Six fruit factory workers, who became ‘money mules’ and helped to launder hundreds of thousands of euros between them, have been given suspended sentences. The four men and two women were all working at Keelings Fruit when they were each enlisted by an unnamed man, referred to in court as a ‘money mule herder’, to allow their bank accounts to be used for the proceeds of crime, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard yesterday.
The money laundering was being carried out by a West African gang. The alleged money mule herder is still before the courts. The offending took place on dates between 2016 and 2017 and the men and women pleaded guilty to laundering money. They were paid varying amounts of money ranging from a few hundred euro to €10,000 for allowing their accounts to be used.
Sentencing them on Monday, Judge Martin Nolan said the six defendants were extremely useful to the money launderers in allowing their accounts to be used. The judge took into account a number of mitigating factors including the fact that none of the accused have previous convictions, they all co-operated with Gardaí and are considered unlikely to reoffend. He handed down suspended sentences ranging from 18 months to 3½ years.
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