The Sunday Times reported the inquiry, by the Criminal Assets Bureau, into a property portfolio in Manchester, at the start of the week, pointing out that there was likely to be an absence of a paper trail back to the suspected target of the inquiry, Thomas [Slab] Murphy – who lost a libel case against the Sunday Times in 1998 after The Sunday Times revealed his involvement in IRA bombing campaigns in Britain. Today the BBC are reporting that raids have taken place in Manchester connected to that inquiry. The Assets Recovery Agency have released a short statement on their inquiry into a property portfolio they estimate is worth £30million.The ARA statement –
The Assets Recovery Agency has conducted a number of searches in the Manchester area in connection with a property portfolio that has been acquired over a period of time and which is believed to be worth in the region of £30 million. The searches were carried out on domestic and business properties associated with two Manchester-based businessmen. The Agency has so far identified approximately 250 properties held by both persons and a number of property management companies. The equity in the properties appears to be in the region of £9 million.
The operation came about following a successful application to the High Court in London for search and seizure warrants and a disclosure order. During the searches, the Agency seized large amounts of documentation
The Agency has also served disclosure notices permitting compulsory questioning by financial investigators and the handover of legal and other documentation.
At this stage no further comment can be made on this case.