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Suspected fraudsters and drug dealers from abroad caught in Ireland as part of EU-wide police information sharing system

 • 10h ago


Suspected killers, robbers, fraudsters and drug dealers from abroad have all been caught in Ireland as part of an EU-wide police information sharing system which has now been strengthened by biometrics and DNA technology.

The Schengen Information System (SIS) Recast will allow for enhanced information sharing on people and objects, allowing national authorities to better pursue and prevent serious crimes and terrorism.

The system enables law enforcement agencies, including An Garda Síochána, to share and check data in real time on wanted persons, missing persons, persons who may not have the right to enter or stay in EU member states, and objects and vehicles that may have been stolen.

Under the updates this week, new types of biometrics, such as palm prints, fingerprints and DNA records in relation to missing persons, will be included on SIS to confirm and verify the identity of people registered in the system.

Authorities can also enter preventive alerts to protect certain categories of vulnerable persons, such as children at high risk of parental abduction, children at risk of becoming victims of trafficking, and children at risk of being recruited as foreign terrorist fighters.

The SIS Recast system is the largest and most widely used IT system for public security in Europe and has received new functionalities through this upgrade, which went live this week.

Ireland connected to SIS in March 2021 and since then it has proven to be an extremely effective tool for An Garda Síochána in tackling crime domestically, and also in contributing to international criminal investigations.

Four Polish fugitives living in Ireland were sent back to Poland last month to serve prison sentences after checks via SIS. All four people were identified as a result of identification on the EU criminal Schengen database system

Also last month, a Romanian male wanted in Germany for an armed robbery carried out in 2016 was detected and arrested by authorities at Dublin Airport.

In November last year an Albanian National was wanted here in relation to possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply since 2015.

He was arrested at Dusseldorf airport while attempting to board a flight to Barcelona after an SIS Alert was created.

An SIS alert was created last December in relation to a Norwegian male who committed fraud offences here in 2020. He had left the country and was believed to be in Holland. The suspect arrested in Spain in January this year.

French authorities issued an alert in October last year. A man suspected of having killed his father fled to Ireland after the incident. He was described as very dangerous and violent by those close to him. An operation was immediately put in place to locate and arrest the suspect and a man matching the description was sighted, arrested, and surrendered to France.

In May last year Irish authorities issued an alert after a Moroccan woman took her child out of Ireland in breach of an Irish court order. Last month the mother attempted to board a flight in Brussels airport to Tangiers, Morocco with the child and was arrested. The child was taken into temporary care of the Belgian child protection agency.

Also in May last year Irish authorities issued an alert after a Polish man was wanted here for possession of drugs worth €45,000. He was arrested in Poland last month.

Justice Minister Simon Harris has welcomed the launch of the updated information sharing system across the EU to help fight terrorism and serious crime.

“Crime does not respect borders, and new technologies, along with strong cooperation with our friends in Europe and beyond, is crucial in ensuring that people are safe and can feel safe in communities across Ireland,” he said.

“Gardaí must have access to the most up-to-date technology and data in order to continue to provide the world class policing service we have come to expect as we work together to build stronger, safer communities.”

“I am confident that SIS RECAST will prove invaluable for An Garda Síochána and I commend the detailed work that An Garda Síochána has carried out over many months to ensure that Ireland has implemented this upgrade alongside the rest of the EU,” he added.

Under the developments which went live this week, new alerts have been introduced across the SIS system.

These include the introduction of a new alert category of ‘unknown wanted persons’ connected to a serious crime, such as persons whose fingerprints are found on a weapon used in a crime.

The updated system creates a new category called ‘inquiry check’ which allows law enforcement authorities to stop and interview a person in order for the issuing member State to obtain detailed information.

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