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Crime doesn't pay Mysterious 'money launderer for hire' being investigated by specialist gardai

The 35-year-old at the centre of the investigation is originally from the north east of the country but is now living in Cork.

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Person counting cash (stock)

Person counting cash (stock)

Person counting cash (stock)

Specialist gardai are investigating a very unusual case into the activities of a mysterious criminal who is suspected of acting as a “money launderer for hire.”

A series of searches and examinations of bank accounts took place on Thursday in Co Cork as officers try to untangle a web of suspicious transactions, activities and associations.

Fraud squad detectives launched a major money laundering investigation after they seized over €76,000 worth of sterling and made two arrests as part of a major operation at Dublin Port just after midnight on May 1 last.

The 35-year-old at the centre of the investigation is originally from the north east of the country but is now living in Cork.

A Lithuanian national aged in his 40s was also arrested with the Cork resident at Dublin Port in May but it is the younger man who is the main focus of the investigation.

“He is a very unusual type in that he was not on the garda radar until he was arrested at Dublin Port.

“But detailed investigations have now established that he has links to crime gangs here, Northern Ireland, England and even Lithuania.

“He claims to run a construction company but the suspicious thing is that this company does not seem to do any building work at all,” a senior source said.

The investigation is being led by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB).

Officers have established that the suspect is linked to a notorious killer who is originally from Co Monaghan and was previously convicted of a savage crime.

“This a very tangled web of criminality with an international dimension. All the indications are that this is an individual who is acting as a money launderer for hire.

“Because of his low profile, it seems that gangs have been enlisting this individual to move money for them or even invest money for them at an international level.

“This is a complicated investigation and forensic accountants are playing a key role in it,” the source said.

Fraud squad officers have been investigating the suspect ever since he was arrested in May and detained at Store Street Garda Station before being released without charge.

There were no arrests made as part of Thursday’s search operation but a large amount of potential evidence was seized.

In May gardai announced details of the Dublin Port arrest operation.

“Members from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) assisted by Gardaí from the Immigration Unit in Store Street and the Armed Support Unit stopped a car as it arrived into Dublin Port at a COVID 19 checkpoint,” a garda spokesman said at the time.

“An initial search of the car uncovered cash hidden behind a panel. The car was seized for technical examination and more cash was discovered during a follow-up search. In total, £66,440 was seized (approximately €76,228).

“The occupants (two men in their 30s and 40s) were arrested at the scene,” the spokesman added.

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