Thursday 23 May 2019

Man whose wife vanished from cruise ship faces trial for mortgage fraud offences

Daniel Belling pictured arriving at court, where he is facing charges of theft and fraud. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Daniel Belling pictured arriving at court, where he is facing charges of theft and fraud. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

A FATHER-of-two whose wife disappeared from a cruise ship while they were on holiday is facing trial accused of mortgage fraud offences.

Daniel Belling (47) had the case against him adjourned for the preparation of a book of evidence when he appeared in Dublin District Court today.

He is accused of deception over a €112,000 mortgage application and six charges of using false documents. The offences are alleged to have happened at four different financial institutions on dates between 2013 and 2015.

Mr Belling, a computer programmer and German national with an address at Kilkee House, Clare Village in north Dublin, was remanded on continuing bail.

Daniel Belling pictured arriving at court 26/04/2019. Picture; Gerry Mooney
Daniel Belling pictured arriving at court 26/04/2019. Picture; Gerry Mooney

He is accused of deception over the provision of a €112,500 mortgage loan, with the intention of making gain or causing loss to another at Bank of Ireland Mortgages, New Century House, IFSC, Mayor Street Lower on March 13, 2014.

He is also charged with a further six counts of using false instruments in order of deceive. These are payslips, a P60, bank statements and a German ID card with a false date of birth.

One of those offences allegedly took place at Bank of Ireland, Burnell Green, Malahide Road on July 1, 2013.

He is charged with the same offence at Bank of Ireland in Coolock Village on August 26, 2013, December 17, 2014 and January 19 and 27, 2015.

A further false instrument charge relates to KBC Bank, Main Street, Swords on October 10, 2014.

When his case came before Judge Mary Dorgan, Garda Sergeant Paul Keane handed evidence of Mr Belling’s arrest charge and caution in to court by way of certificate.

He said a copy of a summary of evidence had been served on the accused’s solicitor. The Director of Public Prosecutions had directed trial on indictment and sought a six-week adjournment for the preparation of a book of evidence.

The case will be sent forward to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court when the book is ready. The judge asked what the situation was regarding bail.

Mr Belling was on bail granted at a garda station when he was charged, his solicitor said.

He applied for free legal aid, handing a statement of Mr Belling’s financial means into court.

The judge granted legal aid and remanded the defendant on continuing bail, to appear in court on June 7.

The accused, wearing a red and black check shirt, black trousers and holding a dark coat, came forward when his case was called and was not required to address the court during the brief hearing.

He has not yet indicated how he intends to plead to the charges, which are under the Theft and Fraud Offences Act.

Mr Belling’s wife Xing Li went missing while the couple and their children were on a Mediterranean cruise in 2017.

Ms Li, also known as Angie, has not been seen since February 10 that year. The family boarded the cruise ship MSC Magnifica in the Italian port of Civitavecchia on February 9.

After the ship set sail, it called at Genoa and ports in Malta, Greece and Cyprus. Crew members noticed Xing Li was missing when they did a head count at the end of the cruise.

Mr Belling and his children have since returned to Ireland.

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