Counterfeiting Real IRA Gangsters
In 1984 the Sinn Fein/Provisional IRA leadership had decided to move forward with their plan to produce counterfeit money, they had decided that Irish money (Punt) would yield little or no return and so opted for the mass production of Sterling (English currency). The idea to produce counterfeit money had come from a former official from Bank of Ireland who had joined Sinn Fein at that time; the former bank official’s idea was immediately grasped by senior members of the republican movement who were at that time based at 44 Parnell Square, Dublin, the official head-quarters of the provisional IRA. In 1984 the Sinn Fein Head-quarters at 44 Parnell Square was staffed by luminaries such as Dr Ross Dugdale and former IRA Chief of Staff, Joe Cathal.
Specialised printing equipment, paper and ink were quickly purchased from ‘mainland’ Europe and the Sinn Fein/IRA leadership began to produce the most authentic counterfeit money ever produced at that time, such was the success of the operation that the British Government viewed the counterfeiting operation as a greater threat to the British state than the sectarian campaign being waged in the north by loyalist and nationalist death squads. Eventually the counterfeiting operation was uncovered as senior members of the ‘republican’ movement were actually British agents; however, the counterfeiting operation was not compromised until after a delegation of senior provisionals from Belfast visited the counterfeiting site.
It will come as no surprise that the ‘Real IRA’ (The Real IRA is made up of 80% former members of the provisional IRA, former INLA and new recruits) have followed in the tradition of counterfeiting money, CDs, DVDs, Alcohol, fuel, designer clothes and so forth. Yet even Europol and An Garda Siochana are amazed of the sophistication of the latest counterfeiting operation uncovered and linked to the Real IRA and the Russian Mafia.
Three Irishmen are about to appear in court for their alleged part in a 200 Million counterfeiting operation, the men were captured after Gardai smashed the most sophisticated counterfeiting operation ever discovered in Europe. The Gardai in cooperation with Europol painstakingly observed the movements of several Irish people, some of whom are members of the Real IRA, for many months before uncovering the sophisticated counterfeiting operation. In May 2010 in rural County Laois the Gardai swooped on an under-ground bunker, similar to bunkers previously built by the provisional IRA to hide weapons and explosives imported from Libya in the 1980s, the Bunker had heat, light, running water, toilets, cooking facilities, sleeping quarters, state of the art printing equipment and enough specialised paper and ink to counterfeit over 200 Million worth of notes in its first run.
The Real IRA and Russian Mafia were easily linked to the Laois find, the printing press discovered in the bunker at Borris-in-Ossory was able to produce money that to the common eye was flawless and would have passed easily into the European commercial sectors. The counterfeiters were producing 50 and 100 Euro notes that would pass without raising much suspicion. The IRA style bunker had cost up to 300K to set up and it is believed that this funding came initially from the sale of illegally obtained commodities such as cigarettes, fuel, counterfeit goods and racketeering money.
This was no ad-hoc operation as the gang had obtained a modern lithographic printing system from a supplier in the UK, the specialised security paper was sourced from a German manufacturer and the paper was almost identical to that used by the mint in Germany and other European countries. The specialist ink and holograms are believed to have been supplied by the Russian Mafia, the gang had links to the UK, Germany and Japan.
Had the sophisticated counterfeiting operation become fully operational it is believed that it could at a time when the Euro was already failing on international markets, caused European wide financial problems. It is believed that the money was to be used to service the criminal operations of the Russian Mafia and the Real IRA and would have been used to purchase large quantities for drugs and weapons for further profiteering.
Other Dissident News
In Portugal the police have cracked down on dissident ‘republican’ members and their sympathisers who are using Portugal for fund raising and the purchase of weapons from former eastern-bloc countries. On Friday 1st July 2011 police in Portugal raided a house and arrested two Irishmen and a native of Portugal in the latest moves against the criminal gang. Police raids targeting the criminal gang have taken place in Lisbon, Algarve, particularly focusing on Almancil and Olhao. One of the Irishmen arrested has previously been before the courts for drug trafficking, cigarette smuggling and weapons importation, while this individual is not a member of the Real IRA he is one of their main bagmen and a self-profiteer.
In recent months the British, Irish and Europol security services have dealt a serious blow to the Real IRA and ‘dissident’ groups in general, the reality is that the ‘dissident’ groups remain a serious threat. The dissident groups are now effectively made up of 80% of former members of the provisional IRA and have weapons and explosives at their disposal that were not decommissioned by the provisional IRA, they have also acquired a number of new weapons from former eastern-bloc countries. The ‘dissidents’ have among their personnel some of the provisionals foremost bomb makers and strategic planners, the ‘dissidents’ have also become home to many self-profiteers who simply use the flag of Irish ‘republicanism’ as a fig-leaf for their true criminality. The reason that so many provisional IRA weapons remain in circulation is that both the British and Irish Governments agreed that the Provisional IRA should be allowed to maintain a significant number of defensive weapons, however, the provisional IRA members in control of those arms dumps have now joined the ‘dissident’ groupings.
It is worth mentioning that while the Sinn Fein leadership have been trying to publicly distance themselves from the ‘dissidents’ Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams and other senior provisional members meet with the leadership of the Real IRA in north Louth before Gerry Adams decided to run as an election candidate in the Irish General Election 2011 and a pact was formed, where Gerry Adams would get a free run from the 32 County Sovereignty Committee (‘political’ wing of the Real IRA) if in return Sinn Fein would use their influence both in the north and in the Republic to ensure better conditions for ‘dissident’ prisoners including greater temporary release arrangements. It is believed that some ‘dissidents’ were not happy with these clandestine dealings with the provos and a further split has emerged in the ranks of the Real IRA in north Louth/South Armagh.