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cops arrested Four gardaí and retired Superintendent charged in road-traffic corruption probe

Cops under investigation on suspicion of not prosecuting road traffic offences

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(Stock Photo)

(Stock Photo)

(Stock Photo)

A retired Garda superintendent and four serving gardaí have been charged in relation to a major corruption probe in the Munster region.

They have been under investigation on suspicion of not prosecuting road traffic offences across two separate garda divisions.

An inquiry was launched by the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI) two years ago and in the past two years over a dozen gardaí and civilians have been quizzed.

A file was later sent to the DPP who has now directed that five people should be charged with perverting the course of justice.

The five were arrested earlier today and have since been charged to appear in court next month.

This includes four serving members of An Garda Síochána and a civilian, understood to be a retired Superintendent.

It is expected they will be charged shortly and released on bail to appear before court at a later date.

In November, eight gardaí based in different counties were suspended as part of the inquiry into ‘squaring’ of penalty points in the Munster area.

‘Squaring’ is where fixed charged penalty notices were not followed through on.

The officers suspended were all of garda rank and based between two different garda divisions in the region.

The NBCI investigation is both criminal and internal, with the criminal aspect looking at whether there was interference with the administration of justice or attempts to pervert the course of justice.

In 2019, 14 gardaí were quizzed and phones seized, while civilians including GAA players were also interviewed.

The alleged non-prosecution of traffic offences emerged after a Superintendent’s phone was seized and analysed as part of a separate inquiry into alleged misconduct.

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That senior officer, who retired from the force last year, was already under investigation for allegedly tipping off a crime gang about a raid by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).

Detectives within the NBCI later identified at least 35 instances involving the now-retired Superintendent which allegedly amounted to attempting to pervert the course of justice.

All allegations have been vehemently denied by him.

He had previously been centrally involved in high-profile investigations into organised crime in the Munster area and had been suspended from duty since May 2019.

The retired officer was hospitalised late in 2019 for a number of months and it is understood that his retirement was due to health grounds.

As part of the wider inquiry a prominent sports figure was previously arrested on suspicion of being a conduit in the supply of information between gardai and a Munster based organised crime group.

This afternoon a garda spokesman said: “As part of an investigation led by the Assistant Commissioner, Organised and Serious Crime (OSC) into alleged corruption in public office, four members of An Garda Síochána based in the south of the country and a private citizen were arrested and charged today with offences relating to perverting the course of justice. This follows directions being received from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

All five individuals have been released on station bail and are due to appear before Limerick Court on May 14, 2021.

As this investigation by Gardaí attached to the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (GNBCI) is ongoing, An Garda Síochána will not be commenting further.”

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