Belfast Telegraph

Blackmailers demand £200k to end terror campaign against Quinn directors

Quinn Industrial Holdings offices in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh (Liam McBurney/PA)
Quinn Industrial Holdings offices in Derrylin, Co Fermanagh (Liam McBurney/PA)

By Staff Reporter

Directors of Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) have been targeted by blackmailers seeking a £200,000 payoff for ending the campaign of terror against senior figures at the border firm.

Using the name 'OmaghDemon', the extortionists used a Swiss-based heavily-encrypted email service to make their demands, The Sunday Times reported.

They allegedly sought a payoff in cryptocurrency - a method used by criminals worldwide to launder the profits of their crimes.

Emails were sent to the private email addresses of several QIH directors and their spouses, the newspaper reported.

In one of the messages the blackmailers said they did not intend to maim or kill anyone, or destroy any QIH facility.

But when the company refused to submit to the demands for money, the tone of the emails turned vicious. One said: "Flesh will burn. Tears will flow. Close QIH and get the hell out. The Eagle has landed."

The blackmail threats were subsequently reported to the police, who are investigating, the newspaper said.

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Both the Garda and the PSNI were approached by the Belfast Telegraph for comment on the extortion claims, but neither had responded by time of going to press.

In a separate development, former billionaire Sean Quinn has been allowed to keep three cars that belong to his former companies - but will have to tax and insure them himself, it has emerged.

QIH had considered either selling the cars back to Mr Quinn or asking for their return.

But management decided to sign the vehicles over to him rather than further inflame an already tense dispute with their one-time boss.

Mr Quinn who held on to the Range Rover of several years' vintage, an Audi A6 and a 2012 Volkswagen Passat after parting company with QIH in 2016.

But QIH continued to tax and insure all three vehicles.

The company overlooked Mr Quinn's ownership of the vehicles - until he was seen on a number of occasions in recent weeks driving on to company property. He had been spotted pulling into quarries that he once owned at Doon and Swanlinbar, and other parts of the plant, in the Audi and on another occasion in the Range Rover.

In a letter to Mr Quinn last week, QIH chief executive Liam McCaffrey wrote that "it had been brought to his attention that he had been accessing company property".

"As you will appreciate, unauthorised vehicles moving around in areas where heavy plant is working represents a considerable health and safety risk," it said.

The letter added that "in light of recent events we are enforcing a stricter policy regarding access" and asked Mr Quinn to "refrain from entering company property".

Mr Quinn has consistently condemned and denied any involvement in the attacks on QIH staff.

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