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Third Irish bank executive arrested

Jul 24 2012 10:47 Reuters

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Dublin - Irish police on Tuesday arrested the former chief executive of Anglo Irish Bank, Sean FitzPatrick, to face charges related to an investigation into the failed lender synonymous with Ireland's financial meltdown, a source close to the probe said.

Fitzpatrick, the face of Ireland's banking crisis after serving as chief executive of Anglo for almost two decades, has been arrested twice in connection with the long-running probe, but has yet to be charged.

He was arrested early on Tuesday at Dublin Airport and will appear in court today for the first time to face charges related to "financial irregularities," the source said.

Police said in a statement that a man in his 60s had been arrested in the Dublin area and was due to appear in court after two former top executives at Anglo Irish Bank were charged on Monday as part of the investigation.

Ireland's Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) and the police have been investigating the actions of the bank for over three years, including loans given to a group of investors, referred to by local media as the "golden circle", as well as whether deposits were used to mask large withdrawals.

Anglo, recently renamed the Irish Banking Resolution Corporation (IBRC), is slowly being wound down after years of reckless lending left the state with a €30bn bill, almost half of the amount needed to bail out the entire sector.

Voters have been angered that nobody has been jailed for the mismanagement of banks that helped fuel the runaway "Celtic Tiger" economy.

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