05 Jul 2022

Gardaí swoop on suspected money laundering gang in Midlands

garda garda

Another raft of raids lead to arrests by gardaí targeting 'criminal organisation'

Suspected organised money laundering and the recruitment of so-called money mules has led to the latest round of arrests in the midlands by Gardaí who are investigating a multi-million euro operation which has seen nearly 80 people arrested to date.

Garda HQ issued a statement on what's going on and the latest development on August 3 after the latest round of raids and arrests in efforts to crack the criminal activity involved.

They say Gardaí from Longford, supported by detectives from the Gardaí's National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB), carried out five searches on Tuesday morning at various locations across the county under the auspices of Operation SKEIN.

The statment said the four men and one woman, aged in their late teens and 20s are currently being detained under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007, at Longford, Mullingar and Granard Garda Stations. Those arrested are detained on suspicion of acting as and recruiting money mules, as well as laundering money in bank accounts for a criminal organisation. All five suspects can be held for up to seven days.

Gardaí say Operation SKEIN is a GNECB investigation into a criminal organisation involved in worldwide invoice redirect frauds and the subsequent laundering of the proceeds of these crimes through bank accounts in Ireland.

To date, it is estimated that this criminal organisation have stolen over €15.5 million and laundered near €14 million in Ireland.

In a statement, a garda spokesperson said outlined inroads made to date in breaking up the gang.

"Approximately 78 people have now been arrested who are connected to this criminal organisation.

"A number of convictions have been recorded, numerous are before the courts charged with offences and files are being prepared for the DPP and GYDO in respect of the rest. More arrests are anticipated.

"GNECB continues to work with local districts and with international Police Forces through Eurojust, Europol and Interpol as they target this criminal organisation," it said.

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