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Garda-Interpol investigation into an international money laundering mafia in Ireland

Dublin: A joint Garda-Interpol investigation into the Irish connections to the international money mafia group has begun. The international investigation was launched in response to information obtained from mobile phones seized by the Garda during the search in 2020. 264 people have already been arrested in connection with the incident. 135 cases have also been charged. According to Rory Corcoran, director of Interpol’s Financial Crime and Anti-Corruption Center, the investigation is being conducted in 13 countries across four continents.

The Operation Skein team is looking into approximately 64 million euros in black money laundered by the Black Axe Mafia in West Africa. The investigation team has learned that over 4,000 transactions were carried out from various addresses in Ireland.

The investigation team also discovered that more middlemen, including those from Asian countries, were working solely for the black money trade in Ireland.

Investigations are also ongoing into groups that buy euros in one country and pay them in different countries. The Gardaí are also looking into religious activities in which money is collected and sent to terrorist organisations in various countries after performing nominal tasks. More arrests in this regard are possible in the coming months.

Members of the Black Axe money laundering mafia, which formed in West Africa in the 1970s, are also active in Ireland, according to Det Superintendent Michael Cryan of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau. They operate as a massive network of intermediaries and agents.

Many of them work without realising they are part of a vast mafia network. He explained that the money being laundered through their accounts is illegal, and they may be unaware of it. This money is being used to fund human trafficking and terrorist activities. As a result, he warned them to be cautious. They are involved in major crimes by transferring money through such bank accounts.

The ATM’s CCTV will also record faces. As a result, the accused will be charged alongside the evidence in the case.

Money laundering and financing terrorism, according to Cryan, will be prosecuted. Furthermore, he stated that it would have a negative impact on those involved future travel and employment prospects.

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