Six-month suspended sentence for man laundering €3,000 in bank account
A YOUNG man has been given a six-month suspended sentence for laundering €3,000 in his bank account after he was approached by someone on Snapchat.
Mohammad Bah, aged 21, allowed his account to be used to move the proceeds of criminal conduct.
Judge David McHugh refused to leave him without a conviction and suspended the sentence for 18 months at Blanchardstown District Court.
Bah, with an address at Esker Meadow Close, Lucan, pleaded guilty to possession of €3,000, the proceeds of crime, on April 13, 2020.
Sergeant Maria Callaghan said a search was carried out at an address at Foxborough Road, Lucan on April 17, 2020. Items seized included an iphone which was analysed and contained information on a Revolut account in Bah’s name.
Gardai found that the account had been for a suspicious €3,000 transaction on April 13. The money was removed in several withdrawals from an ATM.
On October 14, gardai searched the accused’s home and seized his mobile phone which contained videos depicting the account being used. The accused was arrested and detained in January this year, when he admitted allowing his account to be used for money laundering. He stated that he did not receive any payment.
The court heard none of the €3,000 was recovered.
Bah had no previous convictions.
The accused had been approached via a Snapchat communication and was asked did he want to make some money, his solicitor Kelly Breen said.
He did not ask any further as to how, and just went along with the procedure of creating the account and allowing it to be used.
Ms Breen said Bah “came under threat” by another person and this was “a real threat”. He did not name this person.
The accused came from a hard working family and his parents had always guided their children in the right direction. This had been a “shocking” situation for them, Ms Breen said.
Bah had been steadfast that he wanted to plead guilty and own up to the offence. He had been in college and was now working and intended going back to college.
Asking the judge not to convict the accused, Ms Breen said a criminal record would cause Bah “far-reaching difficulties”.
She asked the judge to give him time to show his bona fides, that he would not come before the court again or stray from a “very decent, hard working life”.
Judge McHugh said money laundering offences had become very prevalent and he refused not to convict the accused.
“The bottom line is that he has done wrong, somewhere along the chain, somebody is down €3,000,” the judge said. “It’s a straight call between whether he serves or whether he does not.”
The judge said he was “just about persuaded” to suspend the sentence.