A man accused of being a key member of an “extremely sophisticated” eastern European criminal gang has been remanded in custody after being charged in court with allegedly stealing €300,000 from stolen property.
ndrius Parfionovas, 39, of Oldbridge Park, Griffeen Valley, Lucan, Dublin, was brought before a special session of Longford District Court this evening.
The Lithuanian national has been charged with 10 counts of handling and possession of stolen property at various commercial and residential properties in Longford and Dublin.
This included 14 Yamaha outboard motors, 14 Kolibri fish finders, four marine radios, four propellers, eight GPS systems, two waveboards and £3,115 in cash, making a total of £48,000.
Those items, the court said, were allegedly stolen from a house in Omagh, Co Tyrone, just under 12 hours before the defendant was arrested by Gardaí at a property he had rented in Granard, Co Longford.
Mr Parfionovas was also accused of handling a stolen Renault Master Van valued at €20,000 which had been fitted with false number plates after it was allegedly stolen from a property in Edenderry, Co Offaly on July 25.
The defendant was also accused of handling a range of allegedly stolen car parts, including parts from a BMW M5 181 with a registered car valued at €90,000, after that too was allegedly stolen in Navan, Co. Meath on 5 July.
Mr Parfionovas was arrested by Gardaí on Tuesday at a property rented by the defendant in Granard and detained under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Code.
Giving evidence of arrest, charge and caution, Detective Sergeant Keelan Brennan revealed how the accused made no reply when presented with each of the charges at Longford Garda station just before 11.30pm last night.
During a nearly two-hour contested bail hearing, Presiding Judge Bernadette Owens was told that during a search of Mr Parfionovas’ rented property in Granard they had been reported to have found the defendants washing clothes in a washing machine hours after the burglary in Omagh.
He said a number of cloned license plates and keys were found linked to a number of other properties including those belonging to a commercial building in Lacken, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford and a unit in Citywest, Dublin.
Both properties, together with the house in Granard, were rented by the defendants for a total of 1,900 euros a month, the court said.
The accused also rented a property with his long-term partner in Lucan for 600 euros a month, an apartment that was also searched by Gardaí as part of the investigation.
Detective Sgt Brennan said Mr Parfionovas claimed to be employed as a painter by a company that has connections both in that jurisdiction and in Lithuania.
However, he said Gardaí had concerns about the authenticity of the company cited by the accused, adding that investigations were underway to establish alleged links between him and a “sophisticated” organized crime group.
The court was also told that €65,000 had been seized from a bank account that Mr Parfionovas shared with his partner.
It was further revealed that a search of the Citwest unit also found Garda uniforms, tube flashing lights used by Gardaí as part of their duties and GPS signal blockers.
Car parts of a stolen 172 registered VW Touraeg worth €40,000 were found at Mr Parfionovas’ family home in Lucan.
This particular vehicle was allegedly stolen from a business premises in Ballymount, Dublin on June 29th.
When gardaí conducted a search of a business premises in Edgeworthstown, they found a number of workplaces suspected of being used for the purposes of an organized ‘chop shop’ operation.
Inspector Paddy McGirl said the state would object to bail on a number of grounds, notably the seriousness of the charges in court, the strength of the evidence, including the fact that the defendant was allegedly found in possession of stolen property that the originated from a residence outside the jurisdiction just hours earlier.
He also said the state is refusing bail amid fears Mr Parfionovas is a risk of absconding, while there are also fears property said to have been stolen as a result of the investigation could be disposed of.
In defense, attorney Fiona Baxter said her client maintained the right to the presumption of innocence.
She dismissed the state’s claims that Mr Parfionovas had no links with the local community, adding that his long-term partner, who is six months pregnant, has a 16-year work history at a Dublin daycare center.
Ms. Baxter also hinted that her client’s denial of liberty could be particularly lengthy, given the time it takes to prepare and receive orders from the Director of Public Prosecutions to summary cases.
Judge Owens refused bail and remanded Mr Parfionovas to appear again via video link before a Longford District Court hearing on Tuesday.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/man-accused-of-being-key-member-of-european-crime-group-charged-with-handling-300000-of-stolen-property-42141452.html Man accused of being a key member of a European criminal organization accused of handling €300,000 worth of stolen property