By Elizabeth Hearst for AMLi
The Irish police are reportedly investigating employees at three major financial institutions in the capital, who they believe have facilitated cyber fraud, money laundering and have links to criminal gangs.
The employees under investigation include two men and a woman, and are all junior employees based in three different financial institutions.
Sources close to the investigation told Independent.ie that police officials were investigating a rising number of online frauds and scams, but stressed that the three investigations were unconnected.
Officials believe that one of those currently under investigation is a suspected “money mule”, someone that allows criminals to use their bank accounts to hide illicit funds.
Another individual under investigation was flagged after authorities uncovered an “invoice redirect” fraud scam, while the third individual is under investigation for suspicious activity.
Sources say that these three individuals would have had access to sensitive information, however police authorities are unsure whether any confidential information had been leaked.
Officials are also investigating three employees of large IT companies, including another suspected “money mule” working for an international tech firm in Dublin.
Arrests of suspected “money mules” have increased dramatically in recent months, with Ireland’s National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) now arresting individuals “on an almost daily basis” according to Independent.ie.
With this exponential increase in cases, officers from the GNECB estimate they will make 700 arrests in the coming months of suspected “money mules”, many young professionals with no criminal record who are targeted by criminal gangs.
In May, a Judge warned that he would start imposing jail sentences on young people who were involved in money laundering, invoice redirect fraud or those who were “money mules”.
Judge Martin Nolan handed down a suspended two-year sentence to a 20-year-old man who laundered more than €58,000 in an invoice redirect fraud scheme.
In this case, a company email to a supplier had been hacked, resulting in the company transferring €58,401 to the defendant’s bank account, rather than the supplier.
Judge Nolan warned that “imprisonment is coming very close for other parties who come before this court for money laundering”.
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