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Arrests of foreign criminal suspects tripled in four months 

A huge increase has been recorded in the number of arrests of foreign criminal suspects living in the country since Ireland joined a EU-wide system which shares police information earlier this year. 

The Irish Times reports that “86 arrests have been made for the purpose of extradition since the beginning of March” after Ireland signed up to the EU-wide Schengen Information System (SIS II).

The alleged offenders were living undetected in Ireland for years and some are wanted for serious sexual offenders.

Gardai suspect that some of the suspects may have chosen to come to Ireland because we had not signed up to SIS II, the paper reported.

The SIS II system allows for real-time data on suspects and fugitives to be shared, and Gardai can now check against an EU-wide database to investigate whether a warrant for a suspect exists in another country. The system can also be used to assist in missing persons cases.

The adoption of SIS II is expected to lead to a corresponding surge in extradition cases. The president of the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine, said the list of extradition cases was expected to double because of Ireland’s membership of the system, and that the court was in “a desperate scenario” because of a lack of judges.

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