A former republican prisoner from Derry has claimed that men he suspects are police officers gave him £500 in cash in a bid to recruit him as an informer.
The man, who did not wish to be named, said the incident took place outside his Creggan home yesterday morning.
The ex-prisoner said two men in plain clothes, who he believes are police officers, asked him to help them by providing information on dissident republicans.
The man also claimed he has been “harrassed” by the police in recent months and had been arrested on numerous occasions.
“I was in the kitchen doing work for a diploma and my son told me there were two men outside wanting to speak to me and that they were in the back yard, around the side of the house. I went out and I didn’t recognise them and asked them what they wanted.
“They said they knew that money is tight these days and suggested that I could help them out. At that stage I figured out what was going on because they have tried it before.
“One of them produced an envelope and tried to give it to me but I told them I was not interested and that they shouldn’t even try and went back inside. As I was walking away one said he would leave the envelope by my oil tank in case I changed my mind. “I asked my wife to go outside after they left and there was an envelope with £500 in cash sitting by the tank,” he said.
The ex-prisoner also said he received a phone call seconds before he went outside which only rang once before stopping. “One of the men said he had just phoned my mobile and said that now I have his number I should give him a call and help him out,” he claimed.
When the ‘Journal’ contacted the number it was answered by a man with a northern accent who claimed it was a wrong number when the man’s claims were put to him.
The Creggan man said that he is not a member of any political or dissident republican group.
He also said that he is now fearful for his personal safety and added that he has contacted his solicitor about the incident.
A spokesperson for the 32 County Sovereignty Movement condemned the incident and appealed for anyone in a similar situation to come forward.
A PSNI spokesperson said: “We do not comment on intelligence matters and no inference should be drawn from this.
“However, in line with all other police services across the UK the PSNI’s policy in relation to the use of Covert Human Intelligence Sources is strictly governed by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and is fully compliant with Human Rights legislation.”