Lurgan man arrested following illegal gambling and money laundering probe

Some of the gaming machines seized as part of a multi-agency operation in Beflast and Lisburn

Some of the gaming machines seized as part of a multi-agency operation in Beflast and Lisburn

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A 63-year-old Lurgan man has been arrested after detectives investigating money laundering and illegal gambling seized machines and cash worth more than £500k.

Premises were searched at Shaftesbury Square and Lisburn Road in Belfast and Chapel Hill in Lisburn.

More than 100 illegal gaming machines and three casino roulette machines were seized as well as £200,000 in cash.

The 63-year-old-man from Lurgan was arrested on suspicion of managing and organising illegal gambling and money laundering. He was later bailed to attend Musgrave police station on 11 March.

Officers from Home Office Immigration Enforcement also arrested a man in his 40s on suspicion of an immigration offence.

Detectives from Organised Crime Branch were investigating money laundering and illegal gambling.

The multi-agency investigation was conducted over a number of days last week.

More than 100 illegal gambling/gaming machines and three casino roulette machines were seized along with around £200,000 in cash. The roulette machines are worth an estimated £100,000 each.

Detective Superintendent Andrea McMullan, from Organised Crime Branch, said: “Following a protracted investigation, detectives and experts from the Gambling Commission UK believe that casino and high stake gambling machines were being operated in these premises in breach of the relevant licences.

“In addition to the substantial amount of cash seized, we believe the three roulette machines have a value of £100,000 each. We seized a further 130 smaller gaming machines which are worth around £1,000 each.

“We have worked with District policing colleagues and partners in the Gambling Commission and Immigration Enforcement to stop what we believe were premises being used for illegal gambling and money laundering.

“This multi-agency operation should serve as a clear warning to those who think they can operate outside the law that police are determined they will not succeed. Our enquiries are continuing.”