Thursday 16 August 2018

Irish scammers trashed apartment and 'blocked toilets with potatoes' in unpaid rent row - Liveline hears

Joe Duffy
Joe Duffy
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A PROPERTY owner in Australia has allegedly lost thousands of dollars and has been subjected to vile abuse after a group of Irish scammers rented apartments from her.

Clara Carmichael, a property owner in Brisbane, Australia, is one of multiple victims of a group of nine people who police believe have been targeting businesses and elderly people in the area.

Police released CCTV images of the suspects this week and said the group were believed to be behind 12 offences which have occurred between Brisbane and the Gold Coast since January.

In recent days a number of the group are believed to have left the country.

Ms Carmichael spoke to RTÉ's Liveline programme on Radio One today and said she first encountered the group late last year when she rented four units to four families who said they were friends through a church group.

"We first came across them late last year, maybe September, October when a group of four different families who were all friends rented apartments in one of the buildings that I own and run," she said.

They gave names with identifications and numbers which all checked out at the time she said but things soured quickly.

"We had a lot of complaints from other tenants, they were terrorising other people in the building, people were scared to come and go,"she added.

There was also issues with non-payment of rent Ms Carmichael said.

Collecting rent was a "horrific weekly task" she said, agreeing that the group were the tenants from hell.

"There was one family who knew they were going to have to leave because they owed so much money so instead of just leaving they decided to trash the apartment and leave in the middle of the night, blocking the plumbing and the toilets with potatoes, punching holes in walls and breaking holes in bathroom tiles," she said. The group also left graffiti on the walls.

The group have cost Ms Carmichael up to $20,000 Australian dollars.

The group had thick Irish accents and said they were from Ireland, she said.

Police are investigating the group and the investigation is ongoing but nobody has been arrested to date in relation to the offences.

The people have been sending abusive texts to Clara and her colleagues since December.

A voice message was played on the show left by one of the group to Ms Carmichael - the messages were often threatening and sexually explcit.

"You're a dirty, smelly Australian slapper," the man, who claimed to be called Edward Connors, said in the message.

Restaurant owners and other people in the area have also fallen victim to the group. 

Police are urging anyone with information about the people pictured to contact Policelink on 131 444.

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