Thursday, December 15, 2005

The IRA shows its true colors

I wonder if Teddy Kennedy and all the other mindless IRA sympathisers in the U.S. know where all the money they send to the IRA goes? From the following article provided courtesy of the Times of London, it doesn't appear the IRA needs their help. It's amazing how when any time a Marxist group's true activities are revealed, they are always shown to be nothing more than thugs. Communists are thugs, one and all. The true instincts of the Left revealed.

The Times
February 25, 2005

IRA plc turns from terror into biggest crime gang in Europe
The Republicans' crooked business empire rakes in huge amounts,,2-1499253,00.html

By David Lister and Sean O'Neill

AN ANALYSIS of the IRA’s involvement in criminal activities shows a huge range of operations, from smuggling to money laundering and from robbery to mortgage applications.


The IRA is believed to have perfected the recipe for Smirnoff Red Label vodka, among other spirits, and has a well-developed distribution network for its counterfeit products in pubs and clubs which it controls, particularly in Belfast.

Raids on illegal distilleries, mainly in border areas, have uncovered bottling and capping machinery and high- quality copies of brand labels. Many of the products are designed for use in pub optics.

Police found the seven-stage filtration machinery for deionising water not long after Diageo, the drinks company, had introduced the process at its plants. “They use industrial espionage to copy machinery, recipes and labels and are prepared to be very patient to get things absolutely right,” said a police source.

The IRA takes the production of counterfeit spirits so seriously that it even has a quality control unit. Diageo and other companies have countered with a security division which works with police and Customs on both sides of the Irish border. Last December Irish Customs seized 1,500 litres of pure alcohol on the Cooley peninsula, Co Louth, as well as printing presses and labels for a variety of vodka brands.

A Diageo spokesman said: “We are very concerned about this illegal trade. It impacts on our consumers, on government revenues and on us as the brand owners.”


The IRA’s “elite robbery team” is a dedicated unit allegedly run by Bobby Storey, its director of intelligence who is revered by republicans for his anti-surveillance expertise.

The group’s income through robberies varies from year to year. According to Special Branch, Storey played a central role in the theft of £26.5 million from the Northern Bank just before Christmas and organised three other robberies which netted a further £3 million last year.

In each case the IRA used a tactic known as “tiger kidnapping”, where the family of an employee is held hostage to ensure his or her co-operation. Since April last year there have been eleven “tiger kidnappings”, at least four of which have been blamed on the IRA.

In one such raid at the Makro cash-and-carry store outside Belfast last May, four staff were held at gunpoint, tied up and gagged. Cigarettes, alcohol and electrical items worth more than £1 million were stolen. In October the IRA stole cigarettes worth £2 million from a warehouse in Ardoyne, North Belfast, owned by Gallaher’s tobacco company. Over the past two years it has stolen cigarettes worth nearly £4 million from lorries passing through South Armagh. The IRA has also been able to import cigarette cargos through Dublin port.

In the Irish Republic smaller-scale robberies of security vans and post offices have been used to train new recruits.


Smuggling is a way of life in South Armagh, the heartland of militant republicanism. According to Customs, about half of Northern Ireland’s filling stations sell fuel smuggled from the Irish Republic, where duty is considerably lower, at a cost to the Treasury of about £200 million a year.

Fuel smuggling, much of it organised by the notorious South Armagh “brigade”, is now arguably the IRA’s single largest source of income. “What the IRA love is excise and revenue frauds, and the fuel smuggling is on an industrial scale,” said a security source. “Diesel in the Republic is about 66 or 67p per litre, so straight away you can make a profit of about 15p per litre. “They get even more with agricultural diesel, which they buy at around 15-20p per litre, then use chemical processes to wash the dye and the markers out of it. It is then sold as ordinary car fuel for 70 to 80p per litre.”

According to the Organised Crime Task Force, the IRA’s fuel-laundering plants — often concealed in barns along the border — produce up to five million litres of illegal fuel each year, making an annual profit of at least £3 million.

About a third of all cigarettes in Northern Ireland are also smuggled, much of this proportion by the IRA, according to Customs. The cigarettes are typically brought in by the container-load from zero or low-tax countries such as Thailand, China and Turkey. A 40ft container can hold ten million cigarettes worth £1.5 million.

The IRA is still heavily involved in smuggling sheep and livestock across the border so that farmers can take advantage of VAT differences in the Republic, which allows them to claim a rebate for lambs.

In recent months the IRA has embarked on a new activity: the illegal dumping of household waste from the Republic, where residents now have to pay “bin taxes”. Police have identified at least five illegal dumping sites in Northern Ireland, with waste ranging from 5,000 to 25,000 tonnes with a value of up to £5,000 per 20-tonne lorryload.


“Wherever there is a penny to be made, these boys will be turning their hands to it,” said one security official. Seizures of pirate DVDs, CDs and computer games and software are at record levels but the quantity of goods recovered is believed to be dwarfed by how much escapes detection.

The paramilitaries have long been involved in this trade and the IRA’s links with America gave it access to new releases. Today much of the illegal product in the province is burnt on to DVDs locally after master copies are imported or downloaded.

Last weekend counterfeit goods worth £200,000, including DVDs, videos, CDs, fireworks and electrical items, were seized in Jonesborough in the heart of South Armagh.

The IRA’s counterfeiting operations extend to fake football strips, designer clothes, power tools and, in a recent discovery, a well-known brand of washing powder.

In the past it has been involved in the smuggling and sale of fake-branded disposable razors, toothpaste and other toiletries sold door to door. In one notorious example, a fake perfume seized at a market in Northern Ireland contained urine as a stabiliser.


Special Branch believes that the IRA received up to $6 million (£3.1 million) for helping to train Marxist rebels in Colombia, where three alleged IRA members are wanted after vanishing on bail last December. The payment was allegedly negotiated by a former IRA “chief of staff” who has worldwide contacts — including in Libya, where republicans are believed to have deposited some of the proceeds from their vast criminal empire.

Other senior republicans have also travelled to cultivate links with the PLO in the Middle East and Eta in Spain. In the past IRA men trained alongside ANC guerrillas in South Africa.
Police say that other payments have almost certainly been received from overseas for the IRA’s terrorist expertise in intelligence gathering to bomb-making.

According to Special Branch, the IRA is also heavily involved in providing security services for pubs, clubs and other venues in Belfast. The group does not officially deal in drugs but it is believed to have “licensed” the trade of illegal drugs by the dissident groups and independent dealers in Dublin.


The IRA’s finance unit is said to have contributed to Belfast’s property boom by investing in property. Detectives investigating a suspected IRA money-laundering network in the Republic believe that it controls a huge business portfolio including pubs, restaurants, night clubs, office blocks, taxi firms, filling stations and nursing homes. Often the IRA invests as a silent partner in legitimate businesses.

The authorities also believe that the terrorist group has been looking at property opportunities overseas, particularly in fast-growing markets outside the European Union such as Bulgaria, Turkey and Libya. “You just can’t quantify it,” said one official. “The money is put through so many channels that it’s impossible to know. Nobody knows how much property they have, but it’s a lot.”

Other financial crimes include insurance and compensation frauds, VAT frauds, and the diversion of government and EU grants. In West Belfast, the IRA even helps ordinary Roman Catholics to forge mortgage applications, offering bogus references and salary statements in return for a share of the loan.