Gardaí issue warning over 'money mules' after suspected laundering of large quantity of cash in Cork
Younger people have been warned to be particularly vigilant.
An Garda Síochána has issued a warning about the use of bank accounts by anyone apart from the named account holder following a recent incident of suspected money laundering in Cork.
Gardaí are appealing to the public, particularly younger people, not to let anyone else use their bank account, following an arrest made in Cork last week in which a man, aged in early 20s, is believed to have allowed a large quantity of cash be lodged and transferred using his account.
As a result, one man was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and later released.
Situations like this one, Gardaí say, normally involve a person known as a 'money mule'. The practice usually involves criminals recruiting young people to help launder stolen or illegal money using their bank account, often unwittingly.
The chance to earn money quickly is a tactic used by fraudsters to recruit money mules, who are promised a share of the proceeds in exchange for their bank account details.
The money mule allows their account to be used for the transfer of dirty money, and they may not even be aware of any crime that may have been committed.
However, Gardaí have said that the money mule is still complicit if they recklessly allow their account to be used to launder the proceeds of these crimes.
Anti-money laundering legislation is designed to prevent organised crime gang members from opening up accounts so they need money mules to launder their money.
Students are often seen as an easy target, and they can be approached online, on campus, or out socialising.
Gardaí said that four steps should be followed to avoid finding yourself in a situation like this:
1. Do not allow anyone to use your bank account.
2. Do not share personal bank account data.
3. Do not send or receive money.
4. Trust your instincts. If it sounds too good to be true it most likely is.
If you agree to allow your account be used in this way you are committing the offence of money laundering. Money laundering is a serious offence which, on conviction, carries a penalty of up to 14 years imprisonment.
More information is available via the infographic supplied by An Garda Síochána below.