herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Woman is arrested in probe into ATM fraud involving two gardai

A WOMAN has been arrested as part of an investigation into an alleged ATM scam involving two garda officers.

The woman, who is in her 30s, was arrested last night and is being questioned at Leixlip garda station. She works in a financial institution.

The two officers, who were detained during dawn raids, have been released without charge. It is claimed they obtained around €1,500 in a dozen transactions.

The officers have risked their careers in the "juvenile" fraud that pocketed a maximum of €150 each time.

An investigation was launched after a bank contacted gardai to report a spate of suspicious transactions.

A file on the matter is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

"This is the kind of thing you might get away with once, but not if you keep hitting ATMs," a source told the Herald.

"It is juvenile to say the least, and highly embarrassing for the force."

It is alleged that the two officers and a third person made withdrawals from various ATM machines in Dublin of sums generally around the €170 mark.

They would leave €20 behind, which would be sucked back into the machine, before claiming reimbursement for the full amount.

"After a number of seconds, the machine effectively swallows the money and puts it into a special account.

"The suspects would then contact their banks claiming that all the money that they had withdrawn had been swallowed up, and the bank ended up reimbursing them in full after a number of transactions were reported," a source familiar with the fraud explained.

Suspicions were raised after several incidents of this nature were linked to the same accounts.

The two gardai are aged in their 30s and based at a north Dublin garda station.

Both officers are now suspended from duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

A number of Dublin stations are currently being audited by the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation in relation to missing sums of cash.

kfoy@herald.ie

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