A Kinahan gangster has failed in an attempt to have the Criminal Assets Bureau hand back €75,000 it seized from him.

The High Court judge in the case also warned people with large sums of money to be aware that criminals may use it to launder criminal cash.

Graham Whelan, from Walkinstown Avenue in Dublin, a violent, convicted drug dealer was sentenced to 18 months in prison last November after he admitted using the proceeds of crime to pay for three nights in the Penthouse Suite at the Intercontinental Hotel in Ballsbridge in January 2019.

Gardaí also found a drugs tick list, six mobile phones including an Encrochat phone commonly used by sophisticated drug dealers and other criminals, a small quantity of drugs, cash and an "Audemars Piquet" watch worth €28,000.

On the days after the raid Whelan executed a loan agreement with his uncle-in-law John Wilson for €75,000 and the money was transferred into Whelan's bank account. Wilson got the money from a compensation claim.

The Criminal Assets Bureau seized the money and Whelan tried to get it back.

The High Court has now ruled that Whelan got the money from Wilson as part of "a money laundering exercise" and that "his intention was to repay John Wilson from the proceeds of crime".

Mr Justice Alex Owens said he was not concluding that Wilson knew of Whelan's intention and said the case illustrates "the dangers which those who come into substantial money such as compensation payments or inheritances should be made aware of".

These people, the judge said, "may be vulnerable to tricks, pressures or blandishments of criminal relatives or acquaintances who spot an opportunity to launder the proceeds of crime".

He also said that John Wilson should have known that an arrangement which involves handling money which cannot be shown to be from a legitimate source carries risks because €10,000 in cash had been seized from him by Customs.

The High Court also accepted evidence from the head of the Criminal Assets Bureau Detective Chief Superintendent Michael Gubbins that Graham Whelan was a career criminal.

The 39-year-old was involved in organised crime, operated as a significant drugs importer and is associated with a major crime gang, the Kinahan organised crime group. He has 33 previous convictions including one for possession of €1.5m worth of cocaine and ecstasy and a conviction in Spain for grievous bodily harm.

Whelan has no employment history and has never been in receipt of social welfare.

His first recorded taxable income was in 2018 when he declared income from the business Wheelie Clean Ireland. The judge said he had not been provided with accounts or revenue returns for Wheelie Clean and had no way of knowing if cash receipts were fully accounted for.

Mr Justice Owens also said he did not believe Whelan intended to use the loan of €75,000 to invest in land or property development, but that Whelan got the money to use it for money laundering and that he intended to repay John Wilson from the proceeds of crime.

The judge therefore refused Whelan's application to have the money returned to him.