MEP concerned at failure to recover Northern Bank cash

 

It is "absolutely extraordinary" that the £26.5m sterling (€39 million) Northern Bank robbery cash has not been recovered after nearly two years, an Irish MEP said today.

Dublin politician Eoin Ryan also queried if political parties like Sinn Fein have profited from the Belfast heist - one of the biggest in British history.

The audacious December 20th, 2004 crime, which police blamed on the IRA, sparked a massive cross-border investigation into illegal cash laundering.

Mr Ryan said today: "Thirty-odd million was stolen and practically none of it has been recouped and practically nobody has been charged with it - and it's gone."

It does seem extraordinary that (€39 30 million can be robbed out of a bank in Northern Ireland and nobody knows where it has gone - and the IRA doesn't know where it has gone Unquote
MEP Eoin Ryan

He added: "It does seem extraordinary that (€39 30 million can be robbed out of a bank in Northern Ireland and nobody knows where it has gone - and the IRA doesn't know where it has gone.

"The idea that it can suddenly disappear... where is it going? Where is that (€39 30 million. Is it going to be put into use in electoral purposes for political parties or where is it gone?

"It is absolutely extraordinary. It was a story that was massive at the time and now people have forgotten about it," he told Dublin-based Newstalk Radio.

A two-year investigation by the PSNI and the Garda has resulted in several arrests and raids on properties north and south.

Small quantities of cash believed to be from the robbery were found at various locations including a PSNI country club in Belfast and at a house outside Cork city.

Sinn Fein and the IRA have both denied any involvement in the raid, during which armed men kidnapped Northern Bank staff to gain access to vaults at its central Belfast headquarters.