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Showbiz drug dealer caught with gold bars and cash was ‘a major player’ in Fat Freddie gang

Adam Keatinge was caught with a wad of cash down his underpants on his way to the airport

Eamon DillonSunday World

THE SHOWBIZ drug dealer who lost his stash of gold bars, a house and €10,000 in cash had been a significant player in the ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson cocaine dealing gang.

Promoter and DJ Adam Keatinge had denied the allegation in a Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) case, despite being previously arrested and convicted in relation to a seizure one kilo of cocaine.

Before his 2012 drugs conviction, one of his roles in the Kinahan cartel-linked gang had been to rent properties which were then used by known criminals.

Keatinge, also known as Marcus Lane and Michael Keating, was caught in Northern Ireland in June 2016 with €60,000 in a van on his way to Belfast airport for a flight to Amsterdam.

Fat Freddie Thompson

He also had €10,000 in €500 notes in his underpants when he was arrested along with three other men.

Investigating officers also found photos on their seized phones of blocks of cocaine, piles of cash, a drug price list, a purity testing kit and handguns.

They had swapped messages about flights, cocaine and making MDMA capsules.

During a subsequent bail hearing, the court was told that officers believed the men were members of an organised crime gang and the money was to be used in the drugs trade.

The arrests in Northern Ireland and the evidence found on the phones kickstarted the investigation by CAB, who had previously probed the Dubliner’s financial dealings.

Judge Alex Owens made a ruling last week in which he granted orders being sought by the Bureau that the gold, cash and the Co. Kildare property were the proceeds of crime.

Also named in the case was Keatinge’s then partner – with whom he has two children – Veronika Saky, along with Abu Jaber, from Jordan, and Dario Simoes, from Portugal, who had been in the van that was stopped in Northern Ireland.

In the case against him, a detective inspector said Keatinge was “a player of significance in the Freddie Thompson gang”.

David Douglas Facebook Pictures

While the DJ had denied the claim, in a replying affidavit to the High Court the officer said Keatinge did not “contest the evidence” on his connections with the crime gang and stood over his assertions.

Keatinge and his then partner Saky claimed that money used to acquire assets, including his home, came from legitimate sources.

Keatinge, a music events co-ordinator and DJ, and Ms Saky, a former dancer who had worked in a Dublin hairdressing salon, had claimed that CAB’s investigation was incomplete.

They rejected the claims that money used to pay for their properties originated through the proceeds of crime but from sources of legitimate income that were not investigated by CAB.

Keatinge claimed that businesses he operated, FNO Promotions Ltd and Ace of Clubs in Belfast, were cash based.

In his judgement, Mr Justice Alexander Owens described Keatinge as a person who was “heavily involved in criminal operations” including the planned importation and supply of cocaine.

He said the evidence gathered following the arrest of the three men in Northern Ireland showed they were all “heavily involved in criminal operations” from late 2015 and had “planned to test, import and supply cocaine.”

The explanations tendered by the respondents regarding the cash used to fund €10,000 wire transfers “was implausible”, the judge added.

He also found that CAB had established that Keatinge is involved in the drugs trade.

There was no explanation for large sums of money that went through his bank accounts or the accounts of entities linked to him other than the monies were from the proceeds of crime.

CAB claimed for many years that large sums of money were received by Keatinge which he used to buy a home in Knocklyon, Dublin. That property was sold and used to acquire his home in Ellistown, Co. Kildare for €300,000 in 2014, which was funded with a mortgage.

Gang boss ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson is serving a life sentence for the Hutch-Kinahan feud related murder of David ‘Dáithí’ Douglas in 2016. He was also targeted by CAB but found to have no assets in his name.

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