Four men to appear before Longford District Court tomorrow as part of major car theft probe

Longford District Court: Ballymahon man convicted of dangerous driving

Longford District Court

Four men are due to appear before a sitting of Longford District Court tomorrow charged in connection with the theft and importation of stolen vehicles from the UK.

The Leader understands gardaí hope to charge at least three of the men following a painstaking surveillance led operation by members from Granard Garda Station.

They were initially quizzed by detectives in March 2016 when gardaí carried out half a dozen searches of premises in Granard and Longford.

That resulted in the seizure of 13 Ford Transit vans and one caravan in a move aimed at targeting the activities of a traveller gang and their associates under Operation Butler.

The operation was set up to tackle what gardaí believed was a sophisticated scam where badly damaged vehicles are bought for scrap in the UK.

The Leader also understands the investigation centred on attempts to clone vehicle number plates ahead of importing them into Ireland with bogus documentation.

Investigators similarly suspected that attempts were made to 'clock' the mileage on a number of vehicles in order to achieve a higher price when attempting to sell them on.

After a file lengthy file was sent to its offices, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) it is understood has now given gardaí the green light to officially charge the men in relation to the investigation.

Two of the men, the Leader understands are from the local area and a third individual is from County Cavan.

Gardaí are this evening attempting to make travel arrangements for a fourth man who lives outside the jurisdiction to also appear tomorrow.

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