Wednesday 13 December 2017

Haiti earthquake: Gardai probe bogus pub collections

Aine de Paor

GARDAI are hunting bogus charity workers who falsely collected money for the victims of Haiti's earthquake.

A group of women claiming to be from the Red Cross collected money in pubs in Limerick on Friday night.

They told unsuspecting drinkers they were from Co Laois and part of a nationwide collection for emergency disaster relief in the stricken Caribbean country.

The scam was uncovered when a bona fide Red Cross volunteer confronted the women in a northside pub and asked to see their permits.

"They had printed off the main page from the Red Cross website to authenticate the collection and also showed a provisional driving licence. Our member turned his back for a second and they bolted out the door and disappeared," Limerick Red Cross volunteer Hilary Parkinson said.

"It's pathetic and very disheartening that there are people out there who want to capitalise on the misfortune of others," she added.

Gardai from Limerick's Henry Street station are viewing CCTV footage from city pubs in the hope of identifying those involved.

Ms Parkinson said the Red Cross had decided not to take up public collections for Haiti in Limerick, although such collections were taking place in other parts of the country.

Instead, those who wish to donate can do so through the charity's website or at the Limerick branch office.

Irish Independent

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