Drug dealer’s former partner given three months to leave family home deemed proceeds of crime

Criminal Assets Bureau took case against Adam Keatinge after PSNI found him in van with cocaine and cash in Co Antrim in 2016

The former partner of DJ and convicted drug dealer Adam Keatinge has been given three months to leave the family home, which was deemed to be the proceeds of crime two years ago.

Mr Justice Alexander Owens said Veronika Saly, a Hungarian national, and her children were not residing at the Co Kildare property when he declared it, gold bars and seized cash were crime proceeds.

The assets were seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab) in 2018 as part of its investigation which commenced after a van with Keatinge and others in it was stopped in Co Antrim in June 2016 by the Police Service of Northern Ireland. A search of the van revealed cash of about €60,000, including a stash of 20 €500 notes hidden in Keatinge’s underwear.

The bureau’s proceeds of crime case was against Keatinge, Ms Saly and the pair found with Keatinge in the van: Jordanian national Yazan Abu Jabar and Dario Simoes, a Portuguese native who previously lived in Dublin.

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The judge has described Keatinge as someone who was “heavily involved in criminal operations” including the planned importation and supply of cocaine. He had also spent time in prison in 2012 after pleading guilty for possession of drugs with intent to supply.

Mr Justice Owens’s orders were upheld in May of last year when the Court of Appeal rejected Keatinge’s appeal.

The High Court heard on Wednesday that Ms Saly, a former dancer, and her children moved back into the property at Ellistown, Rathangan after the judge declared it was derived from crime proceeds.

Mr Justice Owens rejected arguments from lawyers for Ms Saly who said she needed time to arrange repairs through an insurance firm to damage caused to the house by a storm last year.

The bureau’s barrister, David Dodd, submitted that insurance for the home was repudiated for good reasons. The property has been extensively damaged, is now uninsured and is at risk, which is the “worst case scenario” for the bureau, he said.

The judge appointed a receiver with power to take possession and sell the home from next August 20th.

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