Ireland is a Sitting Duck, a Safe Haven, for Foreign Crime Gangs, and Paedophile Rings. We have at least 100, 000, Imigrants here, with False Documents, not 5,000, as Goverments States. Naturally Irish peopler, are Worried, and Angry.

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Ireland at the centre of a probe into a new money laundering scheme by crime gangs

• 4h ago

IRELAND IS AT the centre of an international money laundering operation in which global criminal gangs are buying millions of euro of legitimate products to mask stolen money. 

Detective Chief Superintendent Pat Lordan, the head of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB), spoke to The Journal at the European Anti-Financial Crime Summit.Can I Immigrate to Canada? Find out if you qualify

Lordan said that his detectives have seen significant successes against organised crime groups but that more work and adequate resourcing is needed to continue that trend.

“We’ve increased detections, charged and convicted more people – we’ve increased preventative methods – taken on organised crime groups.

“A lot of countries feel that it is better to not know about this because then they look okay but my view is that no country is okay in this realm – you have to dig in, find the crime and deal with it.

“Ireland is in a good place dealing with money laundering crimes but I am concerned about the new methods that have appeared in recent times,” he said.

Lordan said that one key method that has recently become prevalent, not jut in Ireland but across Europe, is “trade-based money laundering”.

This is a method whereby criminals will use money made through crime, drug dealing and fraud mostly, to then purchase legitimate goods which through a complex web of distributors and deals to remove the paper trail back to them.

“When they steal money in Ireland or where ever, they want to get that money back to their boss in their home country.

“The difficulty if carrying the money you have to go through an airport or a port and you may get stopped by customs or law enforcement and lose the money.

“One organised crime group we are dealing with is transferring that money into product, real goods such as pharmaceuticals, shoes, machinery, perfume anything that they can sell on.

“They are then shipping those goods to their home country and the full value of the goods is repatriated to the home country where the leadership is operating. The goods have been paid for with the money they have got through fraud here in Ireland,” he explained. 

Lordan has said that this is a multinational crime – spread across the European continent. He explained that the payments could be spread across three different accounts in three different countries to mask their original origin.

He said An Garda Síochána are liaising with German, Swiss, Belgian, Italy and French police to deal with the problem. 

There are also links between the GNECB and police in the US and South Africa.

“We are leading out on this along with some really expert help and advice with Interpol – we’ve done a lot of work in this area but there is more work needed,” he explained.


Lordan said a key to fighting this type of laundering was that gardaí must talk to companies to be “concerned” about how such transactions are passing through their accounts. 

“If you are a manager of a company and you see payments for an order coming from multiple accounts you now have to ask yourself the question: ‘am I now laundering money for organised crime.

“We’ve knocked on the doors of companies in Europe and where they are now understand they laundered €1m money for an OCG – it is not a pretty place to be,” he added. 

Lordan said the primary location for such criminal organisations is in west Africa. 

The Chief Superintendent said that there is also other concerns around criminal gang members who have infiltrated legitimate businesses to harvest bank details and other personal data. 

An Garda Síochána were examining a number of incidents of this and that they had recently arrested a female employee of a firm acting on behalf of a crime group. She was caught when she inadvertently took a photograph with her real identity inadvertently in view.  

The event in the RDS in Dublin had a large number of the world’s financial crime experts attending. 


That included Mark Bishop, Head of Intelligence Operations with the National Crime Agency (NCA) in the UK.

He spoke of the NCA’s efforts to rid London of Russian oligarch money laundering. 

He revealed that they began tracking the identities of the Russian citizens using London and their enablers after the Salisbury Poisoning in which a former Russian spy was poisoned in 2018. 

He said that these enquiries have built a detailed picture of those responsible for the activity but also identified, particularly lawyers, as key enablers of Russian activities in, what has become known as, Londongrad.

Mark Bishop of the British National Crime Agency.© AML Intelligence

The key to this work, Bishop said, was the increasing of dedicated intelligence teams – this then in turn identified the Russian nationals who made up the sanctions list. 

“Sanctions are not a primary tool for us, they are about encouraging those who stepped over the line to step back.

“But once the (British) Foreign Office doing actions designations and implications, our angle is trying to detect criminal sanctions breaches and act upon them,” he said. 

This work identified key sectors who helped these Russian criminals to work and make money in London – estate agents, auction houses that acted as banks and unscrupulous lawyers.

They were then targeted for action – at times with professional regulation organisations that can remove the licence of those professionals to stop working. 

 Separately Brian McKenzie, AIB’s head of Financial Crime Compliance, spoke about the impact of sanctions on Russian businesses. 

He said 1,500 people in the EU, across 200 entities, with 14 Russian and Belarussian banks removed from the SWIFT International payments network. €21.5bn of assets in the EU and €300 of Russia National bank assets were all frozen.

 McKenzie said that this has caused a major flux and “complexity” in the banking sector’s efforts to monitor transactions by Russian entities. 

“We watch closely the proposals for the EU eleventh round of sanctions and note proposals to target entities in countries such as China, Uzbekistan, Syria, Armenia and the United Arab Emirates. 

“Obviously any potential for China related sanctions is a cause for alarm and I note warnings from Germany to the EU about potential trade sanctions against China,” he said. 

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