Massive probe into Anglo Irish at 'wrap-up' phase -- gardai
THE massive investigation into financial irregularities at Anglo Irish Bank is now entering its final phase.
The Director of Corporate Enforcement, Paul Appleby, and senior gardai confirmed last night that 90pc of their inquiries are complete.
Files on the main issues -- the €7.2bn 'back-to-back' deposit arrangement between Anglo and Irish Life and Permanent in September 2008 and the involvement of the so-called 'Maple Ten' group of investors -- were sent to the DPP before Christmas.
The DPP must consider the reports from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation and Mr Appleby in tandem before deciding whether criminal charges should be brought.
Last night, Mr Appleby disclosed that last week he sent another extensive investigative file to the DPP.
This relates to Anglo's provision of loans to the various investors so that they could buy Anglo shares in 2008.
He said the file contained about 8,000 pages over 17 volumes and pointed out that the Companies Act prohibited businesses from giving financial assistance for such purchases.
Mr Appleby told a meeting of the NUIG Business Society in Galway that while the joint investigation was about 90pc complete, a number of important interviews had yet to be concluded and a small amount of work therefore remained outstanding.
When this was concluded, he said, he would submit supplementary documentation to the DPP. Every effort was being made to complete all investigations by the end of the year.
Senior Garda officers told the Irish Independent last night that they were now entering the "wrap-up" phase and pulling together the final strands of their inquiries to present a full picture to the DPP.
They said the lack of co-operation from some figures, who had not made themselves available for interview, would not hold up the completion of the files and that it was up to the DPP to determine whether to make a decision on charges in their absence.
They said their legal representatives were also keeping a close watch on other developments here and abroad to ensure they did not prejudice any possible criminal proceedings.
This newspaper disclosed yesterday that the Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board had agreed to a request from the DPP to postpone its planned tribunal into allegations against former Anglo chairman Sean FitzPatrick.
Mr Appleby said a particular priority for his office for the rest of the year was the completion of its work on the Anglo loans connected to certain bank directors, which were not adequately disclosed in the bank's financial statements for many years.
He also said they were continuing to keep the DPP informed of all important developments in the case and that it would be a matter for the DPP to determine if legal proceedings were warranted.