Cash confiscated from couple is still being held
€14,850 SEIZED AT ROSSLARE HARBOUR TO BE HELD FOR ANOTHER THREE MONTHS
A YOUNG couple is still without the use of €14,850 cash which they say is their life savings but which the State suspects may be linked to criminal activity.
The money was seized from Romanian nationals Florian and Maria Tabara, of 28 The Fairviews, Woodbrook Glen, Bray, at Rosslare Harbour on August 29 last.
A ruling was made at Wexford District Court last Thursday (November 27) to allow the State continue to hold the money for up to a further three months, to allow further investigation as to where it came from.
Customs and Excise Officer Andrew Keyes told the court the money was taken from the couple as they arrived into the State. There was a suspicion that the cash may have been linked to crime, and an order to allow it be held for three months was made at Gorey Court at the time. They were now seeking an order for a further three months.
Mr Keyes said there was some explanation that the money belonged to Mrs Tabara, but she had no visible source of income and so therefore could not have saved such money legitimately. He also said Mr Tabara said he had been employed since 2012, but there was no record of this and he was not registered for income tax until after the cash was seized. Negotiations with Romanian authorities are ongoing, Mr Keyes said.
Mr Tabara told the court that the money was in fact his savings from money earned as a maintenance person with a property management firm in Dublin. It was the intention of he and his wife to use the money to buy a house back in Romania, so they had taken it out in cash to travel back there and try find a property, as it is the custom there to negotiate directly with the owner of a property and offer a cash deal.
However, they did not find a house to suit, and so they still had the cash with them as they came back to Ireland.
His solicitor handed in several documents relating to Mr Tabara’s income and bank account. Judge Gerard Haughton ruled however that since this material had only recently been handed over, the authorities were entitled to more time to investigate. He therefore granted the State application.