Jail term for Clifden man caught transporting €1.2m in criminal cash

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Galway Bay fm newsroom – A Clifden truck driver caught transporting over €1.2 million in criminal cash in his truck has been jailed for two years.

The Circuit Criminal Court heard that 45 year old Noel Purcell told Gardaí he had agreed to transport the money to Holland after he met a man on a boat and confided in him about his personal debt issues.

Noel Purcell, described by his defence team as “vulnerable” and “easily-led”, told Gardaí he had been offered €4,000 to take the money to Holland.

He was struggling with mortgage and credit card debt at the time, the court heard.

Noel Purcell of Tullyvoheen, Clifden pleaded guilty to one count of possessing cash that was the proceeds of a crime at the Naas Road, Dublin on July 12 last year.

Detective Garda Redmond O’Leary told the prosecution that following a surveillance operation, Gardaí pulled Noel Purcell over on the Naas Road on the day in question.

In the cab of the truck, Gardaí found two large bags containing several packages wrapped in duct tape, which turned out to be cash.

When counted by Gardaí, the cash amounted to almost €1.29m.

Detective Garda O’Leary agreed that Noel Purcell was vulnerable and easily led, and said Gardaí accepted his version of events.

Judge Melanie Greally imposed a seven year prison term but suspended five years of it on condition Noel Purcell be of good behaviour.

The court heard that the Probation Service assessed Noel Purcell as unlikely to re-offend.