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Men caught with £46k in car 'were going on Amsterdam holiday'

By Alan Erwin

Published 24/06/2016

Three alleged gang members stopped in a car in Co Antrim with €60,000 (£46,000) in cash were just travelling to Amsterdam
Three alleged gang members stopped in a car in Co Antrim with €60,000 (£46,000) in cash were just travelling to Amsterdam "for a good time", the High Court has been told

Three alleged gang members stopped in a car in Co Antrim with €60,000 (£46,000) in cash were just travelling to Amsterdam "for a good time", the High Court has been told.

Defence counsel rejected prosecution claims that the money was proceeds of crime being taken to Holland to be used for an undisclosed purpose.

Details emerged as the trio, from the Republic, Portugal and Jordan, applied for bail.

Adam Keating (37), Yazan Abujaber (34), and 36-year-old Dario Sinoes were arrested in Crumlin on June 10.

Officers from the PSNI who stopped and searched the Citroen Berlingo they were travelling in, recovered the cash, a quantity of cocaine and mobile phones.

Prosecutors said the three men, who are all charged with possessing criminal property, were on their way to Belfast International Airport to catch a flight to Amsterdam.

Keating, with an address at Parkmount Street in Belfast but said to run an events business in his native Dublin, is alleged to have had up to €30,000 (£23,000).

Detained with him were Abujaber, a Jordanian national from Alturra Street in Amman, and Sinoes, a Portuguese with an address in Balbriggan.

Opposing bail for all three, prosecution counsel said: "Police believe they are members of an organised crime gang. They were leaving the country with large quantities of cash, believed to be proceeds of crime."

But defence barristers argued that the men had legitimately obtained the money, either through employment or a work-related compensation payout.

Michael Boyd, for Sinoes, said: "The whole police case is based on suspicion and conjecture. There's no evidence these individuals were in a gang."

Keating's lawyer said his client's money was from an event in the Republic and was being brought up to a firm he runs in Northern Ireland.

Counsel for Abujaber said he had the cash for three months of travel and holidays. Claiming her client came to Ireland to celebrate his brother-in-law's birthday, she added: "It was suggested they would go to Amsterdam just to have a good time."

Adjourning the three men's applications for bail, Mr Justice Horner said he wanted more details on an audit trail for the cash they were be carrying.

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