Seven years after their last raid, Police came back to Slab Murphy’s farm…

That was Gerry Adams talking about Slab Murphy back in 2006. Last week Gerry was singing from a slightly different hymnbook

“Last Friday Sinn Féin Councillors Edel Corrigan and Jim Loughran, and I met senior Garda for North Louth in Dundalk. The meeting discussed a range of matters including fuel laundering by criminal gangs in the north Louth area. We had also met the PSNI several months ago and raised the same issue with them.

Fuel laundering costs both states tens of millions each year but it also leaves behind a toxic sludge which presents a significant environmental threat to people living in the area.

While I welcome today’s action by the Garda, PSNI and Revenue and Customs bodies there is a widespread public concern, which I share, at the lack of convictions that have occurred arising from the discovery of fuel laundering plants in the past.”

No names at that stage, so no pack drill, eh Gerry? A concern shared by the MP for North Antrim..

Ian Paisley has called for an inquiry into why, despite 19 separate raids across 10 Irish counties yesterday, no one is being questioned.

PSNI and Garda cooperated in dawn raids at about 20 addresses in the Republic and three in Crossmaglen.

The DUP MP for North Antrim said: “For there to have been not one single arrest is a complete embarrassment.”

It’s not the only case in which Mr Murphy has endured the attention of the authorities:

A separate case against Murphy, who denies any Provo role, is due to be mentioned at the non-jury Special Criminal Court in Dublin this month. He faces nine allegations of failing to file income tax returns from 1996 to 2004.

Murphy is taking a Supreme Court case in an effort to have the case against him heard before a jury. Yesterday’s operations also focused on two associates. It is understood that CAB investigators have uncovered several bank accounts in bogus names as a result of the inquiry.

“This investigation has been ongoing for several years,” said one source. “It is just like a jigsaw and the final pieces in that puzzle are now being put in place.”

We make that seven years. And the cops think he’s still up to something?

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  • sitarman

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/republic-of-ireland/slab-murphy-was-tipped-off-about-crossborder-police-raid-29136938.html

    ‘A security source said: “Fires were suddenly lit at a number of locations at around the same time, at 2am, and they were still smouldering when the raid took place.

    “Laptops, computer disks and a large amount of documentation had been destroyed in the fires. They seemed to know that a raid was imminent. They now have to explain why this took place.” ‘

    PSNI, Garda or Gerry? Collusion is not an illusion?

  • megatron

    i will go out on a limb and say there will be no prosecutions as a result. what a waste of time.

    can anyone think of a reason why they dont make farmers pay full price for diesel and get a rebate rather than create this huge incentive?

    slab is now only about 5% of the problem. there are now hundreds of people (tiny proportion ex PIRA) involved in south armagh / north louth / monaghan in this activity with apparently very little risk of prosecution.

    what the hell is going on?

  • aquifer

    Can anyone think of a reason why they dont make farmers pay full price for diesel and get a rebate rather than create this huge incentive?

    Because the Irish state has been funding a separatist terror campaign with income taken from the British exchequer?

    I give up.

  • aquifer

    Because the British state could not be arsed running two sets of fuel duty accounts?

  • Comrade Stalin

    The loss to the exchequer is about more than the tax; the problem is that it’s becoming a national security issue. The proceeds are being used to fund organizations which are killing police officers as well as civilians. They may eventually attempt a bombing campaign on the mainland.

    I think a rebate system is a much better way to approach the matter. The downside is obviously going to be that it will be easier for unscrupulous farmers and builders to scam, so regular auditing would be required and perhaps a cap should be set on rebatable fuel depending on the acreage and type of farm etc.

  • Barnshee

    “Can anyone think of a reason why they dont make farmers pay full price for diesel and get a rebate rather than create this huge incentive?”

    The reason is relatively simple The “dye” system replaced a full price “use and rebate “system which had to be abandoned because of systematic abuse by users in 1961 if my memory serves me right

  • megatron

    Barnshee / Comrade Stalin

    OK so the new system will be abused. Glad to clear that up. Great that the existing system isnt being abused at all.

  • “Fires were suddenly lit at a number of locations at around the same time, at 2am, and they were still smouldering when the raid took place.

    Laptops, computer disks and a large amount of documentation had been destroyed in the fires. They seemed to know that a raid was imminent. They now have to explain why this took place.”

    If I was of a mind to destroy some computer disks, throwing them on a fire would be the last thing I’d try. I’d guess with the supposed resources this Murphy character has at his disposal he’d have a more effective method. Moral of the story, don’t believe everything you read in the newspaper or when it comes to the Indo/Sindo (or syndicated), don’t believe anything you read.

  • Skinner

    Let me get this straight. There is a bogeyman living on the border who everyone has known for years was involved in a massive fuel smuggling operation. The bogeyman knew that everyone knew he was involved in it. And yet he kept lap-tops, computer discs and a large amount of documentation, documenting all his illegal activities in handy bite-sze chunks, at the very place he is very well documentated to have lived at for many documentated years? And huge tanks and chemicals and filters and pipes and all the rest of it.

    Why the arsing feck did he feel so comfortable and invincible for all the years up to 2am the other night?

    I am just an ordinary goon and I can give you this man’s exact address it is so well documentated. I can give you the name of the townland, which sounds like Dickens came up with it. Why was there not a camera in every bird’s nest in every tree on every drumlin and a bug in every lorry that rumbled up his drive? Surely he cannot have been difficult to nail. We’re not talking about chasing Bin Laden in the Tora Bora here, this is catching a rat in a meal bin.

  • Comrade Stalin

    megatron,

    I wasn’t dumping all over your idea, I think it needs to be seriously considered. Back in the 1960s they didn’t have computers to track all the claims – they do now and, backed up with regular auditing, fraud would surely become easier to spot. Another option is to create a state-operated agency through which all fuel purchases must be routed in order to claim the rebate.

    Ulrick,

    I’m not sure how computer literate Slab is, but it’s trivial to configure a modern computer so that it is impossible for anyone including a state agency to retrieve data from it – it’s routine for businesses to use such techniques. It would then be a question of whether or not the courts could compel the password to access the data to be released.

  • tacapall

    “I’m not sure how computer literate Slab is, but it’s trivial to configure a modern computer so that it is impossible for anyone including a state agency to retrieve data from it”

    You seriously believe that CS ? I would be more inclined to believe that whatever was burnt was burnt simply to make it harder and more expensive for anyone to retrieve the data or the information contained within, regardless of whether it contained sensitive information or not. Im sure most people know, including Slab Murphy, not to store potentially damaging information on a computer that can easily be retrieved.

    Im sure like all of these type of raids, everyone’s business and private computers and personal information is taken, family members included, like children etc, like them I would rather burn them than let others gain easy access.

  • BarneyT

    Encryption levels are controlled by states to ensure that information cannot be hidden from the state. Information seemingly wiped from the harddisk can be retrieved unless you can address the appriopriate areas and rewrite meaningless garble in its place.

    I cant see Slab or anyone else in the border areas (not to suggest that there is no IT expertise available) cunjuring up encrption algorithms or developing low level scripts to mask data. I would even doubt if much information was based on any other media other than paper and word of mouth. You can burn the former.

  • Barnshee

    “OK so the new system will be abused. Glad to clear that up. Great that the existing system isnt being abused at all.”

    The “new” system is reasonably effective in SOME measures of effect

    It makes little sense to use “cleaned” red diesel outside the safety peoples republics of south armagh and west belfast
    1 There are two markers involved– the red and a “invisible marker” which is not removed (chemistry lessons extra at a price) Detection leads to seizure of vehicles and horrendous penalties

    2 The fuel is NOT fully cleaned – use INVARIABLY leads to expensive damage to engines and equipment.

    Any system failures are down to lack of Government will however the demotion of “‘Slab’ Murphy, from not a criminal, but a good republican and a long-standing supporter of Sinn Féin’s peace strategy.” may be sign that things have hardened up a little

    NOTE “Fuel laundering costs BOTH states tens of millions each year

    “it also leaves behind a toxic sludge which presents a significant environmental threat to people living in the area.”

    Some might say serves them right

  • Out of interest why do large land owners, (to call some of them farmers is a bit rich) deserve cut price diesel at the tax payers expense or a rebate, do any other businesses get similar treatment?

    My dad was a farm worker and we grew up on the land, but I never met a medium to large farm owner who was not like a sponge, Now most of them could genuinely be called scroungers, is their an agricultural scam they have not got there noses into? Answers on a pin head.

  • megatron

    Barnshee – where do I start?

    (i) The cleaned diesel is sold all over ROI/NI and to a lesser extent the UK. I personally know of loads of garages in Dublin/Meath who are owned by people from my small area and sell laundered diesel to totally unsuspecting vehicles.

    (ii) as a result of (i) if you have cleaned diesel in your car (as I do – even though it comes from what looks like a legitimate garage) it is not seized and there is no penalties. (btw I drive about 500 miles a week between armagh and dublin and have never ever been dipped for diesel). I know cars are not seized from talking to people.

    (iii) Cars are seized when you have uncleaned diesel in them. If you lived near the border you would know that this is what the vast majority of people use and get caught for with big fines. It is cheaper and better for your car than cleaned diesel. I dont use this as I dont want to be caught.

  • megatron

    also most cleaned diesel (and definitely what Tom Murphy produces) do clean out the visible and invisible markers.

  • Kevsterino

    For magnetic media, a good big electromagnet is total security.

    For optical media, grind it up or burn it.

  • Barnshee

    . “(btw I drive about 500 miles a week between armagh and dublin and have never ever been dipped for diesel). I know cars are not seized from talking to people.”

    See my remarks previously on the peoples republic of S Armagh

  • Alias

    “Out of interest why do large land owners, (to call some of them farmers is a bit rich) deserve cut price diesel at the tax payers expense or a rebate, do any other businesses get similar treatment?”

    In Ireland’s case it is another practice imported from the UK, which is the only other country in the EU to use dyed fuel to denote lower taxed fuel. It makes much more sense to remove this practice and to allow those qualifying for lower taxed fuel to pay and then reclaim the tax but how would folks have bought off certain Provos if not by turning a blind eye to their criminal enterprises, assuming they could blackmail the confirmed bachelor?

  • Alias

    * assuming they couldn’t blackmail the confirmed bachelor

  • Comrade Stalin

    tacapall, I don’t merely believe it, I know it. If you encrypt your whole drive with Truecrypt and follow the correct procedures for using it and generating the keys, the encryption cannot be broken.

    In fact, even better, Truecrypt can be set up with a hidden volume and a “plausible deniability” mode. In plain English that means that if you are forced to provide access to the disk (eg by a state, or by someone pointing a gun at your head) you can enter a password which will show a “dummy” version of the disk with non-sensitive data stored. There is some social engineering here too, ie the data you store in the “plausible deniability” area needs to be sufficiently interesting to the agent forcing you to reveal it that he believes that you have truly opened access to him. Other than this, there is no way for anyone to prove the existence of sensitive data in the hidden volume.

    Any time you have heard of “hacks” or “breaches” in the news it is not because the encryption was broken, but because someone was careless with the keys. Encryption is only as good as the processes used to manage it, although these processes are usually fairly simple.

    BarneyT, that is incorrect. The encryption algorithms are usually public domain information (it would be a mistake to use an algorithm which is secret) and peer-reviewed. At present, there is no way they can be practically broken with current technology.

  • BarneyT

    Ok, perhaps I have been watching too many films..but I was sure that the ‘government’ effectively licensed encryption standards or set the threshold so as not to render themselves “blind”. Anyhow, a bit off track.