A couple has been sentenced at the Special Criminal Court for laundering almost €500,000 through five bank accounts over five years for the Kinahan organised crime group.

48-year-old Jonathan Harding, of Kerdiff Avenue, Naas, Co Kildare, a convicted drug dealer and gunrunner for the gang, used two of his own bank accounts and three accounts belonging to his partner and the mother of his child.

45-year-old Carol Davis, from Clonmacnoise Road in Crumlin, also pleaded guilty to money laundering offences, although the court heard she did not know what Harding had been doing.

Harding was jailed for five years and three months while Davis, a mother-of-two who cares for her elderly father and aunt, was given a three-year suspended sentence.  

The money laundering system was discovered because of an investigation into the gang's drugs and firearms operations. 

Gardaí found revolvers, pistols, a sub-machine gun, an assault rifle and ammunition at the gang's arms dump at the Greenogue Business Park in Rathcoole in 2017. 

Convicted fraudster Jonathon Harding was sentenced to ten years in prison for possession of the firearms.

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However, officers from the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau who searched his home discovered financial documentation showing how much he and his partner Carol Davis had lodged over five years.

Between 2012 and 2016 over €470,000 was lodged to their five accounts, while over €422,000 was withdrawn. 

€40,000 was spent on a mobile home, another €52,000 on airline tickets - 100 flights in three years.  

Both received employment or social welfare income but lodged over €342,000 more than their legitimate income.

Carol Davis told gardaí that she believed Harding when he told her he worked as a mobile mechanic and thought the money moved through her accounts was from his business.

"I didn't know anything was criminal," she said. "I just thought Jonathon was working away." 

The court accepted she was reckless in giving Harding access to her accounts.

Harding and Davis were in a relationship since 2010 and have a daughter together.  

The father-of-five accepted responsibility for money laundering and using his unwitting partner's accounts.

Almost €200,000 moved through Davis' accounts was in cash.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt said that organised crime gangs accumulate large sums of money which needs proper financial management and the money laundering services provided by people by Harding and Davis are essential.

He pointed out that the travel services linked to the accounts in particular would have been used for the purposes of organised crime.  

Harding was sentenced to six years and nine months with one and a half years suspended while Davis was given a three-year suspended sentence.