Derek Gallagher was prosecuted on indictment at Limerick Circuit Court
A TAXI driver who travelled from Drogheda to Limerick was handed a sock containing almost €14,000 in cash at a petrol station on the outskirts of the city, a court has heard.
Derek Gallagher, aged 51, of Church Street Drogheda has pleaded to having €27,950 in cash on November 7, 2013 contrary to the provisions of the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act.
The cash was seized after gardai stopped and searched a car which was being driven by the defendant on the M7 motorway.
During a sentencing hearing, Detective Garda David Boland of the divisional drugs unit said the money was found in the glove compartment of the Volkswagen Caravelle.
He told John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, that €14,000 was located in a brown envelope while €13,980 was found in a black sock.
Det Garda Boland said the defendant accepted responsibility for the cash and told gardai he had only received it a short time earlier.
During interview, he said a person he knows “through the security and pub business” had offered him €200 to travel to Limerick to collect a package.
He was given a “clean phone” and was contacted as he approached the outskirts of the city.
Gallagher was instructed to travel to a petrol station on the N24 and when he arrived a person walked up to him and handed him a parcel. He was then told to travel to a second petrol station where he was handed the sock containing cash.
The defendant told gardai he did not know beforehand what he would be collecting and that he “s*** himself” when he saw the cash.
Anthony Sammon SC said his client is “humble taxi driver” who was sucked in and used by “cunning criminal elements”.
He said Gallagher, who is not a man of substantial means, is deeply ashamed and upset and that there is a low risk of him reoffending.
Judge Tom O’Donnell commented it was a “bizarre enterprise” and he asked what Gallagher had been doing getting involved in such an escapade.
He will impose sentence in July.