Olympic collection scam unveiled

Senior Gardai along the Longford and Roscommon border have launched an investigation into an elaborate scam by a gang masquerading as collectors for Ireland’s top seeded boxer in the upcoming Olympics, John Joe Nevin.

Senior Gardai along the Longford and Roscommon border have launched an investigation into an elaborate scam by a gang masquerading as collectors for Ireland’s top seeded boxer in the upcoming Olympics, John Joe Nevin.

It is believed that thousands of euro may have been gathered in a bogus fundraising collection which duped numerous homeowners in parts of Longford and Roscommon.

The Leader understands three women, believed to be from the Mullingar area, targeted homes in the Lanesboro and Ballyleague area in recent weeks purporting to be fundraising for the Westmeath boxer. However Gardai have established that this is not the case and that Mr Nevin is not benefitting from the so-called collection.

The three women were questioned by gardai over the incident but no charges have yet been brought. However the allegations have prompted Gardai to issue a warning to local residents.

“We would be asking people to be on their guard if individuals claiming to be collectors come to their doors,” said a Garda spokesperson.

The success of any investigation, which is being fronted by Roscommon Gardai, may well hinge on the likelihood of victims coming forward and making formal statements on the matter.

For the time being, and due to the sensitive nature of the inquiry, gardai have declined to release any further details.

Gardai are, nontheless, satisfied the carefully manufactured scheme was bogus with revenue going to neither Mr Nevin, Cavan Boxing Club nor the Olympic Council of Ireland.

This week it emerged bogus collection cards recovered by gardai showed monies obtained were substantial with sources revealing the sums collected were in the “thousands”.

It’s believed residents living in the Ballyleague/Lanesboro area were told all funds raised would go directly to Cavan Boxing Club while also helping to fund the Mullingar boxer’s Olympic dream.

When contacted on Monday, chairman of the Breffni club Brian McKeown said he knew little of the alleged scam, saying he only became aware of the claims through the media.

Anyone with information in relation to this incident is asked to contact: Roscommon Garda Station at 090 6638300.