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third arrest Gardaí quiz suspected money mule as part of probe into €1.1m fraud

Detectives make third arrest in suspected money laundering scheme linked to organised crime gang

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Sources say there are plans to arrest at least 12 more people as part of an operation being run by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau

Sources say there are plans to arrest at least 12 more people as part of an operation being run by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau

Sources say there are plans to arrest at least 12 more people as part of an operation being run by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau

Fraud squad detectives have arrested a third man in a long-running investigation into money laundering linked to an organised crime gang involved a €1.1m fraud.

The suspected “low-level” money mule is being detained at Tallaght garda station after his arrest in the Dublin suburb this morning.

Sources say there are plans to arrest at least a dozen more people as part of Operation PARADE which is being run by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB).

Gardaí said in a statement that the man in his 20s is being detained under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2007.

“This individual would not be high on the food chain but it is suspected that he allowed his bank account to be used,” a senior source told Independent.ie.

Two 22-year-old men were previously arrested in March and February as part of the same probe and were released without charge after being questioned separately at Naas and Clondalkin garda stations.

“Operation PARADE is an investigation being conducted by GNECB into the theft of approximately €1.1m from a Dublin-based company in November 2020 in an invoice redirect fraud,” a Garda spokesman said.

“The company received an email which they believed to be from a trading company telling them that their bank account was changed and to send the money to a new bank account.

“In this instance, with the co-operation of various banks, approximately €1m of this stolen money was recovered in various other bank accounts.”

The 22-year-old suspect arrested in February is a bank employee from Lucan.

The bank employee was released without charge after being questioned at Clondalkin garda station but sources say “important evidence” has already been discovered on one mobile device linked to the suspect.

Officers are now trying to examine another device which may have even more details about the bank employee’s suspected involvement.

While the bank worker is being investigated for being a possible “inside man” in relation to the huge theft, the man arrested today and the 22-year-old arrested in Co Kildare in March are suspected of allowing their bank accounts to be used by the organised crime gang.

Money mule accounts are usually held by unconnected third parties, who are approached by recruiters and asked to allow their accounts be used for a transaction in exchange for a fee of a few hundred euro.

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Often the fraudsters use students' and young people's bank account details by offering them a fee to allow use of their accounts for a few days.

Invoice redirection fraud happens when a person or a business falls prey to requests, purporting to emanate from trusted suppliers or service providers, into believing that a beneficiary’s bank account details have been changed.

As a result, funds that are due to be paid out are transferred to a fraudulent account.

The GNECB are investigating multiple cases of this type of fraud on a daily basis.

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