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Two more arrests over €14m money laundering scam

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Gardaí carried out two arrests

Gardaí carried out two arrests

Gardaí carried out two arrests

Gardai have arrested a man and a woman on suspicion of involvement in an international fraud gang that has laundered more than €14m through Irish banks.

The pair were detained by members of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) yesterday morning as part of an ongoing investigation into a West African-based organised crime group.

A man in his late 20s was detained under anti-gangland legislation on suspicion of committing offences to benefit a crime gang.

He is being held under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, which allows gardaí to detain him without charge for up to seven days.

The woman, also aged in her late 20s, was detained on suspicion of being a so-called 'money mule' who allowed the gang access to her bank account to be used for money laundering.

She is in custody under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 and can be held for up to 24 hours.

Both suspects remained in custody at Dundalk garda station last night.

The arrests are the latest part of a major investigation into a crime gang suspected of laundering €14.6m in ill-gotten gains through banks here.

They are the sixth and seventh arrests made as part of the inquiry, codenamed Operation Joggle, which is focusing on the activities of a West African organised crime group.

The garda investigation has focused on transactions between 2015 and 2017. Detectives suspect the gang made millions of euro via various scams across Europe, including invoice re-direct fraud.

This involves a scammer posing as a trusted supplier, and in most cases mimicking an established company email address or mobile number.

The fraudsters then dupe other legitimate company officers into transferring sums of money to bogus accounts. More than €14m made by the crime gang through these frauds is then believed to have been laundered through Irish accounts.

Searches

A garda spokeswoman said: "These arrests are part of Operation Joggle which is an ongoing investigation into a West African Organised Crime Gang that is suspected of being involved in trade-based money laundering to the estimated value of €14.6m over a two-year period."

In September 2018 gardaí carried out a total of 15 searches across five counties as part Operation Joggle.


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