TAR scam | 

Irish tarmackers face trial in France over alleged scams in a dozen regions

Limoges Court, France where three Irish men face trial. Photo: Google Street Maps

Limoges Court, France where three Irish men face trial. Photo: Google Street Maps

Eamon Dillon

THREE Irishmen are on trial in France over a series of alleged tarmac scams spread across a dozen regions of the country.

Witnesses turned up for the hearing in Limoges on Thursday but the Irish men and a co-accused from the Czech Republic did not appear.

The court was told two were in Poland for business while another was recently detained by Czech authorities.

The four-man team are accused of scamming people from September 2016 to March 2017, offering a cut price deal but instead botching the job and demanding much more cash.

Prosecution lawyers have asked for the men to be given one to three jail sentences and have two of the men they identified as “the brains’ of the operation barred from France for five years.

Dozens of witness testimonies have been gathered to show how the group works.

An 80-year-old man at whose property the four men were arrested four years ago, struggled to hear the judge as he was shown photographs of the accused.

A defence lawyer asked the man what kind of service did he expect to get in the circumstances to which he replied: “I don’t know.”

The case was adjourned until July.

Meanwhile police near le Mans, a three-hour drive north from Limoges, yesterday published a warning about ‘Irish Tarmackers’ after a series of complaints.

They warned people that sometimes threats are used to extract cash and appealed for any information especially vehicle reg-plates to help track down the suspects.

“The work will be done quickly. But the coat used is very poor quality and does not resist from” the first rain. Sometimes victims face pressure or threat, especially when they refuse to pay.

“Billing is generally false and irregular or simply non-existent. Victims then have no recourse.”

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