Irish broker inquiry on money laundering 'scam'

The City watchdog and Irish police are investigating a firm of stockbrokers in Northern Ireland over allegations it has been involved in a money laundering scam worth at least £8m.

The Financial Services Authority has stopped Northern Ireland Insurance Brokers from operating while the investigation by the Irish police and its Economic Crime Unit takes place, which could take more than six months to complete. The potential scam is thought to be connected to tax evasion, drug running and smuggling cheap petrol and diesel from the Irish republic into the north of Ireland and other parts of the UK.

One client of the brokers is Joe Dolan, Ireland's leading cabaret singer, who has been questioned by the police over allegedly trying to avoid paying tax. There is no suggestion Mr Dolan has been involved in money laundering or any of the present charges.

Northern Ireland Insurance Brokers, which is based in Belfast, is run by Michael Aiken and his son, also called Michael.

The two men were arrested earlier this year and questioned by police, but released without being charged pending further inquiries. Their firm also has an office in the Northern Irish border area of South Armagh.

A spokesman for the brokerage said it denied any wrongdoing, saying: "The firm will be robustly challenging the allegations made by the FSA."

The FSA also believes Northern Ireland Insurance Brokers has helped some clients to use false addresses in their investment dealings, and has handled client money and assets of more than £1.2m without appropriate authorisation.

Police do not believe the activities at Northern Ireland Insurance Brokers have any links with the IRA.

The British authorities have geared up their fight against financial crime in the wake of the 11 September attacks. In its initiative against money laundering, Britain has drawn up a blacklist of organisations whose assets it has ordered frozen, including Irish republican group the Real IRA, Basque separatist group ETA and several Palestinian organisations.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
peopleNational cycling charity CTC said he 'should have known better'
News
i100
Life and Style
The fashion retailers have said they will now not place any further orders for the slim mannequin
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Ugne, 32, is a Lithuanian bodybuilder
tvThey include a Lithuanian bodybuilder who believes 'cake is a sin' and the Dalai Lama's personal photographer
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Research Associate / Asset Management Research Analyst

£40 - 45k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Research Associate / Research Anal...

The Green Recruitment Company: Graduate Energy Analyst

£20000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Summary: The Green Recruitm...

Ashdown Group: Finance Accountant - Financial Services - Central London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Finance Accountant - Fin...

Ashdown Group: Chief Technology Officer (CTO) - Glasgow

£90000 - £98000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A truly exciting opportu...

Day In a Page

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food