CRIME

Suspect arrested in Louth in relation to alleged €29m fraud activities

Gardai

David Lynch

Reporter:

David Lynch

Suspect arrested in Louth in relation to alleged €29m fraud activities

Following an operation related to an ongoing crime investigation into alleged money laundering activities of approximately €29 Million by an organised crime gang, Detectives from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) arrested a suspect on Thursday in Co. Louth for an offence contrary to Section 72 Criminal Justice Act 2006.

The suspect was detained at Dundalk Garda Station under the provisions of Section 50 Criminal Justice Act 2007 and was later released without charge. A file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions. Investigations are ongoing. This is the third arrest to date in this investigation.

Background:

The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau commenced a multi-agency investigation in September 2016 into a multi-million euro VAT carousel fraud (29 million Euro). Funds were identified moving through bank accounts across a range of financial institutions linked to various companies in Ireland and Northern Ireland, under the control of an organised crime group operating in the border region. Large sums of money were subsequently transferred to bank accounts in a number of foreign jurisdictions. 

V.A.T. carousels involve more than one jurisdiction and numerous layers to facilitate the alleged movement of goods which in turn leads to the state being defrauded of VAT. This type of fraud involves supplier companies, V.A.T. registered entities, customer companies and transport companies.  

Since the investigation’s inception, numerous production orders have been served on financial institutions and a large volume of documentary evidence has been uplifted.

In September 2017 fifteen properties, both commercial and residential were searched across four provinces, by The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau. A large volume of both digital and documentary evidence was seized.

In May 2019, one person was arrested as part of this investigation in Co. Louth and detained under the provisions of Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007 for questioning.

In August 2019, a second person was arrested and detained under the provisions of Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007 for questioning.

This investigation is being led by The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB), and is supported on both sides of the border by The Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB), the Revenue Commissioners, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs Agency (HMRC).