Northern Ireland

Belfast City Council meeting over £300,000 scam

Belfast City Hall
Image caption Councillors are to meet senior city hall managers to seek assurances the fraud will not be repeated

A scam that cost Belfast City Council £300,000 is due to be discussed by councillors at a special meeting later.

The scam involved conmen who contacted a legitimate contractor who had already carried out work for the council, and asked for their outstanding invoices.

The fraudsters then went to the council with the invoices and sought payment for the work, using bogus bank details.

The funds, which council sources said involves £300,000, were then transferred to the fraudsters' account.

Councillors are due to meet senior city hall managers on Monday, to seek assurances that the fraud will not be repeated.

The cross-party audit committee is meeting the council officials just days after the BBC revealed details of the scam.

A council source said that was how some councillors heard of the problem.

It is understood the council's policy and resources committee was briefed by Belfast City Council's head of finance, Ronan Cregan, on Friday.

Sources told the BBC that two members of staff have been suspended on full pay because of the matter. There is no suggestion of them being involved in criminality.

The police have been called in to investigate the scam.

The council is hopeful of recouping the loss through insurance.

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