SF members being questioned in NI bank raid probe
17/02/2005 - 17:16:06

It is believed that two of the seven people being questioned tonight as part of a major investigation into money laundering are members of Sinn Féin.

Three men a woman were arrested in Co Cork while three men were detained in Dublin as part of the same operation.

More than £10m (€14.4m) was seized during the operations.

Police forces on both sides of the border said there was nothing at this stage to link the recovered money with the £26.5m (€37.8m) robbery from the Northern Bank in Belfast.

A garda spokeswoman said the four people arrested in Cork were being detained under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act in various stations in the city.

“During the course of the arrests, a quantity of cash was seized in the Douglas area, and a substantial amount of cash in the Farran area,” she said.

“As part of the same operation, three men were arrested in Dublin city last night and are currently detained under Section 30 of the Offences Against The State Act in various stations in Dublin.

“This operation is ongoing.”

A spokeswoman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland insisted it was too early to link the seizure with the £26.5m (€37.8m) robbery from the Northern Bank in Belfast before Christmas.

“It is too early to say at this stage if any of the money found was connected to the Northern Bank robbery but both forces are in contact,” she said.

A spokesman for Justice minister Michael McDowell said he was being continuously briefed by gardaí on their investigation.

Assistant Chief Constable Sam Kincaid, who is in overall charge of the investigation into the Northern Bank robbery, was in Dublin today for talks with senior detectives where the raid was discussed.

Detective Superintendent Andy Sproule, who is heading the day-to-day operation of the probe, is expected to travel to Dublin tomorrow.

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