Belfast man facing money laundering charges

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A Belfast man has appeared in court charged with money laundering following a major police operation against suspected organised crime.

Brian O’Kane was arrested last month during a series of raids at a number of locations across Northern Ireland.

The 35-year-old, of Rinnalea Gardens in the city, is accused of converting criminal property, namely cash and Rolex watches.

He faces further counts of possessing and entering into an arrangement to facilitate the acquisition or control of criminal property.

The alleged offences were committed on dates up to June 20 this year.

Charges have also been brought against a number of co-accused detained as part of the same investigation.

Standing in the dock at Belfast Magistrates’ Court, O’Kane spoke only to confirm he understood the alleged offences.

A detective constable said he could connect him to the charges.

No further details about the case were disclosed during the hearing.

But defence solicitor Pat Kelly told the court O’Kane currently cannot return to his employers – who he declined to name in open court.

Seeking a longer adjournment, the lawyer said it was a “cumbersome and lengthy investigation” involving co-accused in other parts of Northern Ireland.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall released O’Kane on continuing bail, to return again in eight weeks time.