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Male model wanted in North over alleged bid to smuggle €180k cash

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Mark Andrew Adams is in custody pending extradition hearings

Mark Andrew Adams is in custody pending extradition hearings

Mark Andrew Adams is in custody pending extradition hearings

A male model is accused of attempting to smuggle crim- inal proceeds out of Northern Ireland after he was allegedly found with €180,000 in two brown envelopes while waiting to board a flight from Belfast to Spain.

Mark Andrew Adams (40) was arrested on foot of a Euro- pean Arrest Warrant at his Dublin home and brought before the High Court, where the Irish authorities are seeking to have him surrendered for extradition to Northern Ireland.

Mr Justice Donald Binchy adjourned the case for a bail application and extradition hearings later this month.

The father-of-one remains in custody pending these hearings.

Luggage

Mr Adams is wanted in Northern Ireland for three alleged offences.

Two are that he concealed €180,550 in his hand luggage, knowing or suspecting it to be criminal property, and tried to remove this from Northern Ireland at Belfast International Airport on May 9, 2018.

He is also accused of entering into or becoming concerned regarding an arrangement to remove criminal property from Northern Ireland between May 13, 2013 and May 10, 2018.

Detective Garda Eoin Kane told the court he arrested Mr Adams at his home address at Castleheath, Malahide, at 10.11am yesterday.

He cautioned him, read over the summary of the offences alleged and asked Mr Adams if he knew what they were about.

"He replied 'yes'," Det Gda Kane told the court.

Mr Adams was taken to Coolock Garda Station and was then brought to court.

A barrister for the State said there was an objection to bail and Diarmuid Collins, for Mr Adams, said he was not making a bail application yet.

Mr Collins said his client was due to attend a residential treatment programme, but Det Gda Kane said the centre was not taking residencies this weekend due to the coronavirus.

Judge Binchy advised Mr Adams he could decide at any time to surrender himself to the authorities in Northern Ireland and was entitled to do so.

The bail application will be heard on March 12, with the extradition hearing on March 25.

The warrant states that on May 9, 2018, border force offic- ers stopped Mr Adams at Belfast International Airport, where he was due to take a flight to Alicante.

He was travelling with only hand luggage and confirmed to officers that he had packed the bag himself.

When asked if he was given anything to take out of the country, he said: "Yes, €180,000."

Two brown envelopes in his hand luggage were found to contain a total of €180,550 in cash, the warrant states.

Mr Adams was interviewed under caution on May 10, 2018 and was asked where he was travelling to and the purpose of his trip, his personal background, employment status and financial position.

He made no comment. He also made no comment in relation to the cash found.

According to the warrant, investigators confirmed that Mr Adams booked 497 international flights into or out of the UK between May 14, 2014, and May 9, 2018, and that on 64 occasions the outward and return flights were within a matter of hours.

Expert

A money-laundering expert, Det Sgt Adrian Ward, of South Yorkshire Police, is quoted as saying this was consistent with the act of someone transporting or delivering something between one place and another.

He also said there were "elements of a money laundering system identified within the evidence consistent with Mr Adams acting as part of that system, attempting to smuggle cash as a courier".

During interview, Mr Adams was asked about his travel history and gave no comment, the warrant states.

Following interview under caution, Mr Adams was released on police bail to return on August 1, 2018 and to date has failed to return, it concludes.

Mr Adams was not required to speak during the hearing.