Sunday 18 August 2019

Man whose wife vanished is held by fraud squad

Held: Daniel Belling with his Chinese wife Xing Li, who disappeared during a cruise in 2017
Held: Daniel Belling with his Chinese wife Xing Li, who disappeared during a cruise in 2017

Ken Foy

A man who spent 14 months on remand in jail for the alleged murder of his wife has been arrested by fraud squad gardaí for seven different deception offences linked to a mortgage and other loan applications.

It is expected German national Daniel Belling (47), of Clarehall, north Dublin, will be charged in relation to the alleged offences which happened at four different financial institutions in the capital.

He was arrested by detectives from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau last Thursday and spent a number of hours being questioned at Swords Garda station.

Mr Belling has been back in Dublin since last April after spending 14 months in an Italian jail while police attempted to build a case against him over the disappearance of his Chinese wife, Xing Li (38), during a Mediterranean cruise in February 2017.

She, Mr Belling and their two children boarded the ship on February 9. Crew members noticed she was missing when they did a head count at the end of the cruise.

Mr Belling and the children were stopped by Italian police at Rome's Ciampino Airport on February 17. He has repeatedly denied killing his wife.

It is understood computer programmer Mr Belling has been living in his Clarehall apartment with the mother of his missing wife since getting out of jail.

Detectives believe Mr Belling "dishonestly" obtained a mortgage of around €100,000 from the Bank of Ireland in Dublin's IFSC in March 2014.

Among the other alleged crimes is that Belling used a fake German ID in an attempt to obtain a bank loan.

Gardaí have also been probing whether he used "fake payslips" on up to five occasions to try to get loans from banks in the Coolock area in December 2014.

It is unclear if Mr Belling managed to obtain more money from the banks than the €100,000 mortgage cash.

In April 2017, when Mr Belling was still in jail in Italy, his solicitor made a police property application in relation to the fraud investigation at Dublin District Court.

When the case was called before Judge Fiona Lydon, his solicitor said he was "currently assisting the authorities in another jurisdiction relating to an inquiry at the moment".

Irish Independent

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