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Six arrested in money laundering probe

Five men and a woman were arrested today for questioning about a multi-million pound money laundering racket in Northern Ireland.

Customs and police officers said the alleged fraud was linked to organised crime, including drug trafficking.

Almost £100,000 in cash as well as computers, phones and financial and business records were seized in a series of raids on five private properties and a money service business.

Three of the men detained were from Co Antrim. Two men and the woman were also arrested in Co Down in operations involving Revenue and Customs staff and members of the PSNI's organised crime branch.

John Whiting, assistant director, criminal investigation, HMRC, said: "Money is the lifeblood of serious and organised criminality.

"All criminals need to launder the illegal proceeds of their crime but HMRC have teams of specialist investigators who are experts in financial investigation, including money laundering, asset tracing and confiscation, both here and abroad.

"This largescale investigation involved law enforcement agencies working in partnership to target the financial systems used by criminals to launder money.

"The Proceeds of Crime Act was specifically designed to take the proceeds out of crime, making it harder for money to be laundered and depriving criminals of their illicit wealth."

Belfast Telegraph