Addict got €318,000 in kidnap bluff
Terrified bank employee believed her partner was being held
Published 04/05/2011 | 05:00
A DRUG addict stole €318,000 from a terrified bank employee after pretending that he had kidnapped her partner.
Gardai arrested Tony Quinn (30) after he collected the bag of cash from a railway line around Broombridge Railway Station, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard yesterday.
Det Sgt Robert O'Reilly told the court that a Permanent TSB staff member had taken the money, with permission, from her Phibsboro branch in Dublin after being made to believe that a gang had kidnapped her partner.
He told prosecuting counsel Dominic McGinn that two ESB employees working on railway cables in the Broombridge Station area grew suspicious when they noticed a woman heave a large leather bag over a fence. They phoned the gardai when they saw Quinn retrieve it and he was arrested as he attempted to run off with the bag.
Quinn, of Park View, Park Close in Ballymun, Dublin, pleaded guilty to the theft of €318,000 cash at Permanent TSB, Phibsboro, on September 22, 2009. He has no previous convictions.
Det Sgt O'Reilly told Mr McGinn that the bank employee had arrived into her branch in a "hysterical state", asking to speak with the assistant manager so she could get €400,000 for her partner's safe release.
While the assistant manager negotiated with the bank's head office, the criminals behind the operation phoned the woman and told her to drop the money around Broombridge Railway Station. She saw Quinn retrieve the bag.
Det Sgt O'Reilly said Quinn told gardai he had been forced to collect the cash over an outstanding drug debt.
He co-operated with gardai and admitted that there had been no kidnapping.
Defence counsel Felix McEnroy submitted to Judge Martin Nolan that his client had been trying to get off drugs and had a good work history.
The judge put the matter back for sentencing today.