Robbers may seek to avoid trial as cash goes missing
on 22/03/2013 00:00:00
A high-level Garda investigation is under way into what is considered an extremely serious and highly sensitive issue for the force.
Senior security sources said the cash was either taken by someone or was somehow mislaid.
An armed gang took the cash in the robbery but were intercepted by a Garda patrol as they tried to flee.
It was only when the post office manager went to Balbriggan Garda Station in north Dublin to retrieve the cash that it was discovered €9,000 was missing and there was a slit in the evidence bag.
Barristers for the gang are likely to claim that the evidence cannot be admitted as it has been tampered with by outside parties and that any prosecution must be halted. But detectives will argue there is enough factual evidence to warrant a prosecution continuing.
A Garda probe, headed by a detective superintendent, has been conducting an investigation over the last month. Garda sources explained the chain of custody regarding evidence. A scenes of crime officer would take charge of recovering the evidence from the crime scene. This would involve mapping and photographing the bag and placing it inside a sealed plastic evidence bag.
The bag is then handed over to the exhibit officer who is responsible for bringing evidence to specialist units for forensic examination.
The evidence is then given back to the exhibits officer. Cash evidence would be stored in a locked safe in a secure room at the station.