Sunday 20 January 2019

Intrigue builds as bank chief's laptop stolen with IMF data

INTRIGUE grew today as it emerged another laptop containing sensitive financial information has been stolen.

News that a computer was taken from the home of Anglo Irish Bank chief Mike Aynsley comes days after the Herald revealed that a number of laptop stolen from the offices of the Revenue Commissioners also contained highly sensitive data. They contained the records of Fianna Fail-linked developers under investigation for alleged tax evasion.

The device taken from Mr Aynsley's home in Glenageary, Co Dublin also contained personal information.

It's believed that information sent to the European Commission to allow Anglo receive multi-billion euro state aid payments was contained in the laptop's files.

Detectives investigating the theft have CCTV footage of three hooded males gaining access to his home at the time of the theft in mid-November.

No trace of the assailants or the laptop has been discovered since the robbery.

The records contained on the computer were not encrypted but did have password protection.

Reports of the theft emerged a week after 10 laptops were taken from a high security building belonging to the Revenue Commission.

A number of businesspeople whose records were stolen were being investigated by tax officials and are linked to Fianna Fail, the Herald understands.

Since the theft at the 52-year-old's home, the security at Mr Aynsley's home and the homes of other top Anglo officials has been stepped up.

No details of the robbery have emerged until now as security staff at the financial institution assessed what information was on the computer.


The internal bank investigation revealed that the laptop did contain personal and banking information and around 70 emails, none of which was of a sensitive nature.

None of the information related to customers.

The Data Commissioner, Billy Hawkes, has also been alerted to the theft.

The thieves are understood to have gained access to the home by kicking down a door.

There is no evidence at this point to suggest that Mr Aynsley was specifically targeted as a result of his work.

Other valuables, including a camera and an iPod, were also stolen in the raid.

There have been a number of other burglaries in the area in recent months. Mr Aynsley, from Sydney in Australia, was appointed chief executive of the bank in August 2009.

He succeeded David Drumm, who quit after it emerged the bank had concealed loans of over €100m belonging to its former chairman, Sean FitzPatrick.

News of the burglary comes just over a week after the Revenue theft, dubbed 'Ashtowngate' -- a reference to the notorious Watergate burglary.

Three men entered the Revenue's offices at Ashtown Gate on Navan Road using a special swipe card, during a 30-minute window when the offices were empty but the main alarm system had not been activated.

The theft occurred at 7.15pm on Thursday, January 27, at Revenue's offices at Ashtown, Navan Road, north Dublin.

Gardai suspect that the theft was made in a bid to disrupt criminal investigations into tax evasion.

The bulk of the details which have been lost refer to massive tax evasion by developers in the Dublin area.


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