Gardai hunt down known criminals

Gardai are monitoring “several dozen” suspected criminals who are living in the north Longford area as part of a thorough investigation into organised crime, the Leader can reveal.

Gardai are monitoring “several dozen” suspected criminals who are living in the north Longford area as part of a thorough investigation into organised crime, the Leader can reveal.

The operation is one which is being led by local gardai in Granard following months of painstaking surveillance work and intellegence gathering.

Part of the enquiry centres on a decision taken by Garda chiefs to halt growing backlogs associated with individuals who have not shown up in court and for whom bench warrants have been issued.

And while the Leader has learned of the approximate number of suspects currently under surveillance, gardai have for the moment remained tight-lipped.

“We would have identified several dozen people we believe are involved in drugs and our focus has been on them,” said a garda source earlier this week. “It is intellegence-led and we have managed to clear out about 70 per cent of outstanding warrants through this.”

The change in tactics employed by gardai has also caused officers to carry out routine checks and searches of those believed to be involved in drugs and organised crime.

Meanwhile, gardai have also urged members of the public to be wary of criminals who are pretending to hoodwink people into disclosing personal data by pretending to work for computer giants Microsoft.

A number of households in the Ballinamuck and Moyne areas of Co Longford, as well as Arva in Co Cavan, have been contacted in recent days by callers who claim there is a virus on their computer.

It follows a similar revelation made by homeowners in the greater Longford town area last October. On that occasion, gardai received several complaints from members of the public after they were targeted by the cyberscam.

“We would just be asking people to be vigilant about this as there have been a number of phone calls made to houses,” said a garda spokesperson.