Belfast Telegraph

Irish police still searching for €27k cash bag missing in garda station

By Tom Brady

Irish police have extended their searches as they try to determine whether an evidence bag containing almost €27,500 in cash, which went missing in a garda station, has been stolen or mislaid.

The inquiries are being carried out by officers from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation and have focused on two garda stations in north county Dublin.

Officers said last night that investigators were still pursuing several lines of inquiry and searches were being carried out to establish if the money had been placed by accident in another evidence bag and stored in the wrong place.

The focus of the inquiries has been on Malahide and Coolock stations and detectives are interviewing all gardai who might have had contact with the money.

The cash was originally recovered by gardai following a robbery at the Coolock branch of Woodies DIY on the Malahide Road in June 2009.

The raiders made off with almost €60,000 but only one robber's share of the money was recovered.

Officers were then meant to store the cash at a garda station as potential evidence in a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court trial. Gardai did not realise that the money was missing until Woodies sought its return.

The trial was told that the branch manager and a doorman had been responsible for the robbery and both men later shared the cash.

Trevor Knowles, of McAuley Avenue, Artane, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison, with the final two years suspended.

The court was told that his accomplice was the manager of the branch, Thomas McDermott, of Jenkinstown, Dundalk, Co Louth.

He was given a three-year suspended sentence for his role after €27,450 was recovered during a search of his house.

The disappearance of the money is not being linked to two previous incidents at Balbriggan station when €9,000 went missing from an evidence bag, and €4,000 went missing from a locker.

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