Monday 19 August 2019

Prosecutors given more time to prepare mortgage fraud case against man whose wife vanished from cruise ship

Accused: Daniel Belling arriving at court. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Accused: Daniel Belling arriving at court. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

PROSECUTORS have been given more time to prepare a mortgage fraud case against a father-of-two whose wife disappeared from a cruise ship.

Daniel Belling (46) is facing trial and had his case adjourned for the preparation of a book of evidence when he appeared in Dublin District Court today.

Mr Belling is the husband of Xing Li, who disappeared while they were on a Mediterranean cruise in 2017.

The charges against him relate to allegations of a fraudulent mortgage application and producing false documents at four different financial institutions 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.

This morning, Garda Sergeant Paul Keane told Judge Carol Anne Coolican the book of evidence was not ready yet and sought more time.

The judge adjourned the case to July 5, with the consent of the accused’s solicitor.

Mr Belling, wearing an open-necked blue shirt and black trousers, came forward when his case was called and did not address the court but nodded to the judge before leaving after the proceedings.

He is charged with 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 facing 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.

The DPP has directed trial on indictment and the case will be sent forward to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court when the book of evidence is ready.

Mr Belling was previously granted bail and free legal aid.

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.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News