Gardaí arrest man in €29m, three-year fraud investigation connected to organised crime

Gardaí arrest man in €29m, three-year fraud investigation connected to organised crime
File photo.

Gardaí investigating organised crime have arrested a man in connection with a €29m fraud investigation.

The man in his 50s was arrested on Tuesday and is being held for questioning at Castlerea Garda station.

He is the second person to be arrested in connection with what officers are describing as a 'VAT carousel fraud' investigation after a woman in her 40s was detained in May in Co. Louth before being released without charge.

VAT carousels involve more than one jurisdiction and numerous layers to facilitate the alleged movement of goods which in turn leads to the State being defrauded of VAT.

It involves supplier companies, V.A.T. registered entities, customer companies and transport companies.

Officers had identified funds moving through bank accounts across a range of financial institutions linked to various companies in Ireland and Northern Ireland, under the control of an organised crime group.

Large sums of money were subsequently transferred to bank accounts in a number of countries abroad.

Since the investigation started in September 2016, officers have obtained a large volume of files from various financial institutions.

In September 2017, 15 properties, both commercial and residential, were searched across the country by The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau. A large volume of digital and documentary evidence was seized.

The PSNI, Revenue and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs Agency (HMRC) are helping Gardaí - including the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB), the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) and Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB) - with the investigation.

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