Mansfield given €4.5m cash in two suitcases by Kinahan gang, court hears

The High Court heard on Tuesday that Jim Mansfield jnr was given €4.5 million in cash in two suitcases by Daniel Kinahan and his associate Thomas “Bomber” Kavanagh in 2009.

A Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab) officer said in an affidavit before the court that a former Mansfield employee indicated to the bureau that the Kinahan organised crime gang made a substantial cash investment, €4.5 million in cash on Good Friday 2009, through Jim Mansfield jnr, for which they were to receive various properties.

The employee said he was asked by “Jimmy” to allow access for a car into Tasaggart House, where he and his mother, Anne, then lived, and allowed a small white van with two individuals in it, whom he did not know, into the gardens. Those individuals were met at the front door by Mansfield and they removed two large suitcases from the rear of the van and brought them into the main house after which they left, according to the affidavit.

The employee said he received a phone call from Mansfield the next afternoon asking him to bring the Mercedes from their hotel and pick him up. He went to an office on the ground floor where “Jimmy Junior” opened up one of the suitcases which had “bundles of money” inside, according to the affidavit.

“Jimmy Junior then informed me that there was approximately €4.5 million cash between the two suitcases. He said this was paid by the group of lads that was in the hotel the night before. He joked about this and said, even though he was partying, he was still making money,” the employee said, according to the affidavit.

Luxury property

The court heard that Jim Mansfield jnr and his brother Patrick Joseph (PJ) Mansfield consented to an order waiving any claim over luxury property at Coldwater Lakes, Saggart, Co Dublin as part of the Cab case against them and members of the Kinahan cartel. The jailed businessman gave the house to the Kinahan cartel after he took millions of euro from them to invest in property in Ireland for them but never did. The Cab proceedings are against Daniel Kinahan, Thomas Kavanagh and Jim Mansfield jnr and PJ Mansfield. Anne Mansfield is not a party but she also consented to the order that she has no claim over the property.

Because the fortunes of the Mansfield business deteriorated significantly in the financial crash and it entered receivership, the deal between the parties soured and the crime group was given the property and cash payments instead, the employee told the Cab.

The employee said there was pressure from Bomber Kavanagh to get keys to several of the properties; the figures discussed were about €1.5 million per townhouse and that consisted of four townhouses “to start with”. It was after the Mansfield group went into receivership that he learned Bomber Kavanagh was connected to the Kinahan cartel, according to the affidavit.

While the house was occupied by Anne Mansfield between 2006 and 2011 when she and Jim Mansfield snr were separated, the actual owner of the property was always Jim Mansfield snr, he said. Anne Mansfield moved back into Tasaggart House when Jim Mansfield snr got sick, he added.

The plan had been for PJ Mansfield to move into Coldwater Lakes but, at this point, there was a lot of pressure on Mansfield jnr to pay back the €4.5 million debt, and an agent for Kavanagh told Mansfield jnr if he signed over the house, that would clear the majority of his debt, the employee said.

Personal safety

The employee said Mansfield jnr was concerned for his personal safety and had been warned on several occasions by gardaí about threats to his life. There were discussions with Mansfield jnr about the best way to transfer the property to Kavanagh without “leaving a trail”, he said.

In the meantime, it was agreed the Kavanaghs would take possession of the house as they wanted to carry out work and upgrade the CCTV, he said.

In 2012, the Kavanaghs made contact with Jim Mansfield snr as they believed he would be “fair” because they had lost trust in Jimmy Junior, the employee said. In early January 2012, a meeting was arranged in a car in the car park of the Red Cow Hotel involving Jim Mansfield snr and PJ Mansfield, who were told to sit in the front of the car, and two representatives of the Kavanaghs where an arrangement was made for the Mansfields to make payments on the debt, the employee said.

The Cab was told that around April-May 2014, the keys of Coldwater Lakes were handed to the Kavanaghs. After that, the Mansfields had nothing to do with that property, the employee said. The employee was told by others the €4.5 million was owned by the Kinahans and the Kavanaghs were “nobody and only a go-between”.

The Cab officer said ledgers of money in and money out were found during a search of the property which is believed to be how Mansfield jnr tracked the financial arrangement he had with the Kinahan group. One of the documents was called “Jimmy money in” which he assessed as referring to monies received by Mansfield jnr by the Kinahan group and that “money out” referred to money paid by Mansfield to the Kinahan group as repayment of funds received. That included a payment of €100,000 on December 21st, 2012.

White envelope

A sum of €5,000 in a white envelope marked “Kavs” was located in the strongroom of Tassagart House on January 29th, 2015, the officer said. Mansfield jnr had said he did not know why “Kavs” was written on it and said he took it from Finnstown House for safekeeping.

Evidence of the source of this cash has never been produced by either Mansfield or Finnstown Castle Hotel, a hotel they manage, the officer said. When interviewed, Mansfield said he never got anything off the Kavanaghs and did not owe them anything.

The Cab believes this money is connected to Thomas Kavanagh, the officer said. The affidavit grounded the bureau’s successful application to serve the proceedings on Kavanagh outside this jurisdiction.

This case is the first time Daniel Kinahan (44) has been named as a respondent in a Cab investigation. He has been named in Garda evidence in previous cases as the leader of the Kinahan cartel. Kavanagh (53) has worked for the cartel in the UK and was jailed there last week for 21 years for his role in the importation of drugs with a street value of more than £30 million (€36 million) into the UK.

In January businessman Mansfield jnr was found guilty of perverting the course of justice by ordering the destruction of CCTV footage showing him with his former employee Martin Byrne on the morning that Mr Byrne was kidnapped by well-known criminals and INLA figures Dessie O’Hare and Declan “Whacker” Duffy. Mansfield was jailed for 18 months last month and is currently serving that sentence.

The 54-year-old was acquitted by the Special Criminal Court of a separate charge of conspiracy to falsely imprison Mr Byrne, who had previously provided security for the family business.

The court found that although Mansfield had knowingly involved O’Hare and Duffy in his attempts to recover assets lost in the 2008 economic crash, there was insufficient evidence to show Mansfield knew the two men planned to kidnap Mr Byrne.

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