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Monday 16 December 2019

Bogus charity collectors lure schoolboy into car and force him to collect

Gardai are investigating the incident
Gardai are investigating the incident

Ralph Riegel

A GANG of bogus charity collectors lured a 13 year old boy into a car and then forced him to conduct door-to-door calls in Waterford.

The incident was only detected by gardai when a resident became suspicious of the callers and pleas for them to sponsor children in local sports organisations.

The householder rang gardai who immediately sent a patrol car to the estate which was 2km from the boy’s home.

The boy’s mother said he remains deeply upset by what happened.

“He was terrified he would never see home again,” she said.

The woman, who refused to be identified to protect her son’s identity, is an African national and raised the alarm when her son did not arrive home as expected from a football fun day at 6pm last Sunday.

“It was very frightening for him. They (the men) told him he would not be allowed go home unless he collected the money properly,” she said.

The woman said her son was taught not to talk to strangers or to get into unknown vehicles.

However, he was afraid of the men who approached him as he walked home and feared they might strike him if he didn’t follow their exact instructions.

“He was very scared so he did as he was told. There was another child in the car and they drove to an estate and they had to go door-to-door asking people to sponsor them for football.”

Waterford gardai are following a definite line of inquiry in relation to the matter.

Irish Independent

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