Belfast Telegraph

Pair remanded in £16m money laundering case

The charges are linked to a suspected £16 million money laundering racket
The charges are linked to a suspected £16 million money laundering racket

By Alan Erwin

Two men were remanded in custody today on charges linked to a suspected £16 million money laundering racket.

Shi Ming Chen, 48, and Wen Qin Lin, 44, were among eleven people arrested in Belfast by police investigating activity allegedly linked to Chinese crime gangs.

The pair, both of no fixed address, appeared together at the city's Magistrates' Court to face seven charges each.

They are jointly accused of possessing and transferring criminal property, along with conspiracy to conceal, remove and convert criminal property - namely cash.

It is also claimed that they entered an arrangement to acquire criminal property and had an article in connection with fraud - a Barclays Bank card.

The alleged offences were committed on dates between January 30 and July 1 this year.

Speaking through a Chinese interpreter, the two defendants confirmed they understood the charges against them.

Their solicitor, Stewart Evans, put no questions to a detective sergeant involved in the investigation.

Mr Evans also told the court: "There's no bail application, purely for the fact that there's no available address at the moment."

A prosecution lawyer responded by indicating police would have wider objections to his clients being released.

Deputy District Judge Peter Prenter remanded both accused in custody to appear again by video-link on July 30.

Meanwhile, police were questioning another four men and five women detained as part of the same operation.

Officers from the PSNI's Economic Crime Unit searched six properties in the city on Monday.

Detectives said they were targeting individuals suspected of money laundering.

They disclosed that the investigation involved nearly £16m believed to have been deposited into bank accounts across the UK from Northern Ireland since January 2018.

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