Fake currency trial hears of machines found in bunker


THE TRIAL of four men accused of having equipment for printing counterfeit currency has heard that machines found in a bunker under a yard where the men were arrested were used to print a range of images, including those of US dollars, euro, sterling and posters of Star Wars characters.

The evidence was heard at the second day of the trial of Anthony Sloan (57), a native of Belfast with an address at Ard na Mara, Dundalk, Co Louth; Liam Delaney (41), of Borris-in-Ossory, Co Laois; Kevin Flanagan (42), of Borris-in-Ossory; and Andrew Poole (43), of Portlaoise, Co Laois.

The men have all pleaded not guilty to possession of equipment, including printers and cutting machines, to manufacture counterfeit currency at Ballybrophy, Borris-in-Ossory, on May 31st, 2010.

In his opening address, prosecuting counsel Tom O’Connell SC, told the court that gardaí who raided a yard on May 31st, 2010, found the four accused men in a Portakabin. Inside they discovered a trapdoor which led to an underground bunker. He said that inside the bunker, which had lino flooring, fluorescent lights and power, gardaí discovered printers, cutting machines and other printing materials.

At the Special Criminal Court yesterday afternoon, witness Ray Sherlock told Mr O’Connell that in 2010 he was working for Canon as a business systems field support specialist and had worked for the company for 25 years. He said that on May 31st, he met Det Garda Janet Walsh and was taken to the underground bunker, where he examined two Canon iPF8100 printers. Mr Sherlock said he checked the user flows which showed 22 print jobs carried out on one and 16 on the other.

Det Garda Walsh told Mr O’Connell that one printed off 16 items, including images of a $100 bill. She said the printer also produced images such as graphic posters, Star Wars characters and pictures of steam locomotives.

Mr Sherlock told counsel for Mr Flanagan, Fergal Kavanagh SC, there were two types of paper loaded: one canvas type paper and another high-quality paper with a “chalky coating”. He agreed both were “wholly unsuitable” for printing €50 notes.The trial is expected to last four weeks.