Ex-Anglo execs linked to secret offshore accounts
A top-level gardai investigation into the alleged shifting of large sums of cash between secret accounts at Anglo Irish Bank is to be expanded.
Officers from the garda fraud bureau began their inquiries last week after they were alerted to the extent of the transfer of funds. The main focus of the investigation is on Anglo senior executives, who have since left the bank, and their alleged attempts to hide evidence regarding the movements of monies by destroying computer records of the existence of some accounts.
It is understood that the investigation in to the suspicious transactions will now be widened and gardai are likely to be backed up by officials from the Revenue Commissioners and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement.
One source said last night: "This is about to be brought to a new level in an effort to establish the motives for any money transfers and determine if those involved are in breach of any laws or regulations". Suspicions about the movements of cash between accounts by former senior Anglo executives initially emerged earlier this year.
But fresh information, emerging a week ago, has led to a more focused approach by the investigation team.
The new information suggested that the large cash sums had been moved from Anglo accounts to offshore accounts, which had been opened up specially to hold the money. It was also alleged that after the money had been shifted again, the offshore accounts were closed and efforts made to eliminate all traces of their existence. The accounts were deleted from computer records but since then forensic accountancy experts had been able to recover the deleted electronic data.
At this early stage of the investigation it is not clear yet what the motives might have been of those involved in the transfers and deletion of accounts. But the introduction of the Revenue officials to the inquiries indicates that one line of investigation to be pursued in the coming days is whether the cash transfers were an attempt to hide the money from the taxman and produce a false trail.
It is expected that as part of the inquiries gardai and officials will seek to carry out detailed interviews with the former Anglo figures alleged to have been involved in the exercise.
The Revenue officials are also likely to concentrate on where the money moved after the offshore accounts were shut down and erased and how the cash had been generated initially by those under investigation.