Thursday 23 November 2017

AIB staff 'didn't report Kallakis hospitality trip properly'

Achilleas Kallakis, who, along with his business partner Alexander Williams, is accused of using false rent guarantees to take out €920m worth of loans, brought three AIB staff from the London office to the island in late 2007.
Achilleas Kallakis, who, along with his business partner Alexander Williams, is accused of using false rent guarantees to take out €920m worth of loans, brought three AIB staff from the London office to the island in late 2007.

Shane Hickey London

AIB staff who went on a "thank you" trip to Mauritius under the hospitality of a man now accused of orchestrating a multi-million-euro fraud did not properly record the holiday as required by bank regulations, a court has heard.

Achilleas Kallakis, who, along with his business partner Alexander Williams, is accused of using false rent guarantees to take out €920m worth of loans, brought three AIB staff from the London office to the island in late 2007.

Yesterday, David McWilliam, the former managing director of corporate banking in AIB Britain, told a court that the trip was not recorded in the correct procedure.

The two accused men have denied 23 charges of fraud and money laundering, among others, in relation to loans taken out between 2003 and 2008.

False

They are said to have used false rent guarantees from a reputable Hong Kong property company -- Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) -- which subsequently denied knowledge of them.

The court has heard how bankers were brought on a series of trips by Mr Kallakis including to St Petersburg and Monte Carlo. Mr McWilliam said the trip to Mauritius was to say "thank you" and occurred at the end of a deal.

The jury in the case has previously heard how AIB has systems in place to record such hospitality.

When questioned as to whether the Mauritius trip had been reported, Mr McWilliam said he did not think it had been in the "correct procedural way" although it had been mentioned to his superior and was not a secret.

The trip had lasted for "two or three nights including the flight" and was attended by the two accused, Mr McWilliam, the then relationship manager Michael Cooke, staff member Stuart Muldowney and another associate of Mr Kallakis.

In 2008, AIB was alerted to questions about Mr Kallakis's past and an investigation revealed the problems surrounding the SHKP guarantees. The property portfolio was sold off in November 2008.

Mr McWilliam resigned from the bank in 2009 with a severance package.

Irish Independent

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