Tuesday, 15 December 2020

419 cash

"Dear Friend, I do my upmost to find foreign partner to help transfer $11 million...." The so-called 419ers are still going strong sending out email bait to the unsuspecting worldwide web users. It's not often they get caught but one soldier from the 419 army came a cropper in Dublin today. Gregory Enegwea (24) got four years in jail and a deportation order after being caught red-handed with a box of fake $100 bills. These weren't Superdollars - they were printed on one side only with a regular ink-jet printer and then heat-sealed in packages and packed into a metal box with a false bottom. It gave the impression of the box being full of US dollars. As the judge said, it was "designed to deceive at a glance."
Enegwea got caught when the drugs squad raided his storage unit in west Dublin. When they found the poor quality fake cash they handed over to the fraud squad who waited for their man. No-one bought Enegwea's excuses that he had called to the unit as a favour for some guy's name he didn't know.

Wednesday, 9 December 2020


The hunt is on for the secret cigarette factory which could earn millions of euro for Ireland's tobacco smuggling gangs. High-quality counterfeits have flooded the Irish market (due to the high taxation on tobacco products) with millions of cigarettes being shipped in from China hidden in cargo containers. Irish criminal gangs are now thought to have set up their own cigarette manufacturing plant. In October customs agents seized a cargo of six and a half tonnes of tobacco leaf after it was shipped through Dublin Port. Similar product has been seen before in eastern Europe but never in Ireland. As a result customs officials believe that a crime gang has acquired a cigarette rolling machine.

Illicit factories are nothing new for the criminal syndicates based around the border counties. Fuel laundering plants and alcohol bottling plants have also been discovered on a regular basis. Yesterday police in Northern Ireland found one diesel laundering operation where they also discovered 2,500 empty vodka bottles.

Tuesday, 8 December 2020


Paul Maguire did a great job on welfare fraud in Ireland on Prime Time Investigates last night. It is thought that as much €2 to €3 billion is defrauded from social welfare every year. Watch it here on the RTE player.

Monday, 7 December 2020

FAKE Pills

It looks as if the problem of counterfeit medicine has been under-estimated in the EU. In one two-month period 34 million fake tablets were seized at customs points all over Europe. While stuff like Viagra accounts for a lot of the imports there are worries about increased seizures of fake antibiotics, cancer treatments and anti-malaria medicine. It appears that India is the main source of counterfeit medicines which represent "a potential massacre" according to the German EU commissioner, Gunter Verheugen. Read about it here.

Friday, 4 December 2020

ON-LINE counterfeits

UK police took the unusual step of shutting down 1,200 websites set up to fleece customers or to sell counterfeit items. People looking for discounted stuff like Ugg boots, hair-straighteners or jewellery were getting either nothing or shoddy imitations for their cash. 'Operation Papworth' was launched to stop the criminal use of uk.co domain names. Read about it here. Police said organised criminal gangs were involved in the trade whose used the funds raised to finance other dodgy activities. It the first police operation of its kind. Now for those .com, .org, .tv...

Wednesday, 2 December 2020


Irish fraudster Francis Fallon (left) was jailed in the UK yesterday for seven years after he forged Land Registry records to get his hands on the property of recently deceased people. The County Cork man tried to claim ownership to the estates of 14 dead people who he said he had been friends with. He even concocted fictitious witness statements to back up his stories. His 76-year-old accomplice Richard Carr had his sentencing deferred after the court was told he went on the run. Read the story here.