Gardaí exploring if Micholaj Wilk murder linked to cannabis gang
Possibility that Polish horticulturist fell foul of criminals operating cannabis growhouses
Micholaj and Elzbieta Wilk: Officers say they have found nothing to date to link the qualified horticulturist with criminal activity. Photograph: Provision
Gardaí investigating the murder of a Polish man killed by a gang armed with machetes at his home in Co Cork are exploring whether his gardening work brought him into contact with organised crime gangs operating cannabis growhouses.
Officers say they have found nothing to date to link Micholaj Wilk (35), a qualified horticulturist, with criminal activity but such was the savagery used by his killers that gardaí are looking at all possibilities, including that he fell foul of an organised criminal gang.
Gardaí stress that they are looking at several lines of inquiry into the murder, involving a detailed examination of Mr Wilk’s phone records.
They are remaining tight-lipped about the progress of their investigation into the identity of the gang who attacked Mr Wilk in front of his wife and two young children at his home at Bridge House near Ballincollig around 3am on June 10th.
The gang, consisting of three or four masked men who reportedly spoke fluent English, attacked Mr Wilk with machetes. He suffered multiple wounds to his arms, torso and legs and although he was rushed by ambulance to Cork University Hospital, he died from his injuries.
A BMW 3 series car was found burnt out some 6km away at Inniskenny in Waterfall and gardaí later located a revolver with five bullets in the chamber along with two machetes in the car. These are still being examined by scientists at Forensic Science Ireland for DNA or other evidence.
Gardaí have also sent items found during an extensive search of the Waterfall Road near Bishopstown last Saturday for analysis at Forensic Science Ireland though sources say it remains to be seen whether the items are linked to the gang.
Officers are continuing to examine CCTV footage gathered from filling stations in Ballincollig and Cork city in the hope of finding footage of the BMW. It was traced to a man living in Ballincollig who subsequently sold it to another man living in the area. They believe it was sold on again at least once.
Gardaí have dismissed reports Mr Wilk was killed by members of the Russian mafia based in the UK while they have also played down the significance of an anonymous letter sent to an individual in Cork three years ago stating Mr Wilk was involved in criminal activity.
Gardaí investigated the letter at the time and found no evidence to support the contention and an informed garda source said that they did not believe that the letter had any link to Mr Wilk’s murder in front of his wife and children.
Mr Wilk’s wife, Elzbieta, has been discharged from Cork University Hospital after undergoing extensive surgery for defensive wounds to her hands and arms. Doctors managed to save her fingers though she faces further surgery.
Garda technical experts have completed their forensic examination of the Wilk family home. Ms Wilk and the couple’s two young children do not intend returning to the house but plan instead to return to her native Poland.