Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Garda file on Anglo ready for prosecutor

An exhaustive Irish police investigation into how Anglo Irish Bank traded millions of euro worth of "back-to-back" loans with Irish Life and Permanent in the Republic will result in a file being sent by gardai to prosecutors at the weekend.

Gardai have made significant progress in their inquiries into the movement of €7.2bn between the two institutions.

The garda file on the investigation will be on the desk of DPP James Hamilton by Monday morning.

It will not be known for some time whether any criminal prosecutions will arise but it is clear that a prosecution is more likely to emerge from the forensic examination of the circumstances surrounding the back-to-back loans, rather than the inquiries into the activities of the so-called Maple Ten, a "golden circle" of 10 investors, who bought shares formerly controlled by businessman Sean Quinn.

One of the key areas of the investigation, since it was initiated in February last year, has centred on the movement of €7.2bn in a "back-to-back" deposit arrangement undertaken between Anglo and Irish Life and Permanent, for the benefit of Anglo at the end of its financial year in 2008.

Detectives from the garda fraud bureau have been sifting through a massive dossier of documentation and computer records to establish if the arrangement was set up deliberately to manipulate markets.

Gardai have advanced their inquiries substantially in recent weeks in this element of the investigation. It was decided to end this phase of the overall inquiries without the co-operation of former Anglo chief executive David Drumm, who did not return from the US for interview.

A decision on whether there will be criminal prosecutions is expected to be made quickly by the DPP. Staff from his office have been working with the investigation team for the past few months.

Meanwhile, former executives from Anglo are expected to give evidence to the Irish government's banking inquiry within days. The inquiry, chaired by Finn, Peter Nyberg, is investigating how and why the bank effectively collapsed in the period before January 2009, when it was nationalised.

The evidence will be given in private and former chief executive David Drumm will not be providing evidence in person.

It is understood the bank will partly blame short sellers, who attacked the bank's share price, for its collapse.