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‘Celtic Tiger crime’ – businessman arrested in apartment investment fraud probe

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Fraud squad officers investigating serious alleged crimes during the boom years of the Celtic Tiger have today arrested a 59-year-old businessman.

Independent.ie can reveal the suspect, who was a senior member of a Chamber of Commerce in the west of Ireland during that era, is being detained at Kevin Street Garda Station after being arrested in the capital.

Senior sources said he is being questioned by specialist officers from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) who first received a complaint about his alleged activities around a decade ago.

“The Celtic Tiger might seem like light years away in the climate we live in now but this was an era of huge fraud on many levels and perpetrators will be tracked down,” a senior source said.

Detectives are today questioning the suspect who had been recently living in the UK in relation to alleged offences connected to a bogus apartment buying scheme in which 17 investors were duped out of well over €2m in total between 2006 and 2009.

He is the second man to be arrested by the GNDECB as part of the long running probe.

The suspect arrested today is being questioned by detectives in relation to alleged theft and fraudulent trading offences.

Gardaí became involved in the investigation after receiving a report from a liquidator who was appointed to supervise and implement the winding up of a company linked to the suspect.

“What this suspect is believed to have been involved in is a pyramid scheme of sorts.

"There was plenty of this criminal activity going on in that era,” a senior source explained.

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“This man was looking for investments for an apartment development that may or may not have even existed at the time.

“Typically an investor was promised 15pc profit on the capital investments they paid over but they received no funds and the suspect simply moved abroad.

“Gardaí believe that this may be just the tip of the iceberg in relation to similar Celtic Tiger era crimes,” the source added.


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