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Dublin cruise ship murder suspect 'involved in Irish fraud probe'

Daniel Belling and Xing Lei Li leave court in Dublin in 2011 (Image via O'Brien)
Daniel Belling and Xing Lei Li leave court in Dublin in 2011 (Image via O'Brien)

A murder suspect who resides in Dublin is involved in a fraud case in Ireland, according to a report.

Daniel Belling (45), with an address in the capital, was arrested at an Italian airport on February 20 as he was about to board a plane home to Ireland after his wife, Xing Lei Li, had disappeared from a cruse the couple and their children had been on. 

He is now in prison in Italy on suspicion of murder.

According to the Irish Sun, Mr Belling is also involved in a mortgage fraud investigation in Ireland.

Solicitor Peter Keatings, acting on behalf of Mr Belling, told the paper he went to court yesterday to retrieve "seized property" from gardai.

The paper reports that the application relates to a mortgage fraud case concerning Mr Belling.

Mr Keatings explained to Dublin District Court that Mr Belling is currently abroad as he applied for an adjournment:

"He is currently assisting the authorities in another jurisdiction relating to an inquiry at the moment. He is not here today.

"I would ask the court to consider adjourning the matter. It is not by his choice that he is in another country."

The case was adjourned but the the court heard that the matter could be "reactivated" in the future.

38-year-old Xing Lei Li disappeared from the luxury cruise in the Mediterranean and was last seen on February 10/11. 

Ms Li and her husband Mr Belling, who live in Clare Hall, Dublin, had set off on the 11-day cruise with their two children aboard the MSC Magnifica. The ship set sail from the Italian port of Civitavecchia on February 9 and continued on to Genoa, Malta, Greece and Cyprus.

Ms Li's husband was arrested by police in Italy after he tried to catch a Ryanair flight to Ireland with his two young children.

Earlier, the cruise company found that Ms Li was unaccounted for when it did a head count at the end of the cruise and contacted the authorities.

Mr Belling, who was born in Germany, denied killing her but said she had quit the trip after they had a row. He said he expected her to travel to either Ireland or her native China.