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Senior Indian officer and brother arrested in Dublin on charges of theft and money laundering

DUBLIN: Two Indian brothers have been arrested in connection with a major financial scam involving a Dublin-based financial services firm. A company employee and his brother stole €1.2 million. Both have been charged with theft and money laundering.

The main accused, a senior accountant at a City Centre firm, allegedly stole money by falsifying the company’s financial transactions. Vipul Dhoot (35) of Hallwell Place, Lucan, Co Dublin, and his younger brother Rajeesh Dhoot (29) of St Patrick’s Court, Clanbrassil Street, Dublin, stole the money after turning it into fictitious company expenditures.

Vipul was charged with 10 counts of stealing various sums totalling €293,803 on various days last year, while Rajeesh was charged with six counts of possessing €46,000 in crime proceeds. The two were arrested following an investigation by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau.

Vipul and Rajeesh have been living and working in Ireland for a number of years. Both were arraigned at Dublin District Court yesterday before Judge Brian O’Shea. Detective Garda Ronan Farrelly said in court that Vipul Dhoot did not respond after being charged. He committed such crimes between January 2019 and November last year. Mr Farrelly objected to bail, citing the gravity of the case and risk concerns.

Vipul Dhoot was accused of claiming false expenditures to be paid to a service provider that was legally employed by his accountancy firm. The case against Vipul was that money was syphoned off and transferred mostly to an Indian bank account, as well as the accounts of his co-accused and two other people. The other two are not currently before the courts.

As part of the investigation, the accountant’s house was searched. Various documents and computer data were seized. Forensic experts also conducted the examination. Vipul handed over his passport to the investigating gardai.

Court refused to grant bail

Earlier this year, Vipul had surrendered his passport to the investigating team. But the detective told the court that he had applied for a new passport, claiming that he had lost his.

Vipul’s solicitor Brian Coveney argued that his client should be granted bail. He said his client would not face trial until the end of 2023. Mr. Coveney said that refusal of bail might result in a lengthy term in custody on remand. He told the court that it was a complex investigation and that his client was presumed innocent.

But the court rejected the arguments and refused to grant bail. The case will be heard again in Cloverhill District Court on Friday. The court also directed him to appear in court again in September.

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