Ireland's most infamous banker, who was in charge of a toxic bank whose collapse proved ruinous for the country, was arrested for the second time near Dublin yesterday.
Sean Fitzpatrick, former boss of the Anglo Irish Bank, was arrested at a Co Wicklow police station near his home by police investigating alleged financial irregularities involving many millions of euros. The bank, which has gone out of business and been nationalised at a cost of billions, has been refashioned the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.
The actions of Mr Fitzpatrick and a number of other individuals are being scrutinised by officers from the Bureau of Fraud Investigation and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement. Three files of documentation have already been forwarded to the Irish Director of Public Prosecutions. One file alone, amassed following several years of investigations, is said to consist of 17 volumes.
Mr Fitzpatrick has been described as the most unpopular man in Ireland, although a number of former politicians could probably give him a run for his money for that title. The accusation against him is that his reckless approach infected other banks and helped bring about the near-collapse of the country's banking system.
Police had already raided Anglo's headquarters, removing computer records and files. He has been declared bankrupt, telling a hearing that he had only €500 in cash and a monthly income of €180.
Among the matters under investigation are the switching of billions of euros between Anglo and another institution, which gave a misleading impression of the health of the bank. Directors are also said to have benefited from secret loans amounting to more than €100m.