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Belfast: IFA firm in money laundering investigation

Police in Northern Ireland are investigating Belfast-based IFA firm Northern Ireland Insurance Brokerage over allegations of money laundering involving offshore bonds in the Isle of Man.

UK insurance companies, including Scottish Life International and Norwich Union, are helping with the investigation. The FSA says it is working with the police.

A spokesman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland&#39s Economic Crime Bureau&#39s Financial Investigation Unit confirms two local advisers have been questioned but not charged in relation to money laundering offences and a file is being prepared by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the Province to consider if any action is required. He confirms that Scottish financial services companies could be called as witnesses.

The industry believes more stringent laundering checks are being made since September 11 and more allegations of laundering may come to light.

SLI director of marketing Candia Kingston says: “I can confirm the brokerage in question is NIIB. It is important to remember it is not SLI that is being investigated but the brokerage. The police have been complimentary about our procedures.”

Norwich Union head of media relations James Evans says: “We are aware of the investigation. We cannot say whether it is an offshore or onshore fund.”

A spokesman for NIIB says: “We are talking to our solicitors. We are absolutely open for business.”

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