Monday 23 September 2019

Back in bank: Council €4.3m was traced to the Far East

Stock photo
Stock photo

GARDAÍ helped recover more than €4.3m stolen from Meath County Council as part of a CEO email fraud.

At 11am on Friday 28, 2016, the council received an email for the urgent transfer of €4.3m. At 4pm the council realised it was a scam and after confirming with the bank, contacted the Economic Crime Bureau 30 minutes later. By 5pm the bank confirmed the money was in Hong Kong.

"As soon as we got the initial call it was all hands on deck and the race was on to get the money back before it disappeared first thing on Monday morning," said Chief Superintendent Pat Lordan.

"All of this is done deliberately to take advantage of different time zones and the fact that it is a weekend... but I eventually got my contact at 11pm Irish time which was 7am in Hong Kong.

"We immediately emailed statements and a report on the theft to the officer and four hours later our colleague went to the relevant bank and had the money frozen."

The €4.3m was subsequently returned.

Irish Independent

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