Belfast Telegraph

Pair in £16m money laundering case banned from opening accounts

The pair appeared by Belfast High Court on Friday
The pair appeared by Belfast High Court on Friday

By Alan Erwin

A man and woman allegedly linked to a £16 million money laundering operation centred at a bank in Belfast are to be banned from opening any new accounts, a High Court judge has ordered.

The prohibition was imposed on Chinese nationals Long Yu, 42, and Zhu Lin, 32, as they were granted bail.

The pair are accused of taking part on a racket where bundles of cash were deposited at a branch in the city to be spread across the United Knigdom.

Yu, of Iris Street, and Lin, with an address at Duncairn Avenue - both in Belfast - were among 11 people arrested earlier this month following a major police investigation.

They face charges of possessing and transferring criminal property, along with conspiracy to conceal, remove and convert criminal property.

Police claim a crime gang was behind the wider money laundering operation, which involved 8,000 transactions in 22 separate customer accounts at an undisclosed bank between January 2018 and May 2019.

According to detectives lodgements were made through an ATM system on a daily basis for hours at a time, with details entered for the money to be forwarded on to 3,500 other accounts.

A previous court was told some of the accounts were in the name of Chinese students, left dormant after they had gone back home to continue their careers.

A total of £15.9m, suspected to be the proceeds of unspecified crime, was said to have passed through the accounts.

As Yu and Lin mounted bids to be released from custody, the prosecution confirmed their applications were not being opposed on strict terms.

On that basis Mr Justice Colton agreed to grant bail, with a series of conditions imposed.

Both accused were ordered not to open any new bank accounts, and can only use their own accounts for "routine living expenses".

The pair were further banned from entering any banking institution apart from their local branch, and told to report to police three times a week.

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