16 Mar 2021
Gardai have described the arrest of a man as “extremely significant” as they aim to dismantle an organised crime gang involved in laundering over €10m of invoice re-direct fraud funds through Irish bank accounts.
Detectives found a number of fake ID documents when the suspect was arrested at a property in Naas this morning and he is currently being questioned by fraud squad detectives at Irishtown Garda Station in south Dublin.
He is the 15th suspect to be arrested as part of Operation SKEIN by detectives from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB).
“This individual states that he is aged 24 but gardai are not satisfied that is his age until further checks are carried out,” a senior source told Independent.ie.
But what specialist officers are certain of is that the Nigerian national has played a key role in the international crime gang involved in the massive fraud operation.
“He can be described as money management in that he is suspected of recruiting money mules and then managing their accounts. He decides what goes in and what goes out of the bank accounts and is deeply involved in the co-ordination of where the money goes,” the source pointed out.
Investigations have established that the suspect has set-up a number of bank accounts using a false name but he was also previously arrested after he attempted to open an account at a bank in the capital’s north inner city with a false passport while using his actual name around two years ago.
“This suspect is very presentable and clean cut and it is suspected that he has been setting up bank accounts under a false name for a number of years which has meant he has been the focus of major investigations by at least four different garda stations during that time,” the source added.
Sources say that he has close connections to the Crumlin area and is closely linked to another Nigerian national who is 37-year-old man who had been living in the south Dublin suburb and is considered one of the main players in the mob.
He was arrested last month as part of the probe last month and investigations have also established that Irish based females from Ghana and Zimbabwe are important members of the organised crime gang.
While 15 arrests have now been made so far as part of Operation SKEIN, the GNECB have identified 90 suspects resident in Ireland and are satisfied that €10m has been laundered through Irish bank accounts.
By Ken Foy, Irish Independent, 15 March 2021
Read more at Independent.ie
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