Money launderers could see sentences lengthened

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People found guilty of money laundering, possession of firearms or encouragement of terrorism in Northern Ireland could soon see their sentences lengthened.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) would be able to refer sentences believed to be unduly lenient to the Court of Appeal under a consultation published by the Department of Justice on Tuesday.

The proposals have identified more than 80 offences, linked to terrorism, organised crime and paramilitarism, to be added to the scheme.

Anyone found guilty of these types of crime in the Crown Court could then see their sentence increased if it is found to be unduly lenient.

The proposals were developed in response to a recommendation in the Fresh Start Panel Report on the Disbandment of Paramilitary Groups.

The department is seeking views on whether offences listed in the consultation paper properly reflect the type of criminality inflicted on communities by organised crime and paramilitary-linked groups.

The consultation is open until October.