Student charged in connection with alleged €1.5m money laundering operation
An economics student has been charged in connection with an alleged €1.5m money laundering operation.
Chinese national Cheng Yu (25) is alleged to have been in possession of more than €137,000 in criminal proceeds over a two-month period at banks in Dublin.
A court heard this was part of a “large scale” garda investigation and further charges could be brought.
Judge Bryan Smyth granted Mr Yu bail but set it at €12,000 and remanded him in custody until he is able to take up bail.
The accused, of Roebuck Castle, Clonskeagh appeared in Dublin District Court on four sample charges of possession of sums of money that were the proceeds of crime, under the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act.
The offences are alleged to have happened at branches of Bank of Ireland at O’Connell Street and College Green on dates between September 11 and November 2.
Detective Garda Tom Victory of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau told Judge Smyth Mr Yu made no reply to the charges after caution.
Objecting to bail, he said the charges related to third party lodgments and activity occurring on accounts not in the accused’s name.
He said there were other transactions amounting to €1.4m but the accused was not charged in relation to that sum.
He believed the accused to be a flight risk if released. He said Mr Yu was unknown to the gardai and had multiple identification documents that were not in his name.
When arrested, he had two bank cards relating to other people and in a search of his bedsit, five documents relating to four people were recovered. These were two student plus bank statements, an AIB fee advice, an AIB personal bank account and a KBC sample bank statement.
Gardai also found a document issued by a taxation consultant confirming a named man was a director of a company trading in high-end diamonds with lodgements of €30,000 per day expected.
There were typographical errors and this document did not seem very professional, Det Gda Victory said.
Gardai were not satisfied with Mr Yu’s identity and believed he had no ties to Ireland. Mr Yu had “access to large cash pools” and had returned to China for several months while living here, Det Gda Victory said.
Applying for bail, defence solicitor Donal Quigley said the accused had been in Ireland for two years and was studying economics at UCD. He was presumed innocent and would abide by bail conditions.
Judge Smyth granted bail in the accused’s own bond of €500 but with a €12,000 independent surety, half of which is to be lodged in cash.
Under conditions, he is to surrender his passport, sign on at a garda station and provide a contact phone number.
He was remanded in custody with consent to bail, to appear in Cloverhill District Court on November