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Monk gets the green light for taxi licence
Irish Times, Ireland, 19 August, 2001

Gerard Hutch, known as the Monk, has passed his taxi driving exams and is expected to start work next month.

Sources in the Garda Carriage Office told this newspaper that Hutch would be given the good news this week.

Hutch, who masterminded the 4 million Brinks Allied robbery in Dublin in 1996, battled for three years to obtain a taxi licence.

"He'll be delighted," a close associate said. "I'd say he'll be on the road within the next fortnight. He is genuinely serious about working as a cabby. He has to make a living."

Garda sources claim that Hutch has money in accounts in continental Europe and, ironically, in a taxi firm. Two years ago, Hutch was refused a taxi licence because of his criminal background. Last June, he was finally given clearance by the courts to get a licence if he passed the taxi driving test.

"The only qualification I have is a full driving licence and I like driving," he told Judge Terence Finn in the Dublin District Court. He said he intended to drive a taxi full-time.

Last year, the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) presented Hutch with a 2 million tax bill which he subsequently settled out of court. Detective Chief Superintendent Felix McKenna described him at the time as the ringleader of a gang of armed robbers.

After the settlement, Inspector Phillip Ryan of the CAB told the court that there was no evidence that Hutch was still involved in crime.

He said he would not be frightened to be driven by the former robber.

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