6 February 1997 Edition

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RUC bought stolen cars

By Mick Naughton.

Following the arrest on Tuesday 4 February, of 5 RUC members on theft and fraud charges connected to a stolen car racket An Phoblacht can reveal that the RUC has itself bought stolen cars which it is now desperately trying to get rid of.

The RUC arrested 12 men in Magherafelt, Enniskillen, Omagh and Castlederg. Five are members of the RUC, including an Inspector. An Phoblacht can reveal that one who was recently promoted has been involved for many years with car dealing in the Omagh area.

The racket involved cars bought or stolen in England which were brought to Ireland and sold, using false registration and number plates.

A cross border ring was also operating, using mainly Toyota vehicles, and it has been learnt that the Garda carried out a number of raids some months ago. New cars were stolen in Britain, re-registered in the North and again re-registered in the south before being sold on.

Over 120 cars, worth in the region of £2 million, are believed to have been stolen in England and then ``legitimised'' through changing their registration. Mileage of the cars was reduced and some cars were sold through hire-purchase agreements.

Together with the RUC members arrested were several northern car dealers.

An Phoblacht
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