Money laundering: Man hands in money in Cork

18/02/2005 - 17:05:34

Huge amounts of cash could be stashed away as part of the IRA’s money laundering operation, Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy said today.

He said he believed that people could have unwittingly taken delivery of the money in a bid to conceal it from detectives hunting the Republicans involved.

But he warned: “We ask that they come forward and tell us what they know instead of us coming knocking on their doors.”

Fears that the Provisionals could be using a nationwide network of individuals heightened after it was confirmed that one man walked into a Cork garda station and handed over £175,000 (€253,000).

Detectives are investigating claims he was given the money by a man now being questioned.

Mr Conroy said: “Other sums of money which have been moved through the banking system are also being followed up.

“We appeal to any person who has recently received large sums of sterling in perhaps dubious circumstances to take this opportunity to contact us.

“This may be a better alternative than us calling to them and carrying out searches.

“We would appreciate any help from the public on that front. We would encourage anyone with information relating to the investigation to contact us.”

Speaking at Garda HQ in Dublin, Mr Conroy confirmed that £2.3m (€3.3m) was found in a house in Co Cork, €90,000 in a car boot at Dublin’s Heuston Station and €70,000 in other searches in Cork.

He said computers and documents seized in searches in Dublin, Cork, Dundalk and Offaly were being examined by members of the Garda Technical Bureau in a bid to trace more unaccounted money.

Detectives may also travel overseas on the trail of cash.

Mr Conroy said: “Our main occupation at the moment is dealing with matters in this jurisdiction but I’m not blind to the fact that we may very well travel overseas to investigate certain monies that may have gone there.”

Justice Minister Michael McDowell praised the work of the gardai in the operation.

He said: “The investigation been a massive success so far. The provisional movement is a colossal criminal operation laundering huge sums of money. Their mask slipped. The balaclavas came off.”

Mr Conroy said the nationwide operation had been planned for several weeks with cooperation from PSNI officers.

“This is a huge operation by the Garda Siochana and will need thousands of working man hours to bring this to a conclusion.

“To date this investigation has involved hundreds of gardai from national units and from local units in Dublin, Cork, Offaly and Louth.

“Naturally enough, we see a subversive involvement in the movement of this money.”

He said PSNI detectives would be examining the money in Dublin tonight and probing links with the Northern Bank robbery.

“We will be talking to them about the amount of money and the denominations we have recovered and hopefully something may follow from that.”

Mr Conroy refused to speculate on how much more money may be seized in the investigation.

“People may have received money unwittingly, perhaps in sterling, and they should be mindful that we are investigating large sums of sterling here.”

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?