IRA ‘laundered €250m in just three years’

THE IRA stashed away €250 million in “dirty money” through a tiny bureau de change over just three years, broadcaster TV3 will claim tonight.

The money was laundered — or turned into untraceable money — by the Provisional IRA to fund its terrorism campaign across Ireland and Britain.

The claims are made in TV3’s show Dirty Money, which is fronted by Sunday World crime correspondent Paul Williams.

In the show Williams looks at the Criminal Assets Bureau’s (CAB) investigation of the IRA’s criminal empire.

Justice Minister Brian Lenihan appears on the show and confirms he has met the CAB about the IRA money.

“If people are involved in crime and they have assets as a result we will target them,” he tells the programme.

Mr Lenihan also warns the Provisionals and their supporters that no one will escape the CAB despite political progress in the north.

“There will be no special ‘ins’ for people in this area,” he tells the show.

Former Justice and Finance Minister Alan Dukes also tells the show that Sinn Féin should be investigated if the party was found to have been funded illegally.

The TV3 Dirty Money show, the last in a six-part series, also focuses on the alleged former IRA chief of staff, Thomas “Slab” Murphy, who lives on the Louth-Armagh border.

The programme also claims that IRA cross-border smuggling costs the British government €20m a month in lost taxes and excise duties.

“For nearly 40 years the main paramilitary player in Ireland has been the Provisional IRA,” said a TV3 spokeswoman.

“But to run their war they needed money — a lot of money — and most of it was dirty.”

* Dirty Money is broadcast on TV3 at 10pm tonight.

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