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Dublin: 2 °C Tuesday 12 November, 2019
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11 arrested as part of money laundering investigation involving Chinese crime gangs

Six properties were searched by the PSNI across Belfast today.

File photo
File photo
Image: Shutterstock/Ti_ser

ELEVEN PEOPLE HAVE been arrested in Northern Ireland as part of a money laundering investigation involving Chinese organised crime groups.

Six properties were searched across Belfast today by the PSNI’s Economic Crime Unit.

Six men aged 67, 48, 44, 42, 41 and 35 and five women aged 60, 38, 36, 34 and 32 were arrested. All 11 suspects are currently in police custody being questioned by detectives.

Today’s operation was supported by the PSNI’s Operational Support Department, the National Crime Agency, Immigration Enforcement and Border Force, and is part of a UK-wide operation. 

“During our investigation we identified that a significant volume of suspected criminal cash was being laundered out of the country through a number of bank accounts held here in Northern Ireland,” Detective Chief Inspector Ian Wilson said. 

In total, almost £16 million (about €17.9 million) has been deposited to thousands of bank accounts across the UK from the accounts since January 2018.

“We believe that the majority of this money is derived from a range of criminal activity carried out by Chinese organised crime groups.”

Wilson added that money laundering is “often a critical enabler of organised criminality and today’s operation is part of a wider ongoing investigation”.

He appealed for anyone with any information on this type of activity to call the police via 101 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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Órla Ryan

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