Belfast Telegraph

Judge dismisses drug dealer's claim

Drug trafficker John Gilligan's claim that he built a multi-million property portfolio through big wins at the bookies is incredible, a judge has ruled.

The cannabis smuggler, serving 20 years, lost the latest stage in his battle to keep hold of several houses in Dublin and the Jessbrook equestrian centre in Kildare.

The crime boss was told that his evidence about where his millions came from was so inconsistent, imprecise and contradictory it could not be relied on.

Gilligan claimed he won money from five major bookmakers over several years, made a profit on trips to casinos in Europe and worked the foreign exchange markets and struck business deals to make more cash.

Mr Justice Feeney, in the High Court, ruled that a forensic accountant had found the notorious dealer had generated a loss of IR£500,000 at the bookies between 1994 and 1996.

The case involved the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) seizure of properties in his name, his estranged wife Geraldine's name and their children's names, Darren and Tracey, and found Gilligan had changed his evidence to suit his immediate needs.

The judge branded his explanations over his fortune vague and incredible.

The Gilligans wanted to prevent the CAB taking complete control of properties including two homes owned by Darren and Tracey in Dublin.

Gilligan had provided betting slips during the hearings to substantiate his gambling claims. But analysis of his big betting habits showed he laid £5,371,696 with five top bookies between March 1994 and June 1996 and won £4,834,224, making a loss of £537,472.

The court was told the bets were mostly laid in cash and returns made out in cheque - a money laundering technique.

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