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Northern Ireland Laundry

By Patrick Van Roy On January 22nd, 2020

Officers from PSNI’s Economic Crime Unit have conducted the largest money laundering search and arrest operation in Northern Ireland focussing on the international money laundering of criminal assets accumulating to approximately £215 million.

Fifteen properties were searched across Northern Ireland and seven people arrested.

Eight searches were carried out yesterday (Monday 20 January) in Banbridge, Newry and Omagh and seven further searches were carried out in Belfast, Banbridge, Newry and Ballymena earlier today (Tuesday 21 January).

17 Responses to “Northern Ireland Laundry”

  1. Couldn’t bee all that serious:

    Six men and a woman, arrested during the two-day operation on Monday and Tuesday, have been released on bail.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-51190719

  2. Really Paul?

    “Officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) carried out eight searches in Banbridge, Newry and Omagh on Monday, with further searches in Belfast, Banbridge, Newry and Ballymena on Tuesday. They believe fake companies were set up to launder money for Irish and UK crime gangs engaged in drugs, human trafficking and prostitution. The “complex” investigation involved the international police agencies Europol and Interpol, as well as authorities in the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain.”

  3. Agreed. So why did they let six arrested in connection with such a big operation out on bail?

  4. Because there is a presumption in favour of bail unless there is a risk of flight. Given the property aspect to this, that seems unliklely. I’m not a lawyer (thankfully) but I believe that bail is only refused automatically in cases of suspected murder or serious assault.

  5. Because there is a presumption in favour of bail unless there is a risk of flight

    That’s absolutely not true and given that this is an investigation into an allegedly £215 million laundering ring I’d say that was serious enough to warrant a refusal of bail?

  6. Seems pretty serious to me.

  7. Lots of accuseds are freed on bail.

    Bernie Madoff was out on bail before being convicted.

    Each country has its own rules and I don’t know how the British system works on this but a nonviolent offender who is deemed to be a low flight risk would be granted bail in many places and rightfully so.

    Why not grant bail otherwise? They are not convicted of anything.

  8. That’s absolutely not true and given that this is an investigation into an allegedly £215 million laundering ring I’d say that was serious enough to warrant a refusal of bail?

    Whatever Paul, you know best. Maybe the whole thing is just a conspiracy to deflect attention from [please fill in chosen conspiracy, even if you are from Aberdeen]

  9. Ghosn was out on bail even in Japan’s unfair and biased in favor of the prosecution system

    Not granting bail to nonviolent offenders not deemed flight risks who haven’t been convicted and who maybe have not even been charged yet would be extraordinary.

  10. 215 million is sizable amount for NI. It shows the amount of criminality. Information found may generate more arrests. I wonder if they swept up any solicitors and accountants.

  11. Cigarette taxes are super sky high in the UK, and are much lower in Eastern Europe

    Your government has therefore ensured a huge black market in tobacco

    The mafia and paramilitary gangs doff their caps to the geniuses who keep the tax so high

    It’s a similar story in New York.

    In New York City, the combined state and city tax on one pack of cigarettes is $5.85. In North Carolina, The tax on a pack of cigarettes is 45 cents. New York City and all the surrounding areas have an enormous black market smuggled in from North Carolina and Virginia etc.

    Our governments are run by complete idiots on the issue of prohibition / punitive taxes on tobacco and drugs

    https://www.taxadmin.org/assets/docs/Research/Rates/cigarette.pdf

  12. Whatever Paul, you know best

    Not at all. I don’t know best Peter but facts speak for themselves. Here’s a case last month were the suspect was remanded in custody for a less serious offence:

    The judge refused bail and the defendant was remanded in custody to appear back at Ballymena Magistrates Court via video link on January 9

    https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/belfast-man-integral-part-of-atm-theft-gang-remanded-into-custody-38778521.html

    Couldn’t be all that serious

    That was clumsily worded. I meant the charges against those arrested couldn’t be all that serious if they were released on bail.

    Cigarette taxes are super sky high in the UK, and are much lower in Eastern Europe

    Your government has therefore ensured a huge black market in tobacco

    The mafia and paramilitary gangs doff their caps to the geniuses who keep the tax so high

    Absolutely correct on all points. A packet of 20 cigarettes costs less than €5 here and the same packet of cigarettes costs £11 in Belfast.

  13. The charges seem pretty serious and a quick search indicates accused murderers have gotten out on bail in NI so I wouldn’t equate issuing of bail with the seriousness of the charges.

  14. A quick search indicates accused murderers have gotten out on bail in NI

    Very much the exception to the rule?

  15. My understanding is that it was police bail, not bail set by the courts. So they haven’t been charged yet.

  16. I’d assumed that it was bail from the courts. If the above is true I stand corrected in my assumption.

  17. A number of smokers that I know here never buy fully taxed legal cigarettes.

    They buy untaxed butts brought up from VA or NC, from small ” candy stores ” or newspaper type stands / cash businesses in Brooklyn and Staten Island, in a furtive business that politicians don’t fully realize that they themselves have created.

    Even decades ago, when I lived in Italy for a time, I was told of huge shipments of illegal cigarettes being sold in Napoli. And that was at a time when all taxes were way less than now.

    I’d cut the cigarette taxes drastically if I could, to maybe 50 cents a pack. The NYS/NYC govt tax take would fall, but the illegal trade would cease.