Daily Ireland

Mistaken identity leads to raid trauma

A DERRY mother of two has hit out at the PSNI after police raided her home in a case of mistaken identity.
Several homes in the city were searched in connection with the Garda arrests in Dublin and Cork.
Elaine Anderson opened the door of her Glendale Park home at 10.40pm on Thursday evening to be met by PSNI detectives probing “serious crime” and money laundering. She claimed the officer in charge had asked her, “Were you not expecting us?”
Two men from Derry, arrested at Heuston railway station in Dublin, were yesterday released from custody without charge pending a report being sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Computers and dozens of documents were seized in a series of co-ordinated raids and searches on homes north and south of the Border.
The stunned Derry woman said she had been presented with a search warrant containing a name unknown to her. She was forced to wake her sleeping children — six-year-old Yasmin and four-year-old Zara — and take them to a neighbour’s house while eight police officers searched every room in her home. A convoy of six police vehicles was in the street outside.
The PSNI search team withdrew after 40 minutes. A spokesman later declined to reveal specific details of any of the raids that targeted four homes in the Waterside and Cityside areas of the city.
Miss Anderson said last night that she had been traumatised by the search. She said she was considering referring the search to the Police Ombudsman.
“They said they had a warrant to search my home but the name on the warrant was wrong. They asked me if I had large sums of money in my home and I replied, ‘I wish I had.’ I had to lift the children out of bed and take them to a neighbour’s house. When they were finished, they told me that I would be relieved to know that they had found nothing. They really didn’t give a damn.”
Sinn Féin assembly member Raymond McCartney last night accused the PSNI of raiding innocent people’s homes with no justification.
“I went and visited these people and it was obvious that they were distraught and had no sense of why their home was being raided. They showed me the warrant and it was obvious that the name on it was wrong.
“They feel like victims of false information and will lodge a formal complaint. It just shows that the PSNI are prepared to raid people’s homes on the flimsiest of evidence. These people feel that, in the wake of this raid, they will be wrongly linked to money laundering.”

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