An internal Garda inquiry into the alleged theft of money from a Deliveroo rider has developed into an “extensive criminal investigation” into the extortion of money from food-delivery workers by gardaí.
Four gardaí have now been suspended amid concerns members serving in a Dublin Garda station have been involved in “taxing” riders – demanding money from them in return for letting them carry out their work unimpeded.
At least one garda is suspected of demanding relatively small amounts of money – typically less than €50 – from multiple workers after stopping them.
One of the gardaí was suspended in November, and another three were suspended this week.
The latest suspensions were accompanied by several searches by anti-corruption gardaí, including the search of a Garda station and members’ lockers.
Senior sources described it as an “extensive criminal investigation” but stressed no findings of wrongdoing have yet been reached.
Earlier this year a female Deliveroo rider claimed she was stopped by two men who presented as Garda members before they carried out a search at her home.
After the search, the woman claimed a number of items, including money, were missing. She suspected the two men were not Garda members and so she contacted her local station and made a complaint alleging theft.
Following the allegations, Garda headquarters appointed a senior officer to carry out a scoping exercise which has since been upgraded to a formal criminal investigation and led to the suspension of a serving garda last month.
*This article was amended on December 23rd 2021