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Man arrested in Louth following investigation into alleged money laundering of €29 million

It is the third arrest following a multi-agency investigation which began in September 2016.

Image: Niall Carson

GARDAÍ HAVE ARRESTED a man in Louth following an investigation into alleged money laundering activities with a value of around €29 million. 

It is the third arrest following a multi-agency investigation which began in September 2016 into a multi-million euro VAT carousel fraud. 

Detectives from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) arrested a suspect in Louth this afternoon for an offence contrary to Section 72 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006. 

The suspect was detained at Dundalk garda station and was later released without charge. A file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions. 

Gardaí launched the investigation after funds were identified moving through bank accounts in a number of financial institutions, linked to various companies in Ireland and Northern Ireland, and under the control of an organised crime gang operating in the border region. 

Large sums of money were subsequently transferred to bank accounts in a number of foreign jurisdictions. 

VAT carousels involve more than one jurisdiction and numerous lawyers to facilitate the alleged movement of goods, which in turn leads to the State being defrauded of VAT. This type of fraud involves supplier companies, VAT registered entities, customer companies and transport companies. 

Numerous production orders have been served on financial institutions and a large volume of documentary evidence has been taken in by gardaí.

In September 2017, 15 properties, both commercial and residential were searched across four provinces, by the GNECB and a large volume of both digital and documentary evidence was seized.

In May, one person was arrested as part of this investigation in Co. Louth and taken in for questioning. In August, another man was arrested and detained for questioning under the provisions of Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007.

While the GNECB is leading the investigation, other agencies including the Criminal Assets Bureau, the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, the Revenue Commissioners, the PSNI, the National Crime Agency and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs Agency are also involved. 

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