Four criminals were contracted in Eastern Europe to specifically target a Galway city jewellers, where they carried out a violent armed robbery, stealing €1.1m worth of diamond rings and Rolex watches.
Detective Sergeant John McElroy told Galway Circuit Criminal Court that the robbery was planned from Lithuania.
The four men before the court, Irmantas Paulauskas (38), Saulius Repecka (37), Erikas Matusevicius (36) and Vaidas Pinelis (28) had been “recruited” there to do the job and arrived in Dublin two days before the robbery.
They went to Galway the day beforehand to ‘case’ the premises and leave unlocked bicycles nearby at Merchant’s Road to be used for their getaway.
The ‘smash and grab’ style robbery was carried out with military-style precision and the men were on the premises for only 90 seconds, before leaving calmly with two rucksacks crammed with 16 trays of diamond rings and 32 Rolex watches. The rucksacks were later found by gardaí, hidden under a bush on Lough Atalia.
The sentence hearing yesterday heard that all four men had previous convictions in Lithuania, with Paulauskas having convictions for thefts, fraud and serious assaults.