Some Irish scammers flee country as Qld police step up efforts to find them

UPDATE @ March 12, 7.30am | Some of the brazen Irish men and women accused of rorting ritzy restaurants and scamming tens of thousands of dollars from the elderly may have already fled the country.

Queensland Police on Saturday revealed that 12 official complaints had now been levelled against the group of five men and four women on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane.

The women are accused of distracting shop attendants while their children fill prams with stolen goods, while the men allegedly scam thousands of dollars from vulnerable elderly residents.


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Speaking on the TODAY show on Monday, Detective Superintendent Tony Fleming said it’s understood some of the group has left Australia, while the others are now keeping a much quieter profile.

“We know some of these people have left the country now,” Superintendent Fleming said.

“It’s pretty obvious to us based on some of our findings so far that this attention has put many of them to ground – which is a good thing, because our key goal at the moment is to stop these people from committing any more offences.”

WATCH:

Police are urging anyone with information about the people pictured below to contact Policelink on 131 444.

If you have information for Police, please contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day.

You can also report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.

EARLIER @ March 10, 5.00pm | A GROUP of brazen Irish men and women accused of rorting ritzy restaurants and stealing from high-end stores across southeast Queensland are also alleged to have scammed tens of thousands of dollars from the elderly.

Queensland Police on Saturday revealed that 12 official complaints had now been levelled against the group of five men and four women on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane.

The women are accused of distracting shop attendants while their children fill prams with stolen goods, while the men allegedly scam thousands of dollars from vulnerable elderly residents.

A special police command has now been set up to investigate the alleged crimes and find the group.

“One group involves a number of women, often up to three, who are accompanied by a number of small children, some in prams and some walking,” police said in a statement on Saturday.

“Their strategy involves disruptive and aggressive behaviour designed to distract and or intimidate staff [and] they often use large handbags and prams to hide stolen property.

“Another group involves several men who solicit for work offering discounted repairs on bitumen driveways and roofing whilst providing sub-standard services or failing to complete the work or to even turn up.”

(Source: 7 News)

On one occasion, two of the women are alleged to have distracted staff at a high-end shoe store in Brisbane while a young child stole a pair of expensive high-heels and stashed them in a pram.

Three of the women are also alleged to have deliberately confused a store attendant through a cash transaction in order to obtain a $50 benefit.

In a separate incident, four of the woman are accused of acting together to deceive an attendant at a supermarket on Chevron Island so that they could steal more than $100 worth of groceries.

(Source: Queensland Police Service)

Meanwhile, Detective Superintendent Tony Fleming said the men have so far fleeced more than $30,000 from five different elderly home owners by offering to fix their roofs and driveways.

Det Supt Flemming said the men allegedly took payments for the repairs but never finished the work.

In one case, the five men are accused of fleecing more than $25,000 from an elderly man after promising to fix his roof, but bailing with the cash.

One elderly man in Oxenford reportedly handed over $6,000 to the men for them to fix his driveway.

(Source: Queensland Police Service)

Police said the men and women also allegedly scammed food from classy restaurants both in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast.

In one case, while at a restaurant on the Gold Coast, the men and women allegedly placed a tiny piece of glass in one of their meals and then demanding a refund.

In another more recent incident, four of the men are alleged to have dined at a restaurant in Brisbane City and caused a ruckus and refused to pay their bill after claiming they found hair in their meal.

(Source: 7 News)

(Source: Queensland Police Service)

“They are good at creating diversions and distractions/disruptions to either steal goods or demand goods and services for free,” Detective Superintendent Flemming said.

“They are aggressive and usually work in groups of two or more.”

Detective Superintendent Flemming said police were working with the Australian Border Force and, if the group was caught and found guilty, said the agencies would consider deporting them back to Ireland.

“The nature of these matters appear to have some connection,” he said.

“We’ve got a team of people actively looking for these people at the moment.”

Police are urging anyone with information about the people pictured to contact Policelink on 131 444.

If you have information for Police, please contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day.

You can also report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.

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What makes the whole business all the more detestable is that this group is exploiting the well-earned reputation of the Irish for being honest in their dealings, likeable, and sincere in the liking they habitually show for others. I hope they turn out to be not ordinary Irish but Irish “travellers”, who are parasites in their own country and everywhere else they pop up, and have h a birth-to-death “traditional” cultural life-style of living by theft and fraud, almost always directed against the poor and struggling. (When my maternal grandmother, whose father was Irish, called me a “little tinker” she was using an Irish term for these leeches, though she might not have known it.)

Scammers from Ireland come to Australia every year, and every year the Australian government lets them back in. They have ripped of the elderly over the years with, tree lopping, fixing roofs, making driveways etc. They take the money, intimidate the elderly by making them go to the bank, and then take off without doing anything, or they leave a huge unfinished mess. They need to be band.

Hi Colin,

My thoughts exactly. I’m Irish and have lived in Australia for 6 years, worked and paid my taxes. I am very grateful to Australia and the Australians for making me feel at home and just being a all round honest good people. These people do not represent the majority of us.

These people are most probably travellers, (they even look like them). They do the same thing back home and are nuisance at best, intimidating and dangerous at worst. I have known incidents of women travelers cleaning out old peoples bank accounts using similar tactics to these people. Scum of the earth. They also have the nerve to play victim as a minority group when challenged. They are viewed with contempt back home and rightly so.

Apologies from Ireland

And stay out.