Wednesday 19 December 2018

Four gardai suspended in cocaine probe won't face criminal charges

(PA)
(PA)

Ken Foy

THE DPP has directed that four officers from the same garda station who remain suspended from duty over allegations that they are involved in using cocaine will not be charged with any criminal offence.

The decision comes after an investigation led by a senior garda inspector who submitted a detailed file to the DPP.

“There was not enough evidence to stand up criminal charges in this case,” a senior source said before adding that the three male and one female officer are still the subject of an internal disciplinary probe.

“Now that the criminal part of this investigation has concluded, the four officers will face an internal garda disciplinary process which is expected to take place in the next few weeks.

“The hope is that this process will be concluded in a quick and efficient way.

“These officers, who are all junior in rank, could face a wide variety of sanctions if it is deemed that they were involved in any wrong-doing.

“These measures could vary from a simple reprimand or fine all the way up to being dismissed from their jobs if it is established that they were actually involved in cocaine use.

COMPATIBLE

“Put simply, the use of illegal drugs and working as a garda are not compatible in any respect.”

Independent.ie revealed last February that the four officers, aged in their 20s and 30s, were told they had been suspended as part of a garda internal disciplinary probe into alleged cocaine use.

It was also revealed that the matter is subject to a separate criminal investigation by gardai, which has now concluded.

The four officers are based in a Leinster garda station, and the investigation centres on an alleged incident in a Co Kildare nightclub last December.

A number of gardai were “having a night out” in the club when it was claimed that a male and female officer were seen by a doorman taking cocaine into a bathroom cubicle. The doorman alerted on-duty gardai who arrived at the scene and spoke to the officers.

No illegal drugs were seized despite a number of searches taking place.

At least three separate homes were raided as part of the investigation, which was described as “very thorough and extensive.”

A senior source confirmed that the female garda claimed she had received the cocaine from another member of the force.

It is understood she claimed the amount of the drug given to her was small and for personal use only.

The investigation into the four is separate from a long-running surveillance probe into a south city garda in his 30s who was arrested and suspended from duty last week after being allegedly caught with €100 worth of cocaine in the Dublin 4 area.

Herald

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