to Premier League matches, but promised to repay his victims.

Keogh (36) told gardai "I can't apologise enough" when questioned about the scam.

At Dun Laoghaire District Court last September, Keogh admitted six counts of inducing others to hand over cash with the intention of making a gain, on dates between December 2015 and September last year.

Judge Anne Watkin adjourned sentencing to allow Keogh to bring compensation to court, but the victims have not been paid.

At the time, Keogh was serving a 12-month sentence after he admitted similar offences before Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in April last year.

Keogh, of Hazelbury Green, Clonsilla, conned his victims out of a total of €1,950 after he advertised the fake tickets online.

They lost their money after meeting him and handing it over.

He told them they would get the tickets for Liverpool matches later.

The incidents all took place at agreed meeting spots, mostly in hotel car parks in the Leopardstown area.

Keogh was due for release from prison last January. Seven months later he was busted in England with the huge guns haul.

Debt

He had the promise of a job and intended to "pay back every single penny" to his victims.

Keogh's potential sentence here will be insignificant compared with what he is likely to receive at Canterbury Crown Court on October 11.

He was stopped by officers from the UK Border Force on August 2.

An initial search of his Volkswagen Passat uncovered a Turkish blank handgun, which had its barrel converted to fire live ammunition. It was hidden in the car's rear-left panel.

Fifty-nine other firearms were then found deep inside the car's bumper and both rear panels.

Keogh told officers from the UK's National Crime Agency that he had a €3,000 gambling debt, but said he did not know there was anything hidden in the car.

He said he was returning from Europe where he had "just been driving around".

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