herald

Thursday 12 December 2019

Gardai quizzed as part of probe into 'corruption'

14 gardai were questioned
14 gardai were questioned

Detectives investigating garda corruption in the Munster region have quizzed 14 gardai as part of the widening inquiry.

Last week, a garda station was searched and a number of officers interviewed over the alleged non-prosecution of road traffic offences.

It is being investigated if gardai were involved in the 'squaring' of tickets, where they are thrown out or cancelled, resulting in no prosecution.

It is alleged it involved mainly traffic offences, such as speeding.

The inquiry is being led by the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation and is a widened aspect of a long-running inquiry focusing on a number of gardai in the south of the country.

The main investigation is focused on alleged corruption and collusion between certain officers and a criminal gang.

However, the gardai spoken to last week are not suspected of any involvement with crime groups and had not been arrested.

Instead, it is being investigated if a small number of them were involved in the 'squaring' of tickets as a favour for, or under pressure from, more experienced gardai under investigation for involvement with a criminal enterprise.

One officer in particular, who has been arrested as part of the major inquiry and is currently suspended from duty, is suspected of organising favours "left, right and centre" for a wide range of people, from criminals to sports figures.

As part of last week's operation, a number of GAA players and officials were also spoken to. While they are not suspected of wrongdoing themselves, a number of phones, documents, and other items of evidential value were seized.

Link

Last July, a leading sports figure was the latest suspect to be arrested in a long-running probe into garda corruption.

That individual is believed to be "the link man" at the centre of the entire investigation.

A garda, one of three members of the force arrested for questioning last May, was also suspected of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

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