Friday 20 September 2019

Two arrested in €5m forestry scam which saw investors sold the same land

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Two men have been arrested after gardaí uncovered a land and forestry fraud which is believed to have scammed investors out of up to €5m.

The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau have been investigating the alleged scam which involves investors being deceived into buying the same plots of land in Roscommon and Laois.

The victims of the scheme are believed to be from across Europe.

The company showed off the same pieces of land and told that they would turn a profit when the trees were cut down and sold.

It was expected by those who invested money that they would double their initial investment.

They each paid between €20,000 and €30,000 to a company here that sold the same plots of land to numerous people according to RTE and more than 200 people have been targeted by the scam.

It is understood a garda investigation got underway following a complaint from one of the victims.

A garda spokesman said:

"Gardaí from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) have arrested two men in their 40’s in connection with alleged investment fraud offences and money laundering offences involving up to €5m.

 "Both men were arrested yesterday (Monday February 6) in Co Dublin and Co Wicklow and are currently detained at Dun Laoghaire and Bray Garda Stations under the provisions of Section 4 – Criminal Justice Act 1984.

 "As part of this investigation the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau has frozen a significant amount of money held in Irish banks."

Investigations are ongoing.

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