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Fraudsters target Strabane during Christmas celebration

AN Irish charity has condemned those responsible for fraudulently collecting during a festive celebration in Strabane.
 
It is believed that people purporting to represent the Irish Kidney Association (IKA) staged an erroneous flag day in the town on Saturday, as the Christmas revelries were getting underway ahead of the lights switch-on.
 
Those responsible had ID claiming to represent the charity and were even wearing the purple IKA bibs.
 
This week however, the IKA has confirmed non-one was collecting in their name in Strabane on Saturday nor could there have been, as the charity is not sanctioned to fundraise in such a manner anywhere in the North.
 
“Unfortunately, this is something that happens now and again,” Colin White from the IKA remarked.
 
He further explained that three years ago a spate of illegal collecting took place along the west coast of Ireland with people claiming to represent his own charity and a number of others. In that case, those responsible for the crime were eventually tracked down.
 
“This kind of thing is obviously something which harms charities and it harms their good names,” Mr White continued.
 
As to how the perpetrators came by the IKA purple bibs, Mr White added, “As to where they came from, we don’t know.”
 
Similarly, president of the Strabane Chamber of Commerce, Martin Gallen slammed the fraudsters as “the lowest of the low.”
 
“This time of the year it’s common to see all the lowlifes surface for a while but people who con a charity are the lowest of the low,” he said.
 
“I would urge people to check the identification of anyone they suspect is up to no good. Photographic evidence is also advised; only the dodgy ones will refuse to allow this.
 
“It’s basically a sign of the times and people are becoming more desperate but I can’t honestly say that this is in any way an excuse for this deplorable behaviour.”
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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 15 Main Street, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, BT82 8AS