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Gas meter scam could lead to explosions and a ‘potential catastrophe’

The tampering of gas meters is a significant safety risk as it can cause gas to leak.

A file image of the type of pre-pay Bord Gáis meter that was tampered with.
A file image of the type of pre-pay Bord Gáis meter that was tampered with.
Image: Bord Gáis

Updated 20:35

GARDAÍ AND BORD Gáis confirmed earlier today that they are investigating the tampering of a number of gas meters in the Dublin area, a practice that has raised great concerns about public safety.

Initially, the investigation started out at a house in Kilmainham where criminal damage was caused to a pre-pay gas meter, which resulted in a “significant safety risk”.

Follow up searches of around 10 houses from Ballinteer to Swords were found to also have had their gas supply tampered with, which caused leaks that gardaí said had the “potential for a catastrophe”.

Gardaí believe that gas meters in around 200 premises in total may have been interfered with, which superintendent David Taylor said is “extremely dangerous”.

A man in his thirties was arrested in relation to the investigation on Tuesday, 2 July but was released a day later and a file has been sent to the DPP.

Gardaí and Bord Gáis are appealing to anyone who feels that their gas supply was compromised to “take action now and eliminate the possibility of a real tragedy”.

At a press briefing today, Superintendent Taylor said he was restricted from getting into the technical details of the scam but advised the tampering leads to leaks which could cause explosions.

The man thought to be at the centre of the scheme “put his business out there” and used “word of mouth” to gain customers over recent months.

People may have “naively or otherwise” taken him up on the offer, according to Taylor. He urged those homeowners to contact gardaí directly to ensure their safety.

There is no estimate to how much money gas companies may have lost in the scam as Bord Gáis Networks does not sell directly to consumers.

Members of the public can contact Bord Gáis Networks on 1850 200 694, the garda confidential line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.

-Additional reporting by Sinéad O’Carroll

First published 12:29

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