TBML increasingly prevalent across Europe and beyond says head of Ireland’s fraud squad

Trade-based money laundering (TBML) has recently become more prevalent across Europe according to the head of Ireland’s Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB), detective chief superintendent, Pat Lordan.

Speaking to Irish new channel, The Journal, at the European Anti-Financial Crime Summit in Dublin last week, Lordan said TBML has become a challenge worldwide, while he is particularly concerned about organised criminal groups (OCGs) operating out of west Africa.

Illicit proceeds

Lordan said TBML “has recently become prevalent, not just in Ireland but across Europe”, and OCGs are transferring illicit proceeds into goods including pharmaceuticals, shoes, machinery and perfume that they can sell on.

“They are shipping those goods to their home country and the full value of the goods is repatriated to the home country where the leadership is operating. The goods have been paid for with the money they have got through fraud here in Ireland,” he explained to The Journal.

International dimensions

Lordan said Irish police are liaising with German, Swiss, Belgian, Italian and French police to deal with the problem while the GNECB – which is informally known in Ireland as the fraud squad – also has links with police in the US and South Africa.

But he says the primary location for OCGs operating TBML schemes is in west Africa.

Two years ago, police in Ireland said they had arrested two people in connection with a €14.6 million (US$17.3 million) TBML investigation, bringing the total number of people arrested as part of an operation targeting the activity of a west African OGC to seven (Trade-based Financial Crime, 19 February 2021).

Ireland at the centre of a probe into a new money laundering scheme by crime gangs can be found here.


Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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