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PRESS RELEASE
  
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For Information, Contact Public Affairs
Saturday, October 8, 2005 Channing Phillips (202) 514-6933
 
  
Leader of Irish Workers' Party and Official Irish Republican Army
Arrested in United Kingdom on U.S. Indictment
Charging Trafficking in Counterfeit United States Currency
 
Washington, D.C. - United States Attorney Kenneth L. Wainstein and Special Agent in Charge James B. Burch, United States Secret Service, Washington Field Office, announced today that Irish Workers' Party leader Sean Garland, 71, was arrested late Friday, October 7, 2005, in Northern Ireland on a provisional arrest warrant requested by the United States, based on charges pending in the District of Columbia that Garland operated a years-long scheme to obtain, transport, sell, and pass as genuine, highly deceptive counterfeit $100 United States Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs), sometimes referred to as "Supernotes." Garland, of Dublin, Republic of Ireland, was charged together with six other conspirators in an Indictment returned by a Federal Grand Jury in the District of Columbia on May 19, 2005; the Indictment was unsealed upon Garland's arrest.

In announcing the arrest and Indictment, which is the result an extensive U.S. Secret Service investigation, U.S. Attorney Wainstein stated, "The worldwide trafficking in counterfeit currency provides a source of illegal revenue for criminal organizations around the globe. This prosecution is a significant step in our effort to disrupt that trade and cripple those organizations."

"This arrest is one of the most significant related to the 16-year long investigation into the distribution of this family of highly deceptive counterfeit U.S. currency notes," said Special Agent in Charge Burch. "It is the result of the strong partnerships the Secret Service, as an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, has built with law enforcement agencies worldwide."

The Indictment identifies Garland as Chief of Staff of the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA), with which the Workers' Party was associated, and as Managing Director of a firm called GKG Communications International, Ltd. (GKG Comms). According to the Indictment, the highly deceptive notes – which began to appear in worldwide circulation in or about 1989 – were manufactured in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and under auspices of the government and transported worldwide by North Korean individuals acting as ostensible government officials. The Indictment alleges that this family of counterfeit notes began appearing in Ireland during the early 1990s, and that in the late 1990s – after the United States re-designed the $100 FRNs to add additional security features – correspondingly re-designed "Supernotes" began to appear. The re-designed currency was commonly referred to as "big heads" because of the increased size of the portrait it depicted.

The Indictment describes the efforts of Garland and certain of his associates, between December 1997 and July 2000, to obtain quantities of the counterfeit notes from North Korean sources and to transport, and to either pass as genuine or resell, the Supernotes in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. According to the Indictment, Garland used his official capacities with the Workers' Party and GKG Comms as ostensibly legitimate vehicles for traveling, communicating and meeting with persons, including North Koreans, engaged in transporting and selling "Supernotes," and arranging the purchase, transportation, and resale of Supernotes in quantities up to $1 million. The Indictment also alleges that, as a security measure, Garland falsely let other conspirators believe the source of the highly deceptive notes was Russia.

Garland's codefendants, also charged in the Indictment, are Christopher John Corcoran, 57, of Dublin, Ireland; David Levin, also known as David Batikovitch Batikian, 39, of Birmingham and London, United Kingdom; Hugh Todd, 68, of South Africa; and Terence "Terry" Silcock, 50, Mark Adderley, 47, and Alan Jones, 48, of Birmingham, United Kingdom. All the codefendants remain outside the United States. U.S. Attorney Wainstein stated that the United States will be seeking the codefendants' arrests, and the extradition of all the defendants to the United States to stand trial on the charges.

The one-count Indictment charges all seven defendants with a violation of the federal conspiracy statute, Title 18, United States Code, Section 371, and two federal counterfeiting statutes, Title 18, United States Code, Sections 470 (Counterfeiting Acts Outside the United States) and 473 (Counterfeiting) that prohibit the extraterritorial acts of possessing and trafficking in counterfeit United States currency. Upon conviction, the defendants face imprisonment for not more than five (5) years and a fine of $250,000 or both.

In announcing Garland's arrest and the Indictment's unsealing, U.S. Attorney Wainstein and Special Agent in Charge Burch praised the dedicated efforts of the many United States Secret Service agents and other personnel, including agents and officials with the United States Department of Treasury, who worked tirelessly for many years to bring this case to Indictment. They also expressed deep appreciation for the outstanding, and continuing, contributions of foreign law enforcement authorities, most notably the United Kingdom's National Crime Squad which had investigated the Birmingham- and London-based activities of the defendants, and the Police Service of Northern Ireland, which made important contributions to the investigation and effected the arrest of the lead defendant, Sean Garland. U.S. Attorney Wainstein noted, "the Garland investigation is a fine example of the international cooperation among law enforcement personnel that is critical to success in such major transnational cases." He also commended the contributions of the Justice Department's Office of International Affairs. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Laura A. Ingersoll and Brenda J. Johnson, of the National Security Section of the United States Attorney's Office.