Irish citizen interviewed in Roscommon as part of international investigation into money laundering

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An Irish citizen has been interviewed in Roscommon

An Irish citizen has been interviewed in Roscommon as part of an investigation into suspected money laundering.

The person was interviewed following a joint investigation by Irish, German and Dutch Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs)- into an international Covid-19 fraud investigation.

The case arose after a German company with offices in Hamburg and Zurich were contracted by German State Officials to purchase 10 million masks with an approximate value of €15,000,000. The masks were required to assist in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic in Germany. The German District Service forwarded under €15,000,000 to the German Company.
 
The German company was put in contact with a Dutch supplier through an Irish intermediary and placed an order for 11 million masks. Unknown to the legitimate German company, the order was made with a fraudulent entity who had cloned the website and email address of a legitimate Dutch company.

The fraudulent Dutch company setup supply channels through the Irish intermediary to provide the 11 million masks worth up €7,700,000 to the German Government to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Germany.

 Following contractual agreements a down payment was made by the German company of €1.5 million to the Irish company’s bank account based in Roscommon for the delivery of the first 7.7m masks. The German company also made a further payment of €880,000 to the (fraudulent) Dutch Company’s Bank account.

 On the 27th of March 2020 representatives from the German and Irish companies met in Amsterdam to inspect and oversee the handover of the shipment. The shipment never materialised. The representatives attended the company office of the Dutch company where they were told that no shipment was ever ordered or assigned.

Detectives from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) with assistance from Gardaí in Co Roscommon, interviewed an Irish citizen on Friday, April 10 in Co Roscommon relating to the suspected laundering of €1.5 million in this jurisdiction, contrary to section 7 of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Acts 2010 to 2018.

This is a serious offence carrying a maximum term of imprisonment of 14 years after conviction on indictment. Documents and electronic devices were obtained and are currently being forensically examined.

The investigation is ongoing.

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