Fourth garda suspected of leaking information
A fourth garda is under investigation in Dublin over suspicions that she may have been coerced into leaking intelligence from the gardai computerised information system to criminals.
The young garda, based in a city station, is believed to have a cocaine addiction and owed money to drug dealers. Gardai in the city said another young garda with an addiction is also under scrutiny.
Three other gardai have been under investigation for allegedly leaking information from the 'PULSE' computer system.
Two are on restricted duties pending further inquiries and one, based in the north west of the city, has been suspended while a file is prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions after he was suspected of passing information to one of the biggest drugs and tiger kidnapping gangs in the city.
As a result of the inquiries into this garda, 17 young gardai -- who it is alleged were tricked into downloading information using their own log-on details on the PULSE system -- are also facing internal disciplinary inquiries.
Detectives believe the latest garda to come under scrutiny had a secret but serious drug habit and may have run up debts and was effectively being blackmailed. She is single and joined the force only in recent years.
The prospect of criminal gangs tapping into sensitive information on the PULSE system is "horrific", according to one senior detective yesterday who said it could quite easily lead to murder.
The gang, who are suspeced of involvement with the garda in north-west Dublin, have been the subject of major investigations involving the use of informants. It is known that a number of garda informants have been murdered in the past two years.