Irish police have arrested the former head of the Anglo Irish Bank as part of their investigation into fraud. The bank’s failure has become associated with the country’s financial meltdown.
Officers arrested Sean FitzPatrick, former head of Anglo Irish Bank, on Tuesday as part of a long-running operation.
The 64-year-old was arrested by members of the Irish police, the Garda, at Dublin Airport as he returned from holiday. Another two senior former Anglo executives were arrested in the Irish capital on Monday, charged on 16 fraud-related counts.
A statement from the Irish police said the arrest was part of "an ongoing investigation by Gardai from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement into alleged financial irregularities at a financial institution."
FitzPatrick ran the bank during Ireland's runaway property boom, which was followed by a banking collapse that precipitated the country's financial crisis.
Police, along with Ireland's Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement, have been investigating the bank for more than three years.
The bank, recently renamed the Irish Banking Resolution Corporation, is being gradually wound down after its debts meant that the Ireland was left with a 30-billion-euro ($36-billion) bill to bail it out.
The amount was almost half that needed to prop up the country's troubled financial sector as a whole. Ireland was forced to seek an 85-billion-euro rescue loan in November 2010 as a result of the banking crisis.
rc/tj (AFP, AP, Reuters)