A 31-year-old Dublin socialite has appeared in court accused of taking part in an international conspiracy to launder drug money.
Fran Fennell, of Balcurris Gardens, Ballymun, was arrested yesterday following a lengthy investigation involving several police agencies.
Today the court heard it will be alleged that the Garda Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau uncovered an international drugs operation, which they say is run by a number of Irish criminals.
Sergeant Ronan McMorrow claimed they used drug couriers to smuggle cocaine of high purity into Australia and New Zealand, where it would be mixed down and sold at four times the market value of the drug here in Ireland.
He said it is the State’s case that Fran Fennell took part in a conspiracy to bring the proceeds of that criminal operation back to Ireland.
A number of phones linked to him were seized, and Sergeant McMorrow said it would be alleged that he used business owners as leverage in the operation.
Despite Garda objections, bail for Mr Fennell was set at €20,000, with half of that to be lodged to the court by an independent surety before he’s allowed to take it up.
*Reporting by Frank Greaney