herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

Airport tiger raid suspect wanted for 12 kidnappings

Armed gardai moving in on the GLS security cash in transit van in Dublin Airport
Armed gardai moving in on the GLS security cash in transit van in Dublin Airport
A van suspected to have been used by the gang

The chief suspect who gardai believe masterminded this week's €225,000 Dublin Airport heist is also believed to behind 12 tiger kidnappings.

The criminal is a 37-year-old criminal who received military training in Bulgaria by special forces over a decade ago.

Last night gardai had still not made any arrests in relation to Thursday's robbery which led to a security alert at Dublin Airport. They made an appeal on two vans which they believe the gang used.

It has since emerged that the GSLS cash-in-transit employees were due to collect up to £10m sterling from a London flight but the mobsters fled with the lesser cash sum from the nearby airport business park.

A security guard's partner and her daughter were held hostage in a silver '09 VW caddy van - stolen in Glasnevin in October - after a gang of three entered their home in Artane, north Dublin on Wednesday night.

All three are recovering from their ordeal.

The north Dublin thug who is suspected of being behind the raid is considered one of Ireland's smartest criminals and has a real taste for the high life.

"This fella is no junkie, he likes the finer things in life, and this includes the women he surrounds himself with - some of them are absolute stunners," a senior source said

"He was involved in armed robberies even when he was a young lad, but he is one of these criminals that has just decided to move to the next level and he has done that in spades.

"He is a suspect in up to a dozen tiger kidnappings but has never been convicted in relation to any of them, mainly because his gang is so forensically aware. They were the first crew here to realise that bleach can get rid of all DNA evidence," the source added.

The Blanchardstown gang boss, who has links to an international criminal network, is said to have a deep hatred of prison and was said to be "disgusted" with jail conditions after spending a few months on remand there in 2012.

Since his release from prison over three years ago, he has been monitored by specialist garda units, but the gangster has not been under constant surveillance.

The suspect is a close associate of on-the-run gangster Jeffrey Melvin (33) from Lucan in West Dublin who disappeared three years ago while on bail following his alleged involvement in a January, 2010 tiger raid in the capital.

A European Arrest Warrant was issued after Melvin failed to show up at court in June, 2012.

This week's tiger kidnap was one of the most high profile crimes of the year.

Yesterday, the targeted company, GSLS, said its primary concern at this time is for the well-being of the employee and his family.

In a statement, the company said it had implemented best-in-class procedures and training for its cash-in-transit operations, and has signed up to and abides by the Private Security Authority's code of practice for cash-in-transit firms.

Gardai last night said they would like to hear from anyone who may have noticed a silver Volkswagon Caddy van, with a 09 D registration number, at Gracefield Road, Artane and Chestnut Grove, Dunboyne.

It was fitted with false number plates matching a similar authentic VW Caddy van.

Gardai are also appealing for information on a white box type Ford Transit van, with 12 D on the registration plate, which was parked around Corballis Road Business Park, Dublin Airport between 7-8.30am on Thursday.

The Herald yesterday revealed the terrified cash-in-transit worker handed an airport worker a note begging for help after he had handed over the €225,000 to the culprits behind the heist.

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