Facebook break-up leads to transatlantic investigation

The bitter break-up of a Facebook romance involving two Limerick teenagers has triggered a transatlantic Garda investigation.

Gardaí, who are gathering evidence on an alleged threat complaint by a girl against a youth, have brought in Interpol, which is liaising with authorities in the US and Canada.

A Garda source described the investigation as “problematic” as it involves tracking and gathering material from cyberspace.

The two 16-year-olds befriended one another on Facebook and decided to pursue a relationship.

The garda said the relationship came to its next level and the two met.

However, after meeting the boy, the girl decided she did not wish to continue a relationship.

Following this, the youth began to issue threats on Facebook, including one that he would cause her serious harm.

As a result of these contacts, the girl made a complaint to gardaí which has resulted in an investigation that is ongoing.

The garda said a threat to cause serious harm falls into the category of a threat to kill.

In order to get Facebook evidence in the case, gardaí in Limerick have brought in Interpol to liaise with authorities in the US and Canada to access servers there which would contain material relevant to the complaint made by the alleged victim.

The garda said the fact that Interpol have to track down material from North America will cause some delay in the investigation.

Other issues in relation to different interpretations of law in different jurisdictions have also to be addressed by Interpol.


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