Man arrested in Derry as part of money laundering investigation

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A man arrested in Co Derry is among thirteen men and a woman who have been arrested by revenue and customs officers investigating a suspected £15 million money laundering racket run by an organised crime gang.

One of the men was detained in London. Nine men and the woman were held in Belfast, with the three other men arrested in counties Derry, Armagh and Antrim.

The investigation is connected to income tax and VAT fraud linked to the construction industry. The HMRC described the raids as the largest operation of its kind ever undertaken in Northern Ireland.

Assisted by officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), HMRC staff searched 31 business and residential properties in Belfast, Co Armagh, Co Antrim and Co Derry.

HMRC said an organised crime gang was believed to have created a chain of companies, claiming to sub-contract labour for construction projects, with the intent of disappearing before any tax was paid. Business records, cash and computer equipment were seized during the operation