When the cops asked what was in the locked cupboard in the basement, Ted Cunningham – no relation – explained it contained ‘personal items‘.
‘What kind of personal items?’ they asked.
‘A couple of million in sterling.’
The financial adviser explained he got the money as a result of a property deal involving the sale of a sand pit.
‘That money is not from the Northern Bank robbery,’ he explained.
Instead, he told the stunned detectives that the money was part of a Bulgarian land deal.
‘I got a call last September or October from a man to meet me in the churchyard across the road. I never saw him before I took them bags of money out of his four wheel drive jeep and took them down to the cupboard,’ Cunningham said later.
As soon as the deal was concluded, he planned to lodge the money and declare it to the taxman.
The financial advisor and his son both deny money laundering charges.
A few months ago, his tale of churchyard meetings would have been laughed out of court.
But with all we’ve learned since then about how banks operate in this country, is it really so far fatched?