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Salon owner's seized €10,000 'for extensions'

A BEAUTY salon owner who had €10,000 seized from her by customs officers in Dublin Airport has insisted the cash was for buying hair extensions in Amsterdam.

Kim Hall told a judge at Dublin District Court that she was going to use the money to buy supplies for her business and a designer handbag for herself.

She was opposing an application by Revenue to detain the money for another three months pending investigations.

Ms Hall, of Coultry Crescent, Ballymun, insisted the cash was not connected to any crime.

Judge Patricia McNamara gave Revenue the extra time after an officer told the court the accused had been travelling with a man known to the gardai.

The judge ruled there were "reasonable grounds for suspicion".

The court heard customs officers took the money from Ms Hall as she travelled through the airport last June 11. Half was in her possession and the other half with her companion. A total of €11,950 was seized, but Ms Hall was only seeking the return of €10,000.

Revenue investigator Patricia Smullen said time was needed to investigate the source and intended use of the money.

In evidence, Ms Hall said she was travelling to Amsterdam on a personal shopping trip and to source hair supplies for her salon. She said she was looking for hair extensions, which were cheaper in Holland than in Ireland.

misunderstanding

She said a friend had told her there was "good, cheap hair in Amsterdam". She normally bought hair for €40 per bale, with full-head extensions ranging from €300 to €400.

"I wanted to go and buy myself a Chanel handbag to treat myself after working hard all year," she added.

She said she had been in business since October last year, was a sole trader company and intake for the year was €90,000.

Asked where the money she with her had came from, she said: "Customers, through my shop and working hard."

She said €10,000 was hers and there had been a misunderstanding on the day.

She had been "under the illusion" that it was not permitted to bring that amount of cash through the airport, and both herself and her boyfriend carried the money separately.

She put half of it in her handbag for safety and they "weren't hiding it".

She produced supporting documents in relation to her business.

Defence solicitor Richard Young said Ms Hall had never been in trouble with the gardai. There was no evidence of any criminal conduct by her or of an investigation into anybody in relation to the money.

hnews@herald.ie


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