Flynn behind laundering, court told

 

A FINANCIAL adviser charged with laundering over £3 million stolen in the 2004 Northern Bank robbery told gardaí during an interview that the then chairman of Bank of Scotland (Ireland), Phil Flynn, was behind the money- laundering operation, a court has been told.

Ted Cunningham (60) told interviewing gardaí that he wanted to speak to them without being video-recorded.

During the interview at the Bridewell Garda station in Cork on February 18th, 2005, he named Mr Flynn as the main person behind the attempts to launder money.

“Look, Phil Flynn is the boss behind everything,” said Mr Cunningham during the off-camera interview with Det Chief Supt Tony Quilter and Det Garda Jim Fitzgerald, according to a Garda transcript of the interview.

Details of the transcript were given yesterday by Det Chief Supt Quilter on the 18th day of Mr Cunningham’s trial for money-laundering offences before a jury of seven men and five women and Judge Con Murphy at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Mr Cunningham denies 20 charges of money-laundering, including one of possessing £3,010,380 at Farran between December 20th, 2004, and February 16th, 2005, knowing or believing it to be the proceeds of robbery at the Northern Bank Cash Centre in Belfast.

The court had already heard that Mr Flynn had been introduced to Mr Cunningham by former ICC chief executive Denis O’Connell and that he accepted an invitation by Mr Cunningham and his business partner, Irene Johnstone, to become a director of their company, Chesterton Finance.

Det Chief Supt Quilter told the court yesterday that he had gone to the Bridewell Garda station after hearing that Mr Cunningham had indicated he wanted to speak to him.

Shortly after they began interviewing him on camera, he asked them to turn off the recorder.

Det Chief Supt Quilter said that Mr Cunningham blurted out details of how he had collected almost £5 million in sterling in four separate transactions and how he brought the money back to his house at Farran, Co Cork, where gardaí found £2.3 million on February 16th, 2005.

Mr Cunningham told gardaí he met a man in his 40s whom he did not know, who was driving a Northern Ireland-registered car, at the Clonmore Hotel near Tullamore in Co Offaly.

The man gave him four sports bags containing £1.25 million in cash.

The man told him to meet him a week later at the Athboy Hotel in Navan, Co Meath.

On that occasion, he collected a further £1.3 million while he met him on two other occasions at Rahan nursing home at Tullybeg, Co Offaly, to collect a further £2.5 million.

Det Chief Supt Quilter said Mr Cunningham told them he rang Mr Flynn after getting the first four bags and asked him how much money he would get.

Mr Flynn told him that he would get £5 million and he said he could not handle £5 million but they later agreed on that sum.