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Eight Munster Garda Officers Suspended From Duty

Eight Gardaí, based in the Munster region, have been suspended from duty by the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Same suspension is part of an ongoing investigation into possible alleged corruption.

The eight officers were initially suspended yesterday on suspicion of failing to prosecute road traffic offences, and their suspensions account for the largest number of Gardaí ever stood down from the Irish police force in any one day. In total, their suspension brings to 11 the number of Irish police officers currently on suspension as part of this particular investigation.

The Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which is a national unit, examining alleged Garda corruption, have identified a large number of fixed charge penalty notices, which they now suspect was not being prosecuted through the court system.

We understand that Gardaí; having been informally interviewed by investigators, have claimed that they were directed by other officers to abandon certain of their intended prosecutions.

We understand that Gardaí can no longer cancel fixed charge penalty notices due to the system having been centralised, with authority to strike out notices now strictly limited.

An Garda Síochána first suspected, in early 2019, that information had been disclosed about a Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) investigation into the activities of a particular criminal gang in the Munster area.

The gang was suspected of being involved, amongst other crimes, of drug trafficking and was specifically targeted by the Criminal Assets Bureau.

To this end, CAB carried out eight searches in the south of Ireland on March 15th of 2019, seizing 115 cars and thousands in both euro and sterling which they believed were the proceeds of crime.

At that time, CAB suspected that information, from its then ongoing investigation, had been leaked to certain members of the gang. Following this, three members of the Garda force, including an inspector, a superintendent and a detective, were subsequently arrested and questioned in March 2019.

All three officers continue to remain suspended, together with the eight Gardaí, suspended just yesterday.

We further understand that a number of Garda Stations have also been searched as part of this investigation.

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