Investigators hired by Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, formerly Anglo Irish Bank have been dispatched on a world wide hunt to track down Sean Quinn’s property assets and fortunes.
The island of Vanuatu in the South Pacific, north of Fiji has became the focus of these investigations. Vanuatu specialises in off-shore banking and offers strict secrecy and no taxes for investors to put their “surplus funds”. The receivers were appointed over all of the Quinn children’s assets. Freezing orders were also granted preventing dissipation of up to €500m assets.
The team of investigators, led by a former Irish detective, have been working around the clock to establish whether the former tycoon concealed funds before the bank moved in to recover outstanding loans of €2.8bn debt.
It was alleged that Sean Quinn, his son Sean Junior and his nephew Peter conspired to put €455m tied to the family’s property portfolio out of reach of Anglo. The three Quinns were found to be in contempt of the High Court last week.
IBRC has been engaged in more than 40 legal actions across the world in an attempt to trace the assets. The investigation is headed by Risk Management International, a private investigation firm, in conjunction with the Kroll agency in London. It is understood the team was in Australia and New Zealand last week, and it is believed the link to Vanuatu was unearthed during investigations in Sydney and Melbourne.
The Quinn family are under increasing pressure to disclose their assets, following a damning High Court judgement that found Sean Quinn, his son, Sean Jnr, and his nephew, Peter, guilty of contempt of court for ignoring court orders to stop the asset stripping. They were told to comply with the court orders or face the possibility of a prison sentence.
Last weekend, secret film footage at a meeting in Kiev disclosed Sean Jnr talking about moving $100,000 into Ireland undetected, it also showed Peter Quinn, nephew of Sean Quinn saying that he was prepared to lie in court.
On viewing the footage, the IBRC asked the High Court to appoint receivers over the worldwide assets of members of the Quinn family, because it believes they cannot be trusted to comply with court orders.
In what has been termed a “blow” to the Quinn case, this week Rossa Fanning, one of the barristers representing Sean Quinn quit ahead of a crucial court date which will decide if Ireland’s former richest man goes to jail.
Last week also brought the news that Sean Quinn will not be entitled to defend himself against a legal action by the former Anglo Irish Bank for more than €2.3bn.
Mr Justice Kelly delivered his judgment refusing an application by Sean Quinn Senior to be permitted to defend any claims made by Anglo against him in proceedings where Mr Quinn’s wife and children argue they have no liability for some €2.3bn loans made by Anglo on grounds they were allegedly made for the unlawful purpose of propping up the bank’s share price.
Closer to home, three former senior employees of the Quinn Group have joined together to form a new company in Enniskillen.
The new venture is called “Performance people Partners” and is based in the town of Enniskillen.
The three men involved are Liam McCaffrey, Quinn Group former CEO, Dara O Reilly, Quinn Group ex-Finance Director, and Kevin Lunney, former Development Director for the Group. The three men were forced to leave the Quinn Group along with Sean Quinn, when the company was taken over by Anglo Irish Bank.
It’s not yet clear what the new business will involve, but all three men have gained a wide range of experience working with glass, plastics, packaging, as well as hotels and insurance.