The number of money-laundering crimes recorded in the State more than doubled last year and have increased sixfold in just two years.

Garda sources said the trends reflect the changing face of crime in Ireland, more of which is taking place online, and a culture shift in policing with extra resources being dedicated to white-collar and cyber crime.

Detectives said there was now a major focus on investigating money-laundering by drug dealers and organised crime gangs in addition to their more traditional activities.

Figures obtained by The Irish Times show that 524 money-laundering crimes were recorded last year, up from 234 in 2019. There were just 83 such offences in 2018, and fewer than 50 a year were recorded between 2012 and 2017.

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