07 January 2006

Bail on money laundering charge

BBC

An alleged loyalist paramilitary has appeared in court on charges linked to money laundering.

Lawrence Kincaid, 33, from Cogry Hill in Doagh, is charged with 34 offences between August 2003 and August 2005.

He denies 24 charges of entering into an arrangement to acquire criminal property and seven of obtaining services by deception.

He faces two counts of perverting the course of justice and one of obtaining money by deception. Bail was granted.

It is alleged that the accused used laundered criminal proceeds to buy a property at Cogry Hill, a diamond ring, motorbikes and cars, laptop computers and a holiday in the Maldives.

A detective told Belfast Magistrates Court he believed he could connect Mr Kincaid to the charges.

False accounting

He said he was objecting to bail because he believed Kincaid was "a member of a loyalist paramilitary organisation" and there was the potential for witness interference.

However, under cross-examination from the accused's solicitor, the detective conceded that Mr Kincaid had "given explanations" for having the money and the transactions and had also given an affidavit regarding items seized from him.

Resident Magistrate Ken Nixon released Mr Kincaid on his own bail of £5,000, with one surety of £5,000 and ordered him to surrender his passport and to sign at Ballyclare Police Station three times per week.

The accused is due to appear in court again on 3 February.

The charges are understood to follow a probe by the PSNI's Financial Investigation Unit.

Six other men are to appear at the same court on Tuesday charged with money laundering and false accounting.

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