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Horse Meat Fraud Dismantled By European Cops

The Spanish Guardia Civil, the oldest law enforcement agency in Spain, known as the benemérita (reputable); in co-ordination with Europol, have dismantled a crime clique in Europe, trading horse meat unfit for human consumption.  The operation was carried out in co-ordination with Belgium, France, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

In Spain, 65 people have been arrested and charged with crimes which include animal abuse, documentation forgery, money laundering, perverting the course of justice, crimes relating to public health, and holding membership of a criminal organisation.

The discovery, in 2013, by Irish authorities who detected beefburgers containing horsemeat, led to investigations into discovering the origin of the initial contamination, where the anti-inflammatory drug phenylbutazone (often referred to as “bute,” a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used for the short-term treatment of pain and fever in animals), was found in the meat.

Meat companies, frozen food companies and fast-food companies were affected by the investigation, which led to the identification of a Dutch citizen.

It took until the summer of 2016, for Guardia Civil’s Environmental Protection Service to initiate ‘Operation Gazel’.  This investigation led to the detection of fraud, involving horse meat from Portugal and northern Spain, labelled as “not suitable for consumption”, being processed in a unnamed facility and from there being sent on to Belgium, latter country being one of the biggest horse meat exporters in the E U.  This deceit involved the criminal organisation forging animal identification microchips and other documentation.

Guardia Civil was able to track down the Dutch businessman related to the Irish beefburger / horse meat case in Calpe, Alicante, in Spain, and later arrested in Belgium.

Co-ordinated by the Federal Police, the Federal Food Agency in Belgium and the Guardia Civil; bank accounts and properties were either blocked or seized, together with five luxury cars.

Results of samples, taken from slaughterhouses and facilities, concluded that the destination of the horse meat in question was mainly destined for countries outside of Spain.

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198 Gardaí Graduate From Garda Training College, Templemore

A total of 198 new Gardaí have graduated from the Garda Training College, in Templemore, Co. Tipperary today.  This graduation saw the largest number of graduates since the moratorium on recruitment was lifted three years ago.

Of the 56 ladies and 142 gentlemen who graduated; nine of which were Co. Tipperary natives; five (One female and four males) will be stationed at Thurles Garda Station.

The majority of these new graduates; numbering 84, will be posted to Dublin, while the remainder will be posted to counties in the various other regional Divisions.

Garda membership is expected to rise to a total of 13,500 members by the end of this year; an increase of over 500 personnel, when compared with 2016.

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Male Arrested In Tipperary On suspicion Of Trafficking Drugs

Cannabis Resin

On Friday, June 30th last, the Serious Crime Task Force and Revenue’s Customs Service uncovered a consignment of Cannabis at Dublin Port, with an estimated street value of €73o,000.

This discovery was understood to be part of an ongoing intelligence led investigations targeting organised criminal activity; conducted jointly by the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, the Serious Crime Task Force and the Revenue Commissioners Customs Service.

During this particular investigation a haulage vehicle containing farm machinery became the subject of an x-ray scan on its arrival into the port. During the scanning, Cannabis was discovered concealed within the farm machinery.

A follow-up search was subsequently conducted today close to the Offaly-Tipperary border in Moneygall which has lead to the arrest, by Gardaí, of a single male, on suspicion of drug trafficking.

The male, aged in his early 50’s, is currently being detained at Nenagh Garda Station, in Co. Tipperary under the provisions of Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996.

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GSOC To Hire Experts To Explore Possible Templemore Garda Fraud

Expect long drawn out investigations, as the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC); (latter the independent agency, set up in 2007 to deal with matters involving possible misconduct by members of the Garda Síochána), is set to employ outside financial investigators and more staff in their efforts to track down suspected fraudulent activity.  This activity involves the suspected unauthorised movement of monies from an EU police training programme, to an account at the Garda Templemore Training College, Templemore, Co. Tipperary, before being transferred out to a mysterious ‘Cabra account’.

Informants claim that some 5% of monies, given by the European Union (EU) agency CEPOL, latter an EU agency for law enforcement, were placed in a bank account in Cabra, Co Dublin before being exhausted on entertainment for Gardaí, rather than their designated target of Garda training courses.

To this end, GSOC have decided to commence an investigation, pursuant to S. 102 (4) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, on the basis of the receipt of information, as set out in the Draft Audit Report on EU-Funded Training Programmes/Projects, and dated June 19th 2017.

GSOC at the end of June were informed by the Department of Justice and Equality, working in conjunction with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; that posts for four investigators, together with a support staff member had been sanctioned to assist in the investigation of protected disclosures made to GSOC.

It is understood that personnel with the relevant skills are being considered to enable the investigation to further progress, and will include personnel from outside GSOC’s normal remit.

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Thieves Found In Possession Of Tipperary Stolen Property Jailed.

Three thieves caught ‘red handed’ in possession of stolen property, which included a Jeep, and which was located in remote bog-land in Co. Laois, in July of last year, were today sentenced to be incarcerated, by Mr Justice Keenan Johnson, at Portlaoise Circuit Court.

The three men had continued to remain in custody, since their arrest on July 12th, 2016.

Judge Johnson noted that the three individuals; named as Mr Thomas McInerney aged 41, with an address at Twomey Park, Mountmellick; his brother Mr Gerard McInerney aged 39, with an address at Moonbaun Close, Mountrath; and their cousin Mr William McInerney, aged 37, residing at Newline Close, Mountrath, had all admitted to being in possessing of stolen property taken from  five farms in Co Tipperary and Co Laois.

Judge Johnson described this type of criminal activity as “an attack on the fabric of rural society”,  stating that rural life is very much built on basic trust and such crime must be perceived as “an attack on the fundamentals on which rural life is based”.

During this Garda operation, on the night of July 11th 2016, a number of Gardaí were injured when an unmarked Garda vehicle and an Armed Response Unit vehicle were both rammed by the Jeep; while one of the injured Gardaí, to date, has not as yet returned to his workplace, following this incident.

One officer had suffered a broken ankle while another had suffered soft-tissue injuries to his back, neck and knee. This operation had involved officers from the Garda Armed Response Unit, the Garda National Surveillance Unit, local Detectives and the Air Support Unit on the night in question.

Mr Thomas McInerney, described as the ring leader, was sentenced to four years and four months in prison; while Mr Gerard McInerney and Mr William McInerney were each sentenced to three years and six months incarceration, for their role in the incident.

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