IRA assets worth 30 million pounds investigated

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Thursday, October 6, 2005

The British Assets Recovery Agency is investigating £30 million / €44 million of assets believed to be owned by senior members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA or IRA), using information provided by the Irish Criminal Assets Bureau and British and Irish law enforcement agencies. The money is believed to represent a small fraction of the wealth obtained by the organisation. This move follows the recent decommissioning of IRA weapons. Most of the assets are believed to have been owned by the IRA chief of staff, Thomas Murphy and businessman Dermot Craven. Now that negotiations over weapons decommissioning are over, it is believed that other IRA members who have become rich through running protection rackets or other criminal activities may also be stripped of their illegal assests in the forthcoming weeks.

Irish Justice Minister Michael McDowell said: "An Garda Síochána and the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) and the Criminal Assets Bureau and the ARA are co-operating in every possible way to ensure that on this island those who have control of the proceeds of crime are deprived of those proceeds". Businesses and organisations paying money towards protection rackets are hoping that the structure of the IRA will now begin to unravel.