Police seize Northern Ireland banknotes

Caught at last!
Police in the Irish Republic have arrested seven people and recovered a large amount of cash as part of an investigation into money laundering.
Over £2m was seized during raids in the Cork area, more than £60,000 is believed to be in Northern Bank notes.

It has not been confirmed if the raids are connected to the £26m Northern Bank robbery in Belfast on 20 December.

The IRA has been blamed by the British and Irish governments for stealing the money. The IRA has denied this.


Two men were arrested on Wednesday night in the Douglas and Passage West areas of Cork and another three were also detained in Dublin.

It is understood that two of three men arrested in Dublin are from Londonderry.

A man and a woman were arrested in a follow-up operation in the Farran area of Cork on Thursday morning.

An Irish police spokeswoman said their investigations are ongoing.

The suspects are being detained under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act.

Martin McGuinness said he was unaware of the arrests

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuiness said he was unaware of the arrests and said he would make no comment on the matter until he had more information.

He said there had been previous reports of Northern Bank notes being found and those reports had been false.

The party's leadership has said they believe IRA denials that it did not carry out the bank robbery.

Assistant Chief Constable Sam Kincaid, who has been in charge of the Northern Bank investigation, was in Dublin on Thursday for meetings with senior Garda officers.

It is understood the raid was high on the agenda for the discussions.

A police spokesman in Northern Ireland said it was too early to say whether or not the arrests are connected to the robbery.

"The PSNI is working closely with An Garda Siochana as we have done since the start of the investigation," he added.
This was announced after todays notice in the telegraph (didn't get my copy until 12:30 today) that GobSh1t Adams is willing to climb down over alligations that the IRA didn't do it.

Your guess is as good as mine.
Adams let slip during the course of an interview in Spain that 'he could be wrong' about the PIRA not having carried out the Northern Bank raid....tut, tut, those slippery johnny foreigners can really get one to say the most unusual of things :D
News reports also stated that one of those arrested is/was a Sinn Fein election candidate!

Hard for Gerry and Martin to maintain the IRA didn't do now!

Or did Sinn Fien do it?

One and the same to me and 95% of the rest of us!
If the link is actually proven our Tony will be as upset as Gerry and Marty. Not through any sense of outrage you understand, but rather because it means he will have to kick them out of bed for a while, and (unfortunately for those of us with any sense of decency) that is something he really doesn't want to do.
From today's Irish Times. Sinn/Féin came in for an unmerciful hammering on Irish television last night. There is a good deal of talk here of this constituting a tipping point...I hope to God this is true.

Seven held in crackdown on money-laundering operation


The Provisional republican movement was last night facing its biggest political crisis since the beginning of the peace process, following the apparent exposure of a major money-laundering operation and the arrest of people associated with Sinn Féin. Mark Brennock, Conor Lally and Barry Roche report.

Garda raids were continuing last night in Louth, Meath and Westmeath after euro and sterling notes worth a total of €3.6 million were seized in Dublin and Cork. Seven people were arrested, including a Sinn Féin general election candidate from 2002 and another figure associated with the party. One of these acted in an official capacity for the party in the 2004 European Parliament elections.

As the raids continued, there was speculation that further arrests would be made. Gardaí strongly believe that some or all of the cash seized was part of the haul from the raid on the Northern Bank in Belfast before Christmas.
The home of a close relative of a man working in a key position for the Government was among the premises raided in Co Louth, although he was not arrested. A Cork businessman is also among those arrested.

Last night a man walked into Anglesea Street Garda station in Cork and handed gardaí more than £200,000 in cash. He is believed to have been given the money to hide by one of those arrested.

There was no comment last night from the Taoiseach or the Minister for Justice on the dramatic developments. The Minister for Defence, Mr O'Dea, said that the scale of the operation had been "quite staggering" but said he would not comment on the political implications until at least somebody had been charged.

Other ministers were said to be delighted at the turn of events, which they believe vindicates their new tough approach to Sinn Féin on IRA criminal activity.

The Opposition demanded an explanation from Sinn Féin, with the Fine Gael leader, Mr Enda Kenny, saying the arrests raised "grave questions" for the party.

The Labour Party leader, Mr Pat Rabbitte, said the cash seizures and arrests were "an astonishing development", while the Green Party leader, Mr Trevor Sargent, demanded that Sinn Féin "come clean on their involvement with criminal activity".

The Sinn Féin leader, Mr Gerry Adams, would only say "I never comment on speculation" when questioned by reporters in Barcelona where he is promoting his latest book. In Dublin, a Sinn Féin spokesman urged against a "rush to judgment. . . We would urge people to exercise caution on this occasion and allow the truth to come out," he said.
However, the Provisional movement now finds itself in its most difficult position since the peace process began.

Sinn Féin is under intense pressure to cut itself off from IRA activity; it faces pressure from within its own community in the wake of the Robert McCartney murder; and the IRA faces a new Garda onslaught on its criminal activities.

The latest arrests and seizures come after the pre-Christmas conviction and jailing of Niall Binéad, a Sinn Féin activist and associate of Mr Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD; the Northern Bank robbery, widely believed to have been carried out by the IRA; and the murder of Mr McCartney, believed to have been carried out by IRA members who subsequently intimidated witnesses.

There was speculation in political circles last night that further Garda operations against IRA activity may be planned. The legislation used by the Criminal Assets Bureau was strengthened by the signing into law by the President last week of the Proceeds of Crime (Amendment) Act 2005.
The Taoiseach told the Dáil on Tuesday that this would "allow criminality outside the jurisdiction to be taken into account and allow the bureau to work more closely with the Assets Recovery Agency in Northern Ireland. These changes will help the CAB to examine assets with a paramilitary origin."

In this latest money-laundering investigation, two men were arrested in Cork on Wednesday night - one in Douglas and one in Passage West - and around £60,000 in Northern Bank notes was recovered.

The same night in Dublin, three men - one from Cork and two from Northern Ireland - were arrested close to Heuston Station.
More than €94,000 was seized.

Yesterday morning, a man and a woman were arrested in the Farran area close to Cork city and over £2 million in cash was seized.

The four arrested in Co Cork are being held under Section 30 of the Offences against the State Act at Garda stations in Cork city. The three men held in Dublin are being detained under the same Act in various Garda stations.

All seven can be held for 48 hours from their arrest until they have to be charged or released.

Senior investigators from specialist Garda units - including CAB, Crime & Security and the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation - will meet their counterparts from the PSNI at a special security summit at Garda Headquarters in Dublin's Phoenix Park today.

They will discuss the sensational developments of yesterday and Wednesday and plan how both forces will work to advance the investigation.
wonderfull stuff. i hope it really puts bliar on the spot and he gets another hammering when he trys to go all public again.
gallowglass said:
Senior investigators from specialist Garda units - including CAB, Crime & Security and the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation
CAB = Citizens Advice Bureau??? wow the things you learn!!
Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, however, has called on people to withhold judgement until the full facts emerge.

"Over the course of the last number of weeks, we've heard other reports about notes being found in other parts of the North and it didn't come to anything," he said.

An Irish minister was quoted elsewhere as saying that "the balaclavas are now being pulled off".
From what I heard on the news today it seems that some of the cash has turned up at the Newforge after an anonymous tip-off. Stand by for far-fetched claims from PIRA/Sinn Fein that they're being framed by the "securocrats"!!!!!!
Good to hear Martin Mdenouncing terror beatings and agreeing that they were criminal activity. He was nicely led into that trap this AM.. Lets see what sort ofa backlash this produces amoungst his inner circle. Also apparantly he is not a member of the IRA council! well done radio 4

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