Over 23,000 suspected money laundering cases reported ⊄

Banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions were responsible for the vast majority of 23,308 suspicious transaction reports which were passed to gardaí during 2016.

While no further action was required in around a third of cases, notifications resulted in 20 large-scale investigations being carried out, many linked to drug trafficking gangs.

Assets worth more than €4m were seized or frozen last year by various authorities including the Criminal Assets Bureau and the DPP’s assets seizing unit.

A further €6.3m in tax- related offences was identified by Revenue from information gathered from in excess of 80% of reports.

Information passed on to the authorities also led to 18 people being charged with money laundering offences.

In addition, nine people were convicted for offences based on information received in previous years.

The figures, which are contained in the Department of Justice’s annual report on money laundering and terrorist financing, reveals almost 14,900 alerts were raised by banks in 2016.

The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 places a number of obligations on a wide variety of businesses including financial institutions, accountants, auditors, legal professionals, stockbrokers, and private gambling clubs to report any suspicious financial transactions.

Anyone convicted of money laundering offences faces a potential jail term of up to 14 years and large fines.

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