Four charged over counterfeiting

THREE Laois men are among four men to face trial after they were charged with possessing counterfeit money-making equipment.

THREE Laois men are among four men to face trial after they were charged with possessing counterfeit money-making equipment.

Anthony Sloan (aged 57), of Ard na Mara, Blackrock, Louth, Liam Delaney (41), from the Green Road, Borris-in-Ossory;, Kevin Flanagan (42), of Main Street, Borris-in-Ossory and Andrew Poole (43), from the Pike-of- Rushall were arrested yesterday morning (Tuesday, July 12) in Dublin by detectives from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation.

They were charged at the Bridewell Garda station and then brought before Dublin District Court. Judge Denis McLoughlin heard that they made “no reply” when they were charged under Section 36 of the Theft and Fraud Offences Act.

The four men, who remained silent during the brief hearing, each face two counts of possessing equipment to manufacture counterfeit currency, at Ballybrophy, Borris-in-Ossory on May 31 last year.

Judge Denis McLoughlin heard that the DPP has directed “trial on indictment” in respect of each of the defendants. He also noted that there was no objection to bail.

He remanded all four on bail to appear again on July 28 next when they are to be served with books of evidence and returned for trial.

Bail was granted to Mr Sloan in his own bond of €250. The court also approved independent sureties in the sum of €10,000 in relation to the co-defendants.

The charges follow a major national and international police investigation into activities at a disused concrete plant and quarry at the Green Roads.

In May 2010 gardai discoved the operation in two large containers beneath a prefab on the site. The containers were normally those carried on the back of lorries. When gardaí discovered the operation they also found all the high tech equipment needed to run a modern counterfeiting ring.

A host of computers, a printing press and other equipment was seized, though it was not clear how much counterfeit cash had been found.

The operation was led by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation and supported by the Emergency Response Unit, other national support units and local gardaí from Abbeyleix.

At the time Garda HQ said the arrests were the culmination of an extensive operation which had been ongoing for a number of months, and which involved information sharing across a number of international law enforcement agencies, including Europol.