Sean Quinn's Missing Millions Spotlight


Sean Quinn's Missing Millions

Sean Quinn was Ireland's richest man, but his fortune is gone and he is accused of hiding hundreds of millions from the Irish state. Jim Fitzpatrick reports on the global hunt.


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Sean Quinn. He was island's richest man. Now, its biggest ever bankrupt.

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I don't think anybody has come across anything like this before.

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The scale is unprecedented. Bankrupt but not beaten. Clearly

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these people are desperate and desperate people do desperate

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things. Half a billion dollars at stake in a perilous game of hide-

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and-seek. There are police with a semi-automatic rifles and flak

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vests. As the hunt goes joke -- Global, I am joining in. I

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discovered an underworld of international finance, home to

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secret deals, hidden millions and forgery. A place where vast sums of

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 47 seconds

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money can be stashed beyond the There are millions going out in the

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silent, millions that are hidden. More than �100 million of Sean

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Quinn's money disappeared in South America and I am in police to find

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out why. I have been halfway across the world, following Sean Quinn's

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hidden millions. A fortune he spent a lifetime building, a fortune he

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lost to a wildly ambitious bank and then snatched back from under their

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nose. He saw that as his family's inheritance and said he would not

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give up without a fight. That is exactly what the bank has got, to

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the four corners of the world. Quinn says he is a simple farmer's

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son and some of the things he did would point to a highly

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sophisticated businessman. Just how far will he go to keep the money?

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All the way to jail? Derrylin, County Fermanagh, home to the

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business empire built by a scratch by Sean Quinn. Born in the tiny

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parish of Teemore, he took the family farm and made a global

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empire that would make his own It was an empire built on sand.

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Doug from his family farm. Sand became cement, and massive business

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that made him millions. Next, a glass plant, the biggest in Ireland.

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Plastics, packaging, insulation, energy, all followed. Then there

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was Quinn Direct insurance. He kept climbing. An Irish man buying the

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In the the Fermanagh cavern borderlands, a place blighted for

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generators by poverty and unemployment, he provided jobs 2000.

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Sean Quinn made this improbable dream happen here in Derrylin.

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First of all there is a great deal of gratitude and affection for him

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because he build something magnificent from nothing and has

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given substantial and worthwhile employment to a couple of

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generations for 38 years. He has survived this region and made it a

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viable and vibrant community where as before it wasn't and without him

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it certainly wouldn't have been. Sean Quinn's fortune was entirely

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self-made. Leaving school at 15, he started at nothing. He wanted his

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own children to start with a billion each and achieve that at

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the height of his influence and power when the Quinn family was

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valued at $6 billion. He wanted more, much more. During the Celtic

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Tiger good times, everyone was enjoying the party. Sean Quinn and

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Ireland grew rich together. As his fortune grew, he turned to the

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stock market for bigger rewards. Quinn's eye fell upon island's

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fastest-growing financial institution, are Anglo Irish Bank.

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The bankers and Sean Quinn saw a lot of themselves in one another.

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They were entrepreneurial and to con risks and were aggressive. They

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had very low cost bases and were all very profitable during the good

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times. I think Sean Quinn saw a lot that he admired in Anglo Irish Bank

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and certainly, Anglo Irish Bank would have admired the fact that

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Sean Quinn was a major shareholder and investor in the bank. Really

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they were like kindred spirits almost. But theirs was a dangerous

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embrace. Anglo Irish Bank bankrolled Quinn but at the same

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time he secretly signed vast amounts of money into building

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control over their shares. Even by Celtic Tiger standards, his

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investment was an enormous risk. If share prices fell, he would lose

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everything and the Bank would lose its biggest investor, a slip by one

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would track down both. The critical moment came on 17th March, 2008. A

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date when island's back was turned. -- island's back was turned. The

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banks were closed and the Government was away and the

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carnival atmosphere hit a crisis that would bring the good times to

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an end. Stockmarkets across the world tumbled. It was the day the

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Celtic tiger died. For ever known as the St Patrick's Day massacre.

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IBRC's share price -- Anglo's share price plummeted and both it and

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Quinn were in serious jeopardy. The loss threatened to drag down the

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share price even further. The Bank frantically tried to keep him

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afloat. Contact was made with Anglo Irish Bank saying there was a major

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problem. The bank ended up providing more than 300 million in

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new loans to cover those losses. But the shares continued to fall.

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As he watched his disastrous investment nosedive, Quinn borrowed

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more and Anglo gave it to him. Desperation setting. The more they

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lent him, the more he lost. These are the only credit agreements that

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bought Sean Quinn down. It shows an astonishing amount of lending. It

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shows �42,000,000.10 day and this one is for a remarkable $1 billion

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in a single day. A tower block in Moscow and a shopping centre in

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Kiev among many others. A 500 million a property portfolio signed

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away to the bank as security. At the final tally Anglo had lent Sean

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Quinn more than 2 billion euro, 2.8 billion in fact. It was not their

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only bad loan but it was the single biggest. In early 2009, riddled

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with debt, Anglo simply ran out of money. I think Frank Carson once

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had a joke that I am so rich, last week I wrote a cheque and the bank

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bounced. What is happening here is that this is a unique set of

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circumstances in Irish corporate history and it was not just to

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check that was bouncing or the individual bills this person, it

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was the bank itself. Anglo Irish Bank was just a sort of big

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flashing neon sign it, get rich quick. That's what it was. They

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took chances that other banks wouldn't take and they cut corners

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and they moved fast. They started it. They started the phenomenon

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that led to the crash. There is no doubt about that. It was a culture

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of banking that was recklessness and not the cautious people you

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would expect to be handling finances. The Irish government

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stepped in. Anglo was nationalised. Over to the tax payer to clear up

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the mess -- mess. The party was Anglo was renamed as the Irish Bank

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Resolution Corporation or IBRC. Now the biggest debt collector in

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Ireland. This building would have been the headquarters of Anglo

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Irish Bank. Its scale is testament to their grand ambitions. But the

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bank itself is now a shell, owned by the Irish state, its sole

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purpose to recover money on behalf of Irish tax payers. And the tax

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payers expected Sean Quinn to pay up. At 2.8 billion euros

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outstanding to a bank owned by the state is a matter of serious

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concern to the taxpayer. I am not giving away any secrets when I say

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we don't expect to recover all of that but our job in the bank is to

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recover as much of it as we possibly can. A bank has been

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bailed out to the tunes of Italians -- tens of billions and the

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taxpayer would expect the bank up to aggressively pursue individuals

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to recover as much money as possible. In this case they would

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expect Anglo to recover as much property as they possibly could

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from the Quinn Group. Sean Quinn publicly promised to pay everything

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back. We do not want to know anything. We want to pay the tax

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payer at 100% of the money. 0 need to change his mind months later

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after he lost his insurance business, his main source for tax.

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-- ass. The family then said they would not pay the money and Sean

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Quinn was on borrowed time. The state had taken over the bank and

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now we moved to takeover the entire Quinn Group. Quinn was effectively

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nationalised. What once belonged to him, have now belonged to the Irish

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Once the richest man in Alun, Sean Quinn walked into a court in

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Belfast and filed for bankruptcy. But that banquet later bankrupt him

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in Dublin, where a tougher regime would finish his business career

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for good. A bitter Quinn said the bank had ruined his chances of

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recovering money for taxpayers. was destroyed. I have grandchildren

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now. What Anglo Irish Bank have done to the Quinn Group is like

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somebody taking a sledgehammer Tear churl's toys. It is wrecked. Sean

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Quinn looked crushed. His company gone. The fortune he had set aside

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for his children wrote to the state. He had been worth billions, now he

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said he had just �11,000 to his name. Somebody said, get his head

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on a spike or some kind of trophy. It appears to a lot of people that

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did does not make sense. Consequently, in the group, there

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is great concern. They do not like smart Alex in the City and he was a

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real -- and he ran to some real smart Alex, they were slicker as

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they come. And they proved his Quinn employees said their former

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boss was brought down by a vindictive bank. Many protested at

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the new management. We want him Others took it further, as intense

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local loyalty boiled over into violence. It was the manner of Sean

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Quinn's remove fault that was most resented. In terms of the takeover

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of the Quinn Group, the family allege subterfuge. He was invited

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to Dublin for a meeting while the troops moved in. Why this underhand

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manner? It was not subterfuge, it was a prudent arrangement to make

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sure that the bank could actually get hold of the security that was

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their for the loans. There was no vindictiveness at all. I have no

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personal animosity towards Mr Quinn or any member of his family. Simply

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cheering a bank that is concerned with recovering as much as it can

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in terms of this security it legally holes. The insurance

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business was sold. The manufacturing business burdened

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with massive debt, it was restructured. The only hope of

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payback for the taxpayers they in a vast portfolio of overseas property.

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Worth over half a billion. international property portfolio is

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the last area of contention between the Bank and the family and Sean

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Quinn made it clear to Anglo Irish that they would face a hard-fought

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battle over that international portfolio. The bank thought they

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had already won that battle, but it took control of the entire Quinn

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Group, but they were in for a surprise. -- when it took control.

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Last summer, a Bill unexpectedly arrived at Quinn Group headquarters,

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now in the hands of the bank's representatives. An invoice for

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companies in Stockholm. Few knew what it meant. The answer had been

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hidden on a hard drive on a Quinn Group computer. In it, a file

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marked strictly private and confidential. Accessible to just

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five senior staff. It sketched out a brand new Quinn corporate

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structure based on does new companies in Sweden. The Quinns had

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Stockholm. This city was the headquarters for the Quinn Group's

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Overseas Properties, now owned by The Quinn family owned property

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worth hundreds of millions of pounds, located all across the

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globe. But it was controlled from here, Stockholm in Sweden. That is

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why this city became a key battleground in their fight with

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There are more than 20 properties, in many corporate entities in many

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different countries, it is a very complex way that a family created

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and it does not meet a whole lot of sense when Sean Quinn says he is

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just a simple farmer's son. Certainly the corporate structure

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he established around his business interests would 0.2 highly

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sophisticated businessman. -- would point to a highly sophisticated

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businessman. Today there are mountains of legal papers all over

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the world detailing that battle between Quinn and the bank. Some of

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the most revealing ones are probably here in Sweden and I am

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off to the Appeal Court archive in the old town in Stockholm where I

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hope to find them. Sean Quinn had been removed from all his companies

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by the back, including those based in salute -- in Sweden. But in a

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secret boardroom coup, he had apparently got back charge. Here

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are the papers. Excellent. This is the whole case? Yes. The whole case.

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These papers show Sean Quinn is still in control of companies worth

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hundreds of millions. What is he up to? I found a vital piece of

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evidence, that may show Sean Quinn trying to get rid of the property.

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He is moving a fortune into that new network beyond the reach of the

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bank. Of the shareholders representatives... Here we have a

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document dated June 15th, 2011. Two months after the banks supposedly

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took control. But who is in charge of the property here in Sweden?

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None other than Sean Quinn himself. What is he doing at this meeting?

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It seems as if he is signing over control of the entire empire to his

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nephew, Peter. Peter Quinn, known as P D. Aged 35, he managed Quinn

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properties across Europe for his uncle. Now he was controlling the

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family's new word work -- new network. The family had signed away

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control of valuable companies, 11 in total. Potentially millions due

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to the state were now disappearing from its reach into this new

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network. Local contacts were listed on the documents that established

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the foundation here. I wanted to find out more, so I thought I would

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My name is Jim Fitzpatrick. I am from the BBC. I am in Stockholm at

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the moment. From that documentary point of view, your name comes up

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against some companies. We would like to clarify what your position

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or role within it was. Goodbye. None wanted to speak to us, even

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the registered agent said the new nothing about it. -- they knew.

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What we do know is that the foundation was set up for the Quinn

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grandchildren, so they were in line for those valuable property

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transfers made between Peter and Sean. It seems that a clear attempt

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to move millions be on the bank was made. -- beyond. So, why are the

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grandchildren the ultimate beneficiaries of the mysterious

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foundation? We have spoken to one Quinn associate who said the

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intention was to be to offer a new beginning for the Quinn family. But

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the bank, Banahan was a blatant attempt to put assets worth

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hundreds of millions of pounds forever beyond its reach. Sean

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Quinn and his children had legally pledged their entire empire to the

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publicly owned bank and to the state. Up a public had no such

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claim or anything owned by the grandchildren. The bank had

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witnessed a fortune taken from right under its nose. Was the Bank

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caught napping when they discovered there had been a plan to ship

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assets through Sweden? It has become clearer that there is a

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process, there has been a process underway to try to put assets

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beyond the reach of the bank. I regret that, it is a process which

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we oppose, we are pursuing that. We have made a certain amount of

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progress through the courts, I hope we can continue. There is a way for

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that process to come to an end and that would be that the Quinn family

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the first Bush processes. -- reversed those processes. Peter

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Quinn denies the move was to hide millions from the bank. But he has

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not explained by the property was being transferred into the network

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he controlled for the family. A significant stride forward had been

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taken by the family in moving control away from the bank. The

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Quinns were winning the war, but the fight Adderley just begun. I

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suppose what we have learned in Stockholm is the lengths to which

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the Quinn family would go in order to keep control of parts of that

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property empire. The bank says The episode in Sweden set alarm

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bells ringing in the bank. Sean Quinn, a simple farmer's son, had

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been one step ahead of them. Back in Dublin, the Bank rushed to get a

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worldwide court order. Its terms were simple, Sean Quinn and his

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family could not interfere in anyway with the overseas property.

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This was a serious escalation. Any further meddling by the Quinns

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could put them in jail. Once the court order has been made, any

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action in breach of that order to be content. It is not a mere

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technicality, it becomes central. For the bank, obtaining a court

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order was one thing. Enforcing it would be quite another. Kiev,

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capital of Ukraine. An emerging market, still shaking off a Soviet

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past. Sean Quinn invested millions here. The City, as staging posts in

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his move deep into eastern Europe. He promised a great fortune, which

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still lies in wait. -- it promised. Kiev is a funny kind of city, it is

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much bigger than you imagine it beforehand. This mixture of old and

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new, the old architecture, the new, swanky investments, and of some

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some pretty mad Communists staff. This part of the city is on the

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cusp. It has some of the new and plenty of the old as well. Irish

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taxpayers now owned this huge shopping malls. It generates almost

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$1 million a month in rent. But that is not going to the public

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coffers. I am here to find out why and to find out who is getting it.

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So, this is what $60 million of prime retail real estate in Kiev

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looks like. It is called the Univermag. A local landmark and

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Kiev's first shopping mall. My translator and I can only get so

0:26:570:27:07
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What is your problem? We are just taking some television shots. It is

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security of the Mall, OK. We are not in the Mall, though? So we are

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filming the more but we are not on the Mall, does that...? A Paris we

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are told we are not allowed to film here even though we are from the

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public street and we have not tried to get into the Mall. Hello. We are

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just taking some film. No... guards did not want us anywhere

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near the Mall. Frustrating for us, but worse for this man. He is

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supposed to run the place. The bank appointed him but even he cannot

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get in. Unfortunately when I came the first time, I went to the

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office on the third floor of this building and first all I found that

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the offices closed. It is closed, it is locked, despite some noises

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and some light that I saw outside. So there were people hiding inside?

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Yes, definitely. So these people who were running the Mall, you are

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the new boss but they were the ones in charge it seemed. Yes, they

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still pretend to be in charge. At the same time I called the police.

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The police came and by the way it was very interesting to see the

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police with machine guns and dozens of police are men. It is a building

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in the heart of Kiev. It was embarrassing for everybody there

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because the management office is next to the bowling alley and this

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was afternoon time when a birthday party for kids was taking place and

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mothers saw people with flak vests and helmets and machine guns come

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in and they were shocked. This is bad for business overall the

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weather is in charge of the place. The police refused to help the bank

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take charge amounts on this man is still locked out. And who is

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keeping him and the Irish Bank out? A female employee of the more has

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taken legal action to block him. I I think this is the building we are

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looking for. The woman inside was standing beside -- between the

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Irish taxpayer and $1 million a month in rent. Now, this is her

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home address in a normal residential area of Kiev and we are

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going to ring the bell and see if she will talk to us. SHE SPEAKS

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RUSSIAN They said she was out and she has been avoiding our calls

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ever since. It seems unlikely she single-handedly masterminding an

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attempt to take over the more but they have succeeded in leading the

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bank into the quagmire of the Ukrainian court system. They call

0:30:440:30:49

Ukraine the Wild East, the rule of law can be haphazard at best. The

0:30:490:30:53

Irish Bank has discovered why. Every attempt to persuade courts in

0:30:530:30:58

Kiev of their rightful claims to the mall has been deposed and

0:30:580:31:06

obstructed. It is a notoriously gyp corrupt judicial and court system

0:31:060:31:10

and it is being used to further the aims of whoever is behind it. That

0:31:110:31:17

is to keep this shopping centre out of the reach of the Bank, fire

0:31:170:31:23

stalling tactics and delaying tactics. There is an opportunity to

0:31:230:31:28

open up cases in a court system that is amenable to taking bribes

0:31:280:31:34

to make decisions against your firm and so that is a big issue. For our

0:31:340:31:37

companies and our member companies we do our best to try and stay out

0:31:380:31:43

of the Ukrainian court system when and if up at all possible. When the

0:31:430:31:46

Irish government complained last year, Ukraine ordered an

0:31:460:31:52

investigation into the court's handling of cases linked to the

0:31:520:31:58

Mall. Money is still pouring into the tales inside. It is not going

0:31:580:32:04

to the Irish taxpayer. I need to find out who is getting it. We

0:32:040:32:08

never got to see the more employee who is blocking the bank but we did

0:32:080:32:16

discover the identity of her boss. Maybe she could tell us more. This

0:32:170:32:22

is the woman we are trying to speak to. Unfortunately she does not want

0:32:220:32:27

to speak to us. She is currently running the mourner at the moment.

0:32:270:32:32

She is the more's Rosenior executive, shown here at an

0:32:330:32:36

international function. The banks sacked her but she remains in

0:32:360:32:41

charge. She must know where the money goes but she is also behind

0:32:410:32:47

closed doors. She was hired by the Quins. Then they doubled her salary.

0:32:470:32:52

During the takeover by the bank. The question is, if she still

0:32:520:32:57

working for them? I have tracked down the man he used to run the

0:32:570:33:00

Ukraine operation for the family. Following a disagreement three

0:33:000:33:07

years ago he was replaced by this woman. He answered directly to Sean

0:33:070:33:13

Quinn's nephew Peter. I was the contact person for major decisions.

0:33:130:33:19

The approval of rents and leases. These kind of things. A at the time

0:33:190:33:28

when you were working within the group, the chief accountant was a

0:33:280:33:34

woman, do you know her? Are she is quite knowledgeable and industrious.

0:33:340:33:38

She is concentrating on what she's doing and I think she was

0:33:380:33:42

performing well and she was promoted to the permission --

0:33:420:33:46

position of director. So she would have a lot of loyalty to the group

0:33:460:33:52

because she was promoted into that position. Well, I would say she was

0:33:520:33:57

loyal and looks like she still is. We have asked her about her role

0:33:570:34:03

but she has not answered any of our written questions. If Quinn family

0:34:030:34:10

deny she is working for them. Last August, she took part in a meeting

0:34:100:34:17

at this Kiev office building. She met the two visitors from Ireland.

0:34:170:34:21

Peter Quinn and his cousin Sean Quinn junior. On the same day a

0:34:210:34:28

Quinn company ordered a major deposit for her personal account.

0:34:280:34:34

Half-a-million dollars. Apparently signed over by Peter Quinn. Peter

0:34:340:34:38

Quinn says he didn't approve the payments but he cannot explain why

0:34:380:34:48
0:34:480:34:48

his signature is there. Sean Quinn Jnr denies any role in the payment

0:34:480:34:52

which was later blocked and is being investigated by Ukrainian

0:34:520:34:56

police. The banks say it is a bright and that is because soon

0:34:560:35:03

after that meeting, she delivered a knockout blow. She agreed to pay a

0:35:030:35:08

multi-million-pound debt that would strip the more of all it was worth.

0:35:080:35:13

How do you Robber Bank? You can go in with a gun or, as the bank in

0:35:130:35:18

this case alleges, you can go to court. Here a couple of days before

0:35:190:35:23

Christmas the Kiev national court handed a �28 million debt to an

0:35:230:35:28

offshore company called Lyndhurst. In so doing -- in so doing they

0:35:280:35:32

gave them complete control over the Mall. The more should belong to the

0:35:320:35:37

Irish public but suddenly it is in hock to a mysterious company in the

0:35:370:35:42

British Virgin Islands for millions of pounds. This offshore company

0:35:420:35:47

claims the more owns it a massive debt, but for what? The demand

0:35:470:35:52

appears to have come from nowhere. You read the press reports of what

0:35:520:35:55

was happening in the court and you saw these amounts materialise and

0:35:550:36:02

what was your reaction? Well, I think my reaction is similar to

0:36:020:36:11

many others. The purpose is evident. So only doubt was, it is evident to

0:36:110:36:15

you but what is the purpose of Bayern been stupid? The purpose is

0:36:150:36:22

to keep the property and to get ownership on it, in my

0:36:220:36:27

understanding. Despite the Bank's protests, the Ukrainian courts are

0:36:270:36:31

allowed when Lyndhurst to take control, a company that appeared

0:36:310:36:38

from nowhere. Vladimir was the man in charge of the entire Quinn

0:36:380:36:42

operation in the Ukraine. You would like to think that if there were

0:36:420:36:45

multi-million-dollar loans from the Quinn a corporation to other

0:36:450:36:50

companies that he would have known about it, and yet he says he knew

0:36:500:36:53

nothing. Surely if someone was going to know, it would have been

0:36:530:37:03
0:37:030:37:03

him. Now, after months of silence, Lyndhurst's reported owner has

0:37:030:37:08

turned up in Kiev. He claims there is no mystery. He says the Mall was

0:37:080:37:18
0:37:180:37:21

simply put up for sale. The price was $50 million, cash. The seller

0:37:210:37:30

was Peter Quinn. He denies this. The Quinn family say that locals

0:37:300:37:34

did it and they are not involved. The Bank believes that the Quinn

0:37:340:37:44
0:37:440:37:48

family orchestrated the move of the more from its control. The pattern

0:37:480:37:55

set in Kiev has been repeated in other parts of the former Quinn

0:37:550:38:05
0:38:050:38:06

empire. Sudden attempt to snatch property away from the bank.

0:38:060:38:11

Attempts by faceless companies with one thing in common, they appear to

0:38:110:38:21
0:38:210:38:28

know the Quinn empire inside out. Russia. Where the bank expected its

0:38:280:38:38
0:38:380:38:38

biggest pay back. Thanks mainly to this office block in Moscow. It is

0:38:380:38:44

nearly $200 million of prime real estate. Prestige tenants like a

0:38:440:38:50

Coca Cola guarantee nearly $20 million a year in rent. Part of the

0:38:500:38:55

Bank's inheritance from Quinn's East and inheritance -- expansion.

0:38:560:39:01

Even as late as 2009, with his business under intolerable pressure,

0:39:010:39:08

Sean Quinn was still expanding, he at the opening of a business park.

0:39:080:39:15

We are involved in seven locations in Russia in total. Dozens of

0:39:150:39:24

properties here promise to millions to the Irish taxpayer. But last

0:39:240:39:28

year the Russian properties were hit with the same style of take

0:39:280:39:33

over that was happening in Kiev. They were hit with claims for

0:39:330:39:36

hundreds of millions of pounds from a host of offshore companies,

0:39:360:39:46

demanding a pay up or shut down. The bank was effectively losing

0:39:460:39:50

control. A fortune was on the move, away from the bank. The question

0:39:500:39:58

was, where would it wind up? One company laid claim to more than any

0:39:580:40:08
0:40:080:40:08

other. Over �100 million of the Bank's money. It is based six-and-

0:40:080:40:13

a-half 1,000 miles away in Central America. It is an excellent place

0:40:130:40:23
0:40:230:40:34

Good morning and welcome to beautiful Belize. The only English-

0:40:340:40:43

speaking country in Central America. The population is presently 330,000.

0:40:430:40:48

Belize, Central America. Despite the poverty, this country plays

0:40:480:40:54

host to a lucrative offshore financial industry. The companies

0:40:540:41:01

that are based here are collectively worth billions. Not

0:41:010:41:11
0:41:110:41:12

that the locals see much of it. is not good. The economy is really,

0:41:120:41:17

really bad. The poverty is really overwhelming. I know you will

0:41:170:41:23

notice that, right? Right. You cannot help noticing Cup. He can't

0:41:230:41:29

help. In high finance offshore areas are a established feature of

0:41:290:41:35

the modern world. Good luck and thanks for talking to me. OK. So,

0:41:350:41:44

you got to face book made. OK! I have come to believe because this

0:41:440:41:47

is where the biggest slice of the former Quinn property empire that

0:41:470:41:52

should be owned by the Irish taxpayer has turned up. I'm looking

0:41:520:41:59

for the company claiming that it now owns that valuable Moscow tower

0:41:590:42:07

block. We hadn't much to go on other than its name and an address.

0:42:070:42:17
0:42:170:42:19

We are looking for somewhere that is a post office box. It is a post

0:42:190:42:25

office box address, would that be near here? Pose of his box. Does it

0:42:250:42:35
0:42:350:42:35

ring any bells? No, the Post Office is over the bridge, I think.

0:42:350:42:40

company is based here, it is claiming Russian property but it is

0:42:400:42:44

Irish taxpayers who are losing out to the tune of $100 million. The

0:42:440:42:48

company is supposed to be here summer, but offshore in places like

0:42:480:42:56

Belize, everything is a little elusive. In the of sure, there is

0:42:560:43:01

an ability to keep the true ownership of the company

0:43:010:43:06

confidential. -- offshore. The true ownership of the company can be

0:43:060:43:16
0:43:160:43:17

withheld or hidden. Finally, I found it. The lucrative office

0:43:170:43:22

block in Moscow is controlled by a company based here. It is worth

0:43:220:43:28

more than $100 million on paper. You would expect the headquarters

0:43:280:43:38
0:43:380:43:44

to be quite plush. OK. Box office number 1906. It should be somewhere

0:43:440:43:54
0:43:540:44:08

here. 1916. 1962. 1906. This is it, this is the number. This is the

0:44:080:44:15

registered office, if you like, of the company which owns $100 million

0:44:150:44:22

of assets in Moscow. This is it. Irish taxpayers' money effectively

0:44:220:44:28

locked up in a dusty post office box in Belize. Controlled by an

0:44:280:44:38
0:44:380:44:39

offshore company created just last year, its ownership a secret. How

0:44:390:44:43

this conjuring trick is performed is a mystery. But the bank has its

0:44:430:44:53
0:44:530:44:55

suspicions about who is behind it. The Quinns. The thing about the

0:44:550:44:59

offshore world is that basic company information like the owners,

0:44:590:45:03

directors, financial records, are almost impossible to get hold of.

0:45:030:45:08

That is the point. If you want to keep your secrets, you start by

0:45:080:45:12

moving your business offshore. Defined as a more on this, I went

0:45:120:45:18

to see the man who created that offshore world year in Belize. --

0:45:180:45:23

to find out some more. Clem got free is a former Attorney General

0:45:230:45:28

of Belize. He was instrumental in establishing Belize as an offshore

0:45:280:45:33

haven for international companies. -- Glenn got free. He knows how to

0:45:330:45:39

crack open those secrets. How could I find out if I wanted to know who

0:45:390:45:44

owns a company in Belize? international business which is

0:45:440:45:50

offshore, you have to go to the court. You have to show that there

0:45:500:45:56

are some fraud being committed, the company being misused. A lot of the

0:45:560:46:00

information is not available, it is up to the court to get the

0:46:000:46:05

information. So that is where I am going. And where the bank has

0:46:050:46:12

already been in its pursuit of the money. The bank had one shot at

0:46:120:46:16

breaking through the secrecy. Take the company to court and prove that

0:46:160:46:22

the takeover of Quinn property was illegal. And that is what they did.

0:46:220:46:32
0:46:320:46:42

The suspicion was that the company It is here indisputable court room

0:46:420:46:47

with the colonial symbols very much in place that this Irish battle

0:46:470:46:52

took place between the state-owned bank and the company it suspects is

0:46:520:46:58

controlled by the man who used to be its richest citizen. The court

0:46:580:47:02

ordered the company's owner to reveal his identity. He said he was

0:47:020:47:06

a restructuring expert. The banks said he was an unemployed railway

0:47:060:47:11

worker in Moscow. They thought he had been put up by the Quinn is mac

0:47:110:47:15

to hide their involvement. They had unquestioned on a video link. He

0:47:150:47:22

did not have many answers. What I know is that they started the

0:47:220:47:26

interview and it became obvious there was somebody else and the

0:47:260:47:31

them coaching the witness. The judge said, get out of the room,

0:47:320:47:38

you are not supposed to be here. At that point, the person seemed to

0:47:380:47:44

have left the room, then a couple of questions after that, the

0:47:440:47:50

transmission went dead. Before his abrupt departure, the man claiming

0:47:500:47:53

to own the company was very specific about when the property

0:47:530:47:59

rights were handed over. He said it was on April 4th last year. There

0:47:590:48:07

was one problem. On April 4th, that company did not exist. This is

0:48:070:48:12

testimony from a lawyer who set up the company. He says it was

0:48:120:48:18

effectively an empty shell. No owners, the shareholders, no funds,

0:48:180:48:22

nothing, until it was purchased in July. That is three months after it

0:48:230:48:28

supposedly took hold of the Quinn properties. How could Sean Quinn

0:48:280:48:34

signed a transfer to a company that did not exist? It had only been

0:48:340:48:38

established as a working company after Sean Quinn had been expelled

0:48:380:48:43

from his business. The deal was a fake. Forged to make it look like

0:48:430:48:47

Sean Quinn was still in charge and before the court order that would

0:48:480:48:55

have made it illegal. The question is, did the Quinns perpetrate this

0:48:550:49:05

fraud, or someone else masquerading as them? Sean and Peter Quinn

0:49:050:49:08

insisted they only signed a deal with the man from Moscow directly,

0:49:080:49:12

not his company. They say the documents showing that they gave

0:49:120:49:17

money to the company that did not exist must have been faked by

0:49:170:49:22

someone else. But the court here has turned up another crucial bit

0:49:220:49:29

of evidence. The company claiming that Quins' Russian property was

0:49:290:49:37

set up by Peter Quinn. I have discovered that it is just one of

0:49:370:49:42

half-a-dozen offshore companies now laying claim to buy property in

0:49:420:49:47

Russia, all sharing the same set of directors, or purchased on the same

0:49:470:49:54

day and all bought by Peter Quinn. -- all purchased. The Bank believes

0:49:540:49:59

he did this for the Quinn family to take assets worth millions from the

0:49:590:50:08

taxpayer. Peter Quinn says there was no master plan. Yet, he now

0:50:080:50:12

admits that he and his uncle had signed away millions were per

0:50:120:50:16

property to a host of company hoping to recover it at a later

0:50:160:50:19

date. But he says he did this before the bank took charge and

0:50:190:50:29
0:50:290:50:31

denies he broke the law. Clearly, these people are desperate. The

0:50:310:50:38

network just vanished, people do desperate things. The family say

0:50:380:50:44

they were acting within the law, but the bank say far from it. By

0:50:440:50:48

the time the money and was moving to Belize, the family had no right

0:50:480:50:54

to it. Their charge against Sean Quinn is very serious. And this is

0:50:540:50:59

it. He was a bogus director using fake documents to take assets that

0:50:590:51:03

belonged to the Irish taxpayer beyond their control. No wonder the

0:51:030:51:08

back tickets are seriously, no wonder they are prepared to see him

0:51:080:51:13

in jail. -- the bank took it. Courts in almost a dozen countries

0:51:130:51:17

having tied up with a hunt for Sean Quinn's missing millions. They have

0:51:170:51:22

heard how the Bank believe that even as far away as Belize, the

0:51:220:51:26

farmer's son from County Fermanagh remains in control. The banks say

0:51:260:51:36
0:51:360:51:52

he is Master and Commander of a At Dublin court must now it

0:51:520:51:57

determine Sean Quinn's fate along with his son and his nephew, they

0:51:570:52:01

are accused of breaking that court order to leave the property well

0:52:010:52:06

alone. The charge is contempt of court, possible penalty, if guilty,

0:52:060:52:12

his prison. Peter Quinn has faced the most intense questioning in

0:52:120:52:22
0:52:220:52:23

court. We had questions for him as well. Peter Quinn, BBC Spotlight.

0:52:230:52:27

Can I ask you, are you worried about the prospect of going to jail

0:52:280:52:33

over this? It is pending at the moment, it is not appropriate...

0:52:330:52:37

What do you think about the taxpayers to stand to lose hundreds

0:52:370:52:47

of millions? -- who stand. Peter Quinn has admitted he wanted to

0:52:470:52:51

move as much property as possible away from the back for the family.

0:52:510:52:59

But like his uncle, he denies he broke the law in doing so. Mr Quinn,

0:52:590:53:05

BBC Spotlight. How have you got on today? Is your family hiding its

0:53:050:53:15
0:53:150:53:19

millions? Oh, billions. The banks say you are. They Quinn's -- the

0:53:190:53:29
0:53:290:53:34

Quinns said legal advice prevented them from asked -- answering any

0:53:340:53:39

further questions. They deny the charge are you comfortable with the

0:53:390:53:46

prospect of Sean Quinn going to jail? I regret the fact that there

0:53:460:53:51

was so much litigation about that case. But we have no option but to

0:53:510:54:01
0:54:010:54:03

proceed. What had been so next? there any happy ending? That would

0:54:040:54:08

be that the people through tried to put assets beyond our reach reverse

0:54:080:54:12

that process. It is a pity it has come to this but the by and has no

0:54:120:54:22
0:54:220:54:24

option but to proceed. There will be no happy ending to this. No

0:54:240:54:34

happy ending for the other people. But you can be sure that they will

0:54:340:54:37

not be going to soup kitchens. They will live in some comfort and spend

0:54:370:54:41

the rest of the day's grieving about why they are not a more

0:54:410:54:46

gilded surroundings. Perhaps it did not have to come to this. The

0:54:460:54:50

Quinns have a court -- court case of their own, alleging they do not

0:54:500:54:54

owe the money claimed. That is because they say the Daily ins they

0:54:540:55:00

borrowed were illegally lent by at bank trying to save its own skin.

0:55:000:55:07

-- the billions. While it is accepted that Anglo bank did loan

0:55:070:55:11

almost 3 billion to the Quinn family, the Quinn family have in

0:55:110:55:18

essence alleged that they did so to prevent Sean Quinn unengaging in a

0:55:180:55:22

fire sale of his shareholding. That would have led to further downward

0:55:220:55:26

pressure on the Anglo share price. The Quinn family are arguing the

0:55:260:55:31

bag was engaging in an illegal share support scheme. It goes to

0:55:310:55:34

the heart of the matter as to whether the ban was trying to

0:55:340:55:38

protect itself or to protect Sean Quinn. I would say it is one and

0:55:390:55:43

the same. If Sean Quinn went, the bank would have got. In the first

0:55:430:55:47

instance, the bank was trying to protect Sean Quinn. I think Sean

0:55:470:55:52

Quinn was trying to protect himself by approaching the bang regularly

0:55:520:56:00

to get loans to cover his losses. What if the Quins are right and the

0:56:000:56:04

loans were illegal and unenforceable? We dispute that, of

0:56:040:56:12

course. But they still have a case they hope to have heard. I do not

0:56:130:56:18

contemplate their winning that case. Clearly, we have a different view

0:56:180:56:25

of that. Tonight, Sean Quinn's freedom is in the hands of a judge.

0:56:250:56:29

A judge to excuse the Quinns from court last week for Sean junior's

0:56:290:56:35

winning. Peter, his best man. Temporary respite from the case and

0:56:350:56:39

judgment that awaits them. It has been a staggering four for the

0:56:390:56:45

billionaire. The bankruptcy case of Sean Quinn was the largest

0:56:450:56:51

bankruptcy across Ireland and England. The scale is just

0:56:510:56:59

unprecedented. Sean Quinn, perhaps the personification of Ireland's

0:56:590:57:05

boom-and-bust. I think it is the best story to describe what

0:57:050:57:10

happened in this country, the story of Sean Quinn and I -- Anglo Irish

0:57:100:57:14

Bank. The most successful bank and the

0:57:140:57:17

most successful private company family business in this country.

0:57:170:57:26

have seen both go from rags to riches to rags again. The bank and

0:57:260:57:35

the bankrupt billionaire are not finished with each other yet. We

0:57:350:57:38

followed the money across the globe and it is clear that the Quinn

0:57:380:57:43

family faces years of grinding legal action against the bank and

0:57:430:57:48

essentially, the entire Irish state. So far, all the courtrooms in the

0:57:480:57:51

world have not been able to secure the money that the Quins helped

0:57:510:58:00

snatch away. Stockholm, Kiev, Moscow and Belize. The bank's'

0:58:000:58:10
0:58:100:58:11

investigators have moved on again. To date, the bank has lost control

0:58:110:58:15

of around half a billion, most of that has washed up in offshore

0:58:150:58:19

companies around the world. Added fears that it may lose that money

0:58:190:58:22

entirely into a Quinn family bank account. What further chances of

0:58:230:58:28

that happening? Considered this. On the very same day that he set up

0:58:280:58:32

He was Ireland's richest man, but his fortune is gone and he is accused of hiding hundreds of millions from the Irish state. In a special investigation, Jim Fitzpatrick reports on the global hunt for Sean Quinn.


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