Fred interjects: It is a welcome article written by Maeve below and years overdue. Personally, in the last few months, 2 Gardai currently working have come to us and have given us vital information in relation to the collusion, the Romanian, and the attempted stitch up of 2015. The two Gardai stated clearly that they wanted to be no part of what went on at that time and were worried about their jobs and just had to turn a blind eye. However, it is better late than never. They also informed us that the management at the stations had no idea what was going on. There are between six and maybe a few more true Rogues operating at free will between the two stations. We hear at the moment they are lying low or are probably planning another target and I can assure people today it will not be us. We have gone through enough and are taking no more hassle. May I say I will be asking Commissioner Harris and the Minister for Justice that people like us will be protected from Rogues in Garda stations in the future.
Gardai give new information to corruption probe
Colleagues of three suspended officers move to help investigation
A number of gardai have come forward with new information to an internal anti-corruption probe after three colleagues were suspended during an investigation into alleged collusion with criminals.
A superintendent, an inspector and a detective were arrested on May 16 following a lengthy undercover investigation into claims that crime gangs were being tipped off about impending Garda raids.
Several gardai who either worked directly with the suspect gardai or on investigations in which they were involved have come forward to the National Bureau of Criminal Investigations (NBCI), the elite Garda unit running the inquiry, the Sunday Independent has learnt.
The information they have supplied “supports” suspicions that criminals were being tipped off, according to one informed source. “It is basically backing up the claims around collusion,” he said. A small number of gardai have been interviewed and provided voluntary statements to investigators.
The development marks a widening of the highly sensitive investigation that began late last year after gardai became concerned that planned drugs operations and raids had been compromised.
The investigation initially focused on a detective. A team monitored his phone calls and kept him under surveillance for several months, and misinformation about Garda operations was circulated as part of the covert inquiry. The detective was arrested and questioned in January on suspicion that he accepted a €20,000 bribe from criminals in return for confidential Garda information.
The investigation then broadened out to include two higher ranking officers, a recently promoted inspector and a superintendent. All three were arrested last month, the detective for the second time.
The detective was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice, the superintendent for unauthorised disclosure of information and the Garda inspector on suspicion of breaches of the mis-use of drugs act.
The names of those arrested and the Garda divisions they are attached to cannot be disclosed for legal reasons. Files are being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The detective has featured in internal Garda inquiries in the past but has never faced disciplinary action. The detective is separately being sued in the High Court over his alleged activities as a garda, in a case that pre-dates the events that led to his arrests and suspension.
“The primary focus is on suspected collusion with criminals [and] to get a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions on that,” said an informed source.
The arrests of the three gardai have generated shock across the force. The fact that two were senior officers is unprecedented in an inquiry of this nature.
The investigation into the gang’s activities and whether they benefited from insider garda information is expected to delve back into specific garda operations set up to target them.
Many expect that more gardai will be arrested as part of the probe, and criminals are also likely to face questioning.
The organised crime gang that is suspected to have benefited from information is involved in drug trafficking and money laundering.
The Garda Commissioner Drew Harris is setting up a new anti-corruption unit to investigate gardai before the end of this year. The new unit will investigate complaints but also actively seek out corruption.
He said major threats that could affect the integrity of the organisation included “drugs, inappropriate associations with criminal gangs and inappropriate behaviour towards vulnerable victims, towards vulnerable females in particular”.
“As an organisation we want to be proactive, we want to show that we are very serious about making sure we have a healthy workforce, which is an honest workforce,” the Commissioner said when he announced the new unit.
It will be based in the Garda’s Phoenix Park headquarters in Dublin. The unit will concentrate first on gathering intelligence on alleged wrongdoing in the force, but is expected to develop into pro-active investigations team.