08 January 2006

Loyalist faces laundering rap

Sunday Life

By Ciaran McGuigan
08 January 2006

A LOYALIST godfather appeared in court yesterday accused of laundering hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Police allege Laurence Peter Chris John Kincaid (33), of Cogry Hill in Doagh, Co Antrim, laundered large sums of dirty money by buying high-performance cars and motorbikes under false names.

He is even alleged to have laundered £10,000 by supplying bail for his half-brother 'Duffer' Kincaid when Duffer was freed by the High Court last year when facing drugs charges.

The Doagh man is also accused of laundering money by buying property, laptop computers, an expensive diamond ring and paying for a holiday in the sunshine paradise of the Maldives.

At Belfast Magistrates' Court yesterday, he denied a total of 34 charges - 24 counts of entering into arrangements to acquire criminal property, seven counts of obtaining services by deception, one of obtaining money by deception and two counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Among the services he is alleged to have obtained by deception was a Liverpool Football Club credit card.

A detective constable from the PSNI crime operations department told the court that the accused was believed to be a senior member of a loyalist paramilitary organisation.

He added: "Police have information that other members of his group may assist him to flee by providing financial assistance."

Under cross-examination from Kincaid's lawyer, the officer confirmed that the accused had gone to police voluntarily last week and had, in an affidavit, offered explanations for the money and property in his possession.

The defence lawyer told the court that, in denying the charges, her client had told cops: "If I had anything to hide, I would be on a plane."

Resident Magistrate Ken Nixon agreed to release Kincaid on his own bail of £5,000, with a £5,000 surety.

Throughout the hearing, Kincaid's father, also Laurence, and half-brother Duffer watched from the public gallery.

The pair hid their faces from cameras as they left the Laganside court complex.

The accused was briefly detained, while a surety was arranged.

It is understood that another six men have also been charged in relation to the same police operation.

They are due to appear in court later this week.

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