Former Garda’s alleged relationship with the Hutch gang at the center of the investigation
An alleged working relationship between a former senior Garda officer and members of the organized criminal group Hutch sparked an investigation which resulted in the arrest of the retired officer last week and the suspension of a member active force of the Garda.
The Irish Times understands the former senior officer had contact with members of the Hutch gang while working in the force. Such transactions between Garda members and criminals are not unusual and would not raise suspicion once they have been properly recorded and recorded and carried out under protocols.
However, detectives with the National Criminal Investigation Bureau (NBCI) are now trying to determine whether the former officer maintained those contacts after his retirement to the point of helping criminals.
Specifically, Gardaí is investigating whether active members of the force passed on information to their retired colleague, which was then provided to members of the Hutch gang to improve the activities of this criminal group. Phone records and searches of Garda’s Pulse database were now being reviewed as part of the investigation.
Last Wednesday, a Garda team raided five properties in Dublin, including the homes of the retired Garda officer and the two guards on duty. Cannabis valued at € 600,000 and approximately € 47,000 in cash was found at a property linked to the retired officer.
Garda headquarters said the former officer was arrested “on suspicion of involvement in offenses (…) related to the alleged strengthening of the capacity of a criminal organization to commit or facilitate a serious offense. “. He remained in custody at Irishtown Garda station in south Dublin on Sunday evening.
The two active Garda members who were also targeted during the searches remained friends with the former senior officer. None of the active Garda members were arrested and investigators targeted them during searches as part of the evidence-gathering phase of their investigation.
Cell phones were seized and these were being analyzed to determine the contacts the senior Garda officer had with the two guards on duty and also whether he had remained in contact with members of the Hutch gang. .
However, sources from Garda pointed out that the two guards on duty had a social relationship outside of work, adding that the two had also remained close to the former Guard officer even though he had been retired for a few years. .
The same sources said the investigation is now examining the nature of contact between the two serving guards and the retired officer, but pointed out that there were no negative findings against the on-duty guard, nor that they had not been accused of wrongdoing.
Instead, their contacts with the retired officer were being investigated as part of the ongoing investigation into the allegations against the retired officer. One of the active Garda members was suspended from his duties last Friday as the investigation continues, while the second active Garda member was not suspended and continued in his role.
The former arrested officer was held for an initial period of 48 hours until last Friday, when the Gardaí investigator asked the courts for an additional 72 hours to interview the man, a married father in his sixties.
The 72 additional hours have been granted and were due to expire on Monday when his detention is to be extended again for the last 48 hours or he is to be released without charge.