Sunday, 18 October 2009

West Dublin gardai in drugs investigation

Judge Morris, head of the tribunal investigating corrupt Donegal gardai, has spoken of a culture of dishonesty in the force. It's fair to assume that such a culture is not geographically confined to Donegal - and so it seems. The Herald reports below on an investigation into criminal collusion, involving two Garda stations, with a leading drug dealer.

West Dublin has serious problems with regard to drug-dealing criminal gangs, who are active in areas such as Blanchardstown and Clondalkin. Looks as though it also has problems with its gardai.

Friday October 16 2009

THREE plain clothes gardai are the latest to be questioned over their links to Ireland's biggest drugs dealer, 'the Don'. The three officers were questioned about passing information to the criminal. The trio, all based on the west side of Dublin, were not arrested. A fourth officer was arrested and quizzed last week. Files on the corruption inquiry have already been sent to the DPP.

'The Don' has been blamed for several murders on Dublin's westside and has access to large amounts of money. The three officers work in two West Dublin stations and are involved in drugs investigations. This follows the arrest last week of a uniformed officer and the discovery of a shotgun in his home. The shotgun is said to have been taken from an evidence room in a garda station. That officer's girlfriend was also arrested.

The investigation has been growing as the suspected corrupt officers tried to drag innocent colleagues into the mess. "When they were off duty they would ring members who were working looking for information about suspects," said a source. "They would then pass the information on to the Don -- but it could not be traced back to them; rather to their colleagues who were working at the time," the source continued.

The garda who was arrested last Friday along with his partner, has 20 years' service with the force under his belt. Detectives are looking closely at the activities of his girlfriend. It is believed that this woman could have been involved in a number of criminal dealings. She is also suspected of being involved in a scam linked to the security industry. Gardai raided her workplace in recent days. Her garda boyfriend strenuously denies any wrongdoing. He is, however, suspected of accessing the Garda PULSE system, which holds information on criminals and ongoing investigations, on her behalf.

Sources believe that the officer may not have realised that his girlfriend was allegedly passing on the information to known criminals. The activities of four gardai and the woman are now at the centre of this investigation. It has been alleged that the three officers were receiving money and favours from criminals, who then used the garda intelligence to target and intimidate rivals and innocent members of the public alike.

The four officers at the centre of the investigation are suspected of providing information to a number of criminal gangs in north and west Dublin, including tip-offs about potential raids. It is believed details from hundreds of internal and top secret garda reports may have been leaked. Up to a dozen officers could face trouble if the allegations are proven. "Anything up to 12 members of the force may have been given information of the corrupt trio, not knowing the true purpose of their request," a source said.

With "lawkeepers" like these, who needs criminals?

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