| 5.3°C Dublin

Mosney squatter 'had access to bank account's €500k'

Close

Accused man claimed he was squatting at Mosney

Accused man claimed he was squatting at Mosney

Accused man claimed he was squatting at Mosney

A man who was squatting at an asylum seekers' centre while he allegedly had access to €500,000 has been refused bail on theft charges related to a money laundering investigation.

John Sankeni (40), who has no fixed address, appeared before Judge John Lindsay at Dublin District Court yesterday after his arrest by members of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau.

He faced two charges of theft of €4,500 and €1,500 from a Greek shipping company at a bank in west Dublin on July 7, 2016. He also had a connected charge for failing to give gardai his correct address.

He was arrested as he attended offices of the Garda National Immigration Bureau in Dublin in relation to immigration matters.

He was taken to Irishtown garda station and charged.

Gda Sean Byrne said the accused replied "OK" after each charge was put to him. Further charges in relation to money laundering will be brought, he said.

Gda Byrne objected to bail, citing concerns that the accused was a flight risk and had access to €500,000 in a bank account.

The officer said the accused provided one address but had not lived there for 10 years.

Defence solicitor Tony Collier pleaded for bail and said his client had lived in Ireland for 10 years.

The accused told his solicitor he had been in receipt of social welfare payments, but the garda said there was no record of that.

He agreed the man had only €7 cash on him, as well as a bank card, when arrested.

Premature

Another home address in Swords was given. The court heard he claimed he had lived at the Mosney direct provision centre in Co Meath. However, it had no record of the man.

Mr Collier said his client had been living there unofficially and was "squatting" because his partner lived there.

He said Mr Sankeni had not been charged with money laundering offences and argued it was premature to deny bail. However, the judge refused bail and remanded him in custody to appear at Cloverhill District Court on February 14.

The accused has not yet indicated a plea.