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Dublin: 12 °C Sunday 17 February, 2019
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Romanian gang members flee Ireland despite surrendering passports

They were due back before the courts two months ago.

Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

A ROMANIAN GANG suspected by gardaí to be involved in an electronic scam have fled Ireland after being bailed out by their wives with what is believed to be stolen cash. 

The gang was allegedly operating across the country, carrying out their crimes using what security sources have described as a “relay system” – whereby men would enter the country for two weeks, attempt to commit fraud and theft, and then leave the jurisdiction. 

Gardaí had been monitoring the gang for a number of months before they arrested two men they believed to be the leaders. 

The men were arrested and charged with a number of sample charges of fraud and theft. Gardaí objected to bail for a number of reasons, including that the men were a flight risk. 

The suspects were bailed and were ordered to sign on in a garda station. They were also ordered to surrender their passports, which they did. 

It is understood that the men’s wives then travelled from Romania to bail them out. They paid with cash, which gardaí believe was the proceeds of criminality.

The men were due to appear in court a number of weeks after they were bailed but they did not arrive. A bench warrant was issued for their arrest but gardaí believe they have fled the country. 

Their identities have been sent to Romanian police but there is little to no hope among gardaí that these men will be returned to Ireland to appear before court. 

It is believed that the men had been using EU identity cards which allowed them to travel with certain air carriers. 

Gardaí are understood to be frustrated by the judiciary’s lack of foresight when it comes to the surrender of passports. Some have suggested a type of “no-fly” list for those on bail. This would apply to Irish people on bail, as well as those from other countries. 

Gardaí are currently keeping tabs on a number of Romanian gangs they believe to be operating across the country. 

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