Irish private eyes are in New Zealand and Australia chasing bank accounts and missing millions belonging to rogue tycoon Sean Quinn.
Media reports in the Southern Hemisphere claim Quinn may have sent as much as $600million to banks there.
Once Ireland’s richest man, Quinn is currently awaiting the final outcome of a court case involving his massive debt.
This latest twist centres on claims that, together with his son Sean Junior and nephew Peter Quinn, he conspired to put almost $600million out of the reach of the former Anglo Irish Bank.
The Quinns owe Anglo almost $3 billion alone.
Ireland’s Independent newspaper says private investigators from Risk Management International (RMI) in conjunction with the Kroll agency in London are leading the chase for the missing Quinn cash.
Media in New Zealand have also highlighted how the country’s banking system has been used to launder cash in recent years.
The country has even been struck off a prestigious European Union banking ‘white list’ because of the ease with which shell companies can be used to launder drug and terrorist money.
This practise came after revelations that a shelf company washed US$680 million of what may have been Russian Mafia money through a Latvia bank.
Fairfax Media also revealed that another company was implicated in a Ukrainian oil rig scandal involving a missing US$150 million.
The London based non-profit NGO, Global Witness, last week claimed that New Zealand had become part of the ‘off-shore’ problem and was ‘a critical link in the supply chain for corruption’.
The private investigation is being led by a former member of the Irish police force seeking to establish whether Quinn concealed funds before the bank moved in to recover outstanding debt.
A source told reporters: “We have reached a critical stage. There are tens of millions in cash missing.”