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St Paddy's Day deadline for IRA bomber Grew's £600k

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RAIDS: PSNI officers move into a property as part of money laundering operations

RAIDS: PSNI officers move into a property as part of money laundering operations

PA

RAIDS: PSNI officers move into a property as part of money laundering operations

A convicted IRA bomber turned millionaire crime boss has been given to St Patrick's Day to pay a £600,000 confiscation order.

The outstanding order on Aiden Grew (64), of Benburb Street in Dungannon, was reviewed last week at Newry Crown Court.

The amount due to the court order has come about by way of evasion of tax duty on laundered cigarettes from over a decade ago.

The amount was previously appealed. However Lord Justice Deeny dismissed the appeal outright and refused to lower the amount.

At a new hearing, prosecution barrister Geraldine McCullough highlighted the outstanding confiscation order to Newry Crown Court on Friday.

"The confiscation order was granted many years ago," she said.

"We are now at the final stages of making the payment.

"There is a sale of a property due to be completed by March 16.

"A request has been made to adjourn for two weeks."

Grew, along with co-defendant Henry Patrick McLaughlin (55), from Coalisland, were convicted of smuggling millions of cigarettes in 2008.

Co-accused McLaughlin, unlike Grew, was successful in lowering his confiscation order for £77,000 to just £5,000 due to an appeal that he had an "unfair trial" and no evidence to suggest he benefited from criminal gains.

Grew previously served a 15-year sentence for his part in an IRA landmine attack on UDR soldiers in Co Armagh.

Two of his brothers, Seamus and Dessie, were killed in two separate security force shootings.

Grew is no longer affiliated to any republican grouping, having ditched the Real IRA after it joined with other republican gangs to form the New IRA.

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CIGS SMUGGLER: Aiden Grew

CIGS SMUGGLER: Aiden Grew

CIGS SMUGGLER: Aiden Grew

The now wealthy dissident smuggler is also at the centre of a £215m money laundering probe.

Security sources have linked the convicted IRA bomber turned millionaire crime boss to the cross-border scam, which led to eight arrests and raids on properties in Belfast, Ballymena, Banbridge, Newry and Omagh.

Following the searches, the PSNI confirmed the investigation is the second biggest money laundering operation ever uncovered in the UK.

The 2008 cigarette smuggling conviction came about by a joint police and customs operation three years previous, with almost 16 million cigarettes from Armagh city seized for non-duty paid.

At Newry crown court on Friday, His Honour Judge Ramsey adjourned the case to March 26.


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