herald

Thursday 26 April 2018

€9k taken from Garda station is back with owner

A SUM of €9,000 that went missing from a Dublin garda station has finally been reimbursed to the owner of a shop and post office that it was robbed from in January.

An internal garda investigation was launched after the cash that was originally stolen from the Costcutter shop in Lusk, Co Dublin, disappeared.

Gardai investigating the shop raid on January 19 arrested three suspects and recovered €26,600 out of a total of more than €31,000 from the robbery.

However, in February, when store owner John Wilson was asked to collect the recovered money from Balbriggan garda station, it was discovered there was a hole in one evidence bag and €9,000 was gone from it.

It was also discovered that €4,000 which was seized during a 2009 drug search had also gone missing from the same garda station while it was being stored in a strong room.

In April, investigating officers arrested a rank and file garda and questioned him about the alleged theft of the missing €9,000.

A file is now being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions. But the missing cash was not given back to Mr Wilson until this month.

The Herald understands he was finally repaid the missing sum within the last fortnight.

Mr Wilson did not want to comment on the matter, but a source told the Herald: "He didn't know when he was going to get it back, and didn't think it would take as long as it did.

"As far as he was concerned the money was his. He wasn't looking for any interest or compensation or anything, just the missing €9,000 that was his."

A garda spokesperson said the matter is still under investigation and could not comment any further on it.

RECOVERED

In March, the Herald broke the story of how the €9,000 went missing from Balbriggan Garda Station. Gardai are satisfied the money was stolen and not mislaid.

The recovered €26,000 had been photographed and documented as evidence.

It was then stored in a secure 'walk-in' strong room with a specially reinforced door.

Sources say when a senior officer went to give the money back to Mr Wilson there was a ripped hole in one of them.

The money was counted and it was €9,000 short. No trace of the money could be found and no explanation could be given for its disappearance.

The cash involved is non-traceable in that no serial numbers were recorded.

aphelan@herald.ie

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