Money laundering: Seven arrested as £215m of assets seized

The investigation into a £215m money laundering operation involved searches carried out at 15 locations, including this one in Banbridge

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Police officers at one of 15 addresses across Northern Ireland raided as part of a major investigation into international money laundering

Police say they have broken up a major international money laundering operation being run out of Northern Ireland.

Detectives believe it was handling about £215m worth of criminal assets.

It is understood to be the second biggest money laundering operation ever uncovered in the UK.

Over a two-day period, officers arrested seven people and carried out searches at 15 addresses in Belfast, Banbridge, Ballymena, Newry and Omagh.

The “complex” investigation involved the help of Europol, the EU’s law enforcement agency.

Authorities in Great Britain and Ireland also assisted the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

One of the searches was at a rural property outside Banbridge, which officers in unmarked police cars entered at about 08:00 GMT on Monday.

Several businesses are registered as operating from the address.

It is not believed there is any paramilitary link to the money laundering operation.

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