Wednesday 21 November 2018

Gardai raid seven properties in investigation into brutal murder of gardener

Nine vehicles were also seized

Ralph Riegel

GARDAI have raided a series of properties and seized a number of vehicles as part of their investigation into the brutal murder of gardener Mikolaj Wilk (35) in Cork.

A total of seven properties were raided by Gardai in the greater Cork area today as part of a co-ordinated operation.

Following on from these searches, a total of nine vehicles were seized.

It is understood that one the vehicles was recovered from near a car testing centre and the other vehicle was recovered from an underground car park in Cork.

Vehicles include a number of high powered cars, including an Audi as well as two vans.

All are currently being forensically examined by Garda technical experts to see if there is any link to the brutal killing of the Polish father outside Ballincollig on June 10.

It is understood that the seven properties searched by Gardaí include six houses and one industrial property.

No arrests have been made.

Gardaí sources said they are making "steady but significant progress" in the brutal murder of the young father of two.

Mr Wilk, who ran a successful  gardening business in Cork, was hacked to death with machetes by a four man gang who attacked him at his home at Bridge House, Maglin outside Ballincollig at 3am on June 10.

Gardaí acknowledged the killing was one of the most brutal ever witnessed in Cork.

Mr Wilk was killed in front of his horrified wife, Elzbieta, and his two children.

Mrs Wilk was also seriously assaulted.

She underwent surgery for tendon damage in one of her hands after being cut with a machete as she tried to protect herself and her children.

The young mother also suffered head and facial injuries.

Her children were unharmed but left traumatised.

A woman who was renting a room in the house was unhurt and was able to flee the property.

A short time later, a getaway car used by the gang was discovered burned out in the Waterfall area.

The sheer savagery of Mr Wilk's murder has baffled detectives.

A key theory now being examined by Gardaí is whether Mr Wilk was targeted by a criminal gang with international links over some kind of person grudge.

Gardaí are trying to clarify if Mr Wilk may unwittingly have offended a gang through his business operations in the gardening/horticultural area - or whether he may have borrowed money from the wrong people.

They are also investigating if the savage manner in which the Polish father of two was killed was intended as a warning to others.

Detectives are now trawling CCTV security camera footage from properties around Ballincollig though the rural nature of where Mr Wilk lived has meant there is no footage of the actual area itself.

It is understood that one the vehicles was recovered from near a car testing centre and the other vehicle was recovered from an underground var park in Cork.

Vehicles include a number of high powered cars, including an Audi as well as two vans.

Gardaí are also examining Mr Wilk's phone records and business transactions for any clue as to who may have held a grudge against him.

As part of their investigation, Gardai have conducted checkpoints around the Ballincollig area to determine if anyone saw or heard anything suspicious on June 9/10 last.

Detectives are trying to track down motorists who travelled in the Maglin area at the time - and, in particular, a taxi driver who is believed to have dropped a number of female passengers shortly before midnight on June 9.

Detectives have interviewed the women involved and believe the driver may have spotted vehicle movements in the area.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Gurranabraher Gardaí on (021) 4946200.

A special GoFundMe appeal set up to assist the Wilk family has already raised more than €20,000.

The remains of Mr Wilk are expected to be repatriated to Poland within days.

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