Irish Times: 26th January 1999. Cutting odds on dodgy dealing

The Irish Financial Services Centre (IFSC) is developing a reputation in connection with money laundering, according to an expert in the area.

Solicitor and author, Mr Nigel Morris-Cotterill said that the reputation may or may not be correct, but it was gaining credence among professionals who specialised in combatting the activity.

The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr John Stafford, has invited Mr Morris-Cotterill to Dublin to address senior figures in the financial services, accountancy and legal sectors. The seminar, which will be hosted by the Lord Mayor and will address the extent of money laundering and ways to combat it, is to take place some time next month.

Mr Morris-Cotterill said he knew of no reason why the IFSC would be better or worse than other such financial centres, but that the success of the IFSC meant that, by definition, there would be more "dirty money" going through the centre than hitherto.

He also said that statements by the British government concerning clampdowns on money laundering in the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey, might trigger the movement of funds to the IFSC.

Mr Morris-Cotterill is author of "How Not To Be A Money Launderer". He said people wishing to launder money believe that "remote branches" of banks were easier to pass funds through than headquarter branches.

A banking executive who works in the IFSC said he had come across attempts to place suspect money in his bank and these attempts had been refused. He said the regulations and legislation which existed would prevent money laundering, but that the visit of Mr Morris-Cotterill might help heighten awareness.