Man held in Cork in money laundering probe

Monday 21 February 2005 10.00
1 of 3
Farran, Cork - £2.3m transferred to Dublin
Farran, Cork - £2.3m transferred to Dublin
Noel Conroy - Dublin news conference
Noel Conroy - Dublin news conference
Tommy Hanlon - SF politician released without charge
Tommy Hanlon - SF politician released without charge

A man in his 20s has been arrested in Passage West in Co Cork as part of the investigation into Republican money laundering by the gardaí.

The man was found with a number of rounds of ammunition.

He was arrested after reports that he had been trying to burn sterling notes.

Meanwhile in Belfast, the PSNI are investigating the discovery of a sum of money at a Belfast leisure complex which may be linked to the Northern Bank raid.

The find was made at a facility frequently used by the PSNI.

Real IRA suspect remanded in custody

Earlier, a suspected Real IRA member who was arrested with €94,000 at Heuston Station was remanded in custody at the Special Criminal Court.

The court heard that 30-year-old Don Bullman from Leghanamore, Wilton in Cork was suspected of being involved in an IRA money laundering operation.

He was arrested along with two Northern Irish men sitting in a jeep at the station last Wednesday.

Gardaí found a box of Daz washing powder containing the €94,000 in cash on the back seat and also recovered six mobile phones.

The defendant, who is charged with membership of an illegal organisation, was remanded in custody to appear for a bail hearing next Monday.

Two other men arrested in Dublin and detained at Clondalkin Garda Station have been released without charge pending a file to the DPP.

Tommy Hanlon, a Sinn Féin politician who was being questioned in connection with the operation, has been released without charge from Tocher Garda Station.

He was the party's election agent for the South Constituency in last June's European elections.

Conroy outlines Garda operation

Earlier, the Garda Commissioner gave a news conference on the latest in the major investigation into money laundering.

He confirmed that another three men and a woman had been arrested arising from the operation and that they were believed to have subversive connections.

Mr Conroy said that the four were arrested after Stg £2.3m was seized at a house in Farran, Co Cork yesterday. He added that mixed sterling notes and euro totalling €70,000 were recovered in further searches.

Meanwhile, the £2.3 million haul has been transferred to Dublin under armed escort.

The cash was packed into a total of 17 evidence bags. Heavy garda security surrounded the house as the bags were loaded into the back of a jeep before being transferred to garda headquarters.

The forensic examination of the money will continue in Dublin.

The Garda Commissioner also confirmed that €175,000 was surrendered to gardaí in Anglesea in Cork. He appealed to anyone who had recently received large numbers of sterling notes in dubious circumstances to contact gardaí.

Mr Conroy said searches have also taken place in Cork, Dublin and Offaly. During the course of these searches he said they had seized documents and computers which are now being examined.

He confirmed that the garda operation involves hundreds of gardaí from national and local units, and that close co-operation has also come from the PSNI.

Commissioner Conroy said the gardaí would follow the trail of any money that had ended up in bank accounts, and that they may also travel overseas to investigate any monies that may have gone there.