Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Govt Approved Double Dealings Provide Hope Stolen Vermeer is ready to Surface !!

Corrupt American company's link to Sinn Fein $375,000 fundraiser, all part of the Deal, Stolen Vermeer, Please !!



JODY CORCORAN

AN Irish EX-PAT founder of a corrupt US building firm has emerged as the main organiser of a fundraising event in New York two weeks ago which raised $375,000 for Sinn Fein, the Sunday Independent can reveal.

The fundraising dinner, hosted by Friends of Sinn Fein, was the first such event attended by Gerry Adams since a ban on him raising money in the US was lifted.

The ban was imposed after the IRA murder of Robert McCartney last January and the £26m Northern Bank raid in December 2005, also carried out by the IRA.

The murderers of Mr McCartney remain at large and the Northern Bank raid, while under active investigation, is still unsolved.

Notwithstanding this, about 750 people, paying $500 a plate, attended the Sinn Fein fundraising event at the Sheraton Hotel on November 9, raising about $375,000 for the party.

In Ireland, where many of the major US technology companies are based, Sinn Fein wants to return Capital Gains Tax of 40 per cent from the present level of 12.5 per cent, a move which economic experts warn would do long-term damage to the economy. It also wants to return employer's PRSI to 12 per cent. At present it ranges from 8.5 per cent to 10.75 per cent.

One of the main organisers of the Sinn Fein fundraising event in Manhattan was Pat Donaghy, the founder of New York's third-largest construction firm, Structure Tone, which has revenues of close to €2bn.

"A lot of those attending were there at his invitation," a well-placed source told the Sunday Independent.

Mr Donaghy, originally from Co Tyrone, who emigrated to New York in the late Fifties, is a major financial backer of Sinn Fein. He sold tables for this month's event to many of the companies which do business with his firm. His niece, Pauline Quinn, an IRA member, served time in Maghaberry prison in the North.

Structure Tone formed a central part of a five-year corruption investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney.

The District Attorney found that consultants, brokers, architects and contractors conspired throughout the Nineties to rig bidding for work carried out at some of New York's best-known companies, such as the Sony Corporation, Credit Suisse First Boston, Morgan Stanley, Bertelsmann AG and Gleacher & Company.

In 1998, in a plea bargain, Structure Tone pleaded guilty to paying a bribe to obtain a $500m contract at the Sony Building at Madison Avenue and 56th Street, according to an article published in the New York Times in 1998.

According to investigators, Structure Tone paid about $2.3m in kickbacks while it worked at the Sony building in the early Nineties. It was one of five construction companies that admitted they participated in a scheme to rig bidding on $2bn worth of renovation work.

Structure Tone pleaded guilty to commercial bribery and agreed to pay $10m in lieu of fines and forfeiture of assets. Hours after pleading guilty, the company issued a statement saying it was a "victim" of the bid-rigging scheme and had merely paid "legitimate sales commissions", a claim that incensed the prosecutors.

Political parties here, particularly Fianna Fail, will seize on today's disclosure should Sinn Fein attempt to make further capital out the main government party's links to property developers in advance of the general election.

Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams spoke at this month's dinner in the Sheraton Hotel. Last year he was forced to address it via a satellite link from Dublin.

It is thought Mitchell Reiss, the US special envoy to Northern Ireland, recommended the ban be lifted despite Sinn Fein's refusal to back the Police Service of Northern Ireland. The lifting of the ban came as Sinn Fein gave conditional support to the timetable for devolution laid out by the Irish and British governments in the St Andrews Agreement.

Last year President Bush delivered a humiliating rebuff to Gerry Adams by inviting the victims of IRA violence to the White House for St Patrick's Day.

The Sinn Fein leader had been hoping for a face-to-face meeting with Mr Bush. Instead, Mr Bush asked the family of Robert McCartney to an intimate gathering where they met the President, Peter Hain, the Northern Secretary, and the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. This year he invited the McCartneys and the family of Joseph Rafferty.


Art Hostage comments:
Mr Pat Donaghy will certainly be immune from any prosecution regarding the Gardner Art Heist and the subsequent handling of the art, as will others, who live in the United States, when the Vermeer surfaces.

As far back as 2004 Boston D.A. Mike Sullivan issued certain Immunity Agreements to Dick Ellis, Ex-Head of Scotland Yard's Art Squad.

Art Hostageconfirms Pat Donaghy has had nothing to do with the Gardner art Heist, or susequent handling of any artworks from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, however, if he can use his influence and considerable wealth, alongside Thomas Slab Murphy, to help broker the deal that see's the Stolen Vermeer surface via a confessional box, then this should be welcomed.

The pieces of the ***** plan are coming together, watch this space for the wonderful news that the Stolen Vermeer has been recovered.

Below is the current status of the Witchunt against General Thomas Slab Murphy.

I hope observers can accept that in the interests of permanent peace in Ireland, the Stolen Vermeer being recovered, along with the rest of the Gardner Art, General Thomas Slab Murphy should be afforded a "Pass" and allowed to retire gracefully.


The Sunday Times November 26, 2006

General Thomas "Slab" Murphy’s homes are seized in €15m tax probe

Liam Clarke

THOMAS “Slab” Murphy, chief-of-staff of the IRA, together with his family and businesses, faces a tax bill of €15m following a joint investigation by Irish and British investigators.

Last Tuesday the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) froze property worth £1.5m (€2.2m) in Manchester in a bid to stop the Murphy family and their associates selling them to meet part of the bill. ARA sources said that freezing the properties is the start of an operation against Murphy’s interests in Ireland and Britain.

In court in London, the agency alleged that the properties, which consist of 10 houses mainly in the Sale area of Cheshire, are the proceeds of money laundering, fuel smuggling and mortgage fraud. It had been intended to sequester 16 properties, but six had been sold.

The ARA and the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) intend to move against further assets in the coming months. These are believed to be located in Dublin, Scotland, London and Kent, as well as Manchester.

The houses subject to the current freezing order were identified from detailed records found by the CAB during a raid on Murphy’s home in Ballybinaby, Co Louth, last March. The records, which were colour-coded and kept in ledgers, were hidden in Murphy’s barn.

Alan McQuillan, who heads the ARA in Northern Ireland, said the case had been referred from the London Metropolitan Police. It had told the ARA that Francis Murphy, Slab’s brother, and his wife Judy were directors of Sailor Property. It has since been renamed FTM Properties with an address in Britannia Road, Manchester.

Simultaneously, the gardai had been taking an interest in Brian Pepper, 32, an Irish-born businessman from Sale, who travelled frequently to Louth and is the company secretary of Sailor Property. He is said to have assisted with investment decisions.

Colin Farrelly, Judy Murphy’s brother, is also a director of FTM but is not accused of any criminality. Another property, owned by Julian Dowe, an alleged associate of Murphy’s, was also subject to a freezing order.

In October 2005 the ARA raided the offices of Dermot Craven, a well-known figure in the Manchester property scene, and seized thousands of papers that are still being studied by forensic accountants.

Several people have been interviewed over the past year. At the time Craven said that Francis and Judy Murphy were his clients, but denied any wrongdoing.

As a result of the raid, Slab issued a press statement through his solicitors in which he denied any links to the Craven property group. “I do not own any property and in fact had to sell my own home some years ago to cover legal fees following an unsuccessful libel case . . . I make a living from farming,” Murphy stated.

The libel case was against The Sunday Times over a report stating he was an IRA leader who had organised murders and bombings. He lost and still owes the newspaper £600,000 (€886,000) in legal fees.

This was the first time Murphy admitted to having an occupation or disposing of property. It was discussed at a cross-border security conference in Clontarf Castle shortly after it was issued and gave the impetus to a joint CAB, Garda Siochana and Police Service of Northern Ireland raid on the Murphy homestead in Ballybinaby in March.

This raid led to the subsequent freezing of assets in Manchester. A source close to the investigation said: “There are entries in the documentation seized in the Murphy family searches that appear to link in with the purchases of properties in Manchester.

“They use abbreviations, but the abbreviations appear to match up with addresses in Manchester that we believe they have purchased.”



£1m 'criminal' assets are frozen
Tuesday, 21 November 2006, 17:37 GMT BBC

More than £1m worth of property in Manchester belonging to a brother of an alleged IRA leader has been frozen.


Nine properties belong to Francis and Judy Murphy of County Louth. Francis Murphy is a brother of Thomas Murphy, alleged to be the IRA's chief of staff.

The Assets Recovery Agency claimed the properties were bought using the proceeds of money laundering and fuel smuggling.

It has been looking into the purchase of 250 properties worth more than £30m.

The agency has now been granted a High Court order to freeze 10 residential properties.

The other property, worth £450,000, belongs to a Manchester-based businessman.

Thomas Murphy's farm, which straddles the border, was also raided as part of the agency's investigation.

In its application to the High Court, the agency alleged that Mr and Mrs Murphy built their property portfolio on "wealth derived from money laundering and fuel smuggling in Ireland".

The nine properties subject to the order are mainly in the Trafford and Stretford areas of Manchester.

These include two houses owned by Judy Murphy, worth £70,056 and £188,071 each, plus a further seven properties registered to Francis and Judy Murphy's property firm, Sailor Property (UK) Ltd, Britannia Road, Manchester, which changed its name to FTM Properties (UK) Limited in August 2006.

These include four flats - one worth £119,200, two worth £109,200 and one worth £111,300.

Records seized

There are a further three houses worth £185,000, £128,000 and £109,100. The equity in these properties is about £381,000.

The freezing order means the properties cannot be sold while the investigation continues.

If the agency proves they were bought using the proceeds of crime, it will then sell the properties and keep the money.

The court action follows searches made throughout the Manchester area in October 2005 in which the agency seized more than 350,000 records.

Since then the agency has carried out a large scale forensic exercise, further searches and a number of interviews in the Manchester area.

CAB can't trace Slab's millions

MAEVE SHEEHAN

A CAB investigation into the finances of the former IRA chief of staff, Thomas 'Slab' Murphy, has failed to find the rest of his reputed millions, six months after seizing €1m in cash and cheques from his border farm. Despite exhaustive investigations into a warren of bank accounts in Ireland, Britain and the continent, not a penny more of the IRA chief's fabled riches have been traced.

Sources close to CAB said the IRA boss had no money in his bank accounts, apart from legitimate income which he earned from cattle farming.

An investigation into an alleged €10m property portfolio in Britain is also unlikely to trace assets back to Murphy, according to the source.

Murphy was suspected of being the beneficial owner of a string of properties in Manchester. But investigators with CAB's British equivalent, the Assets Recovery Agency, cannot link the properties, owned by a relative, directly to the IRA boss.

Gardai suspected Murphy made a fortune from smuggling cattle, oil and cigarettes across the border, which straddles his farm in Ballabinnaby, Co Louth. He was served with a €5.3m tax assessment after they raided his farm earlier this year and smashed an illegal oil-laundering operation. At the time, gardai said that initial assessment could go higher, as they anticipated unravelling his finances.

Tracing his assets has proved more difficult than the CAB thought. The asset-seizing agencies in Ireland and Britain were investigating the ownership of 250 houses - plus a dozen in Louth - which they said were linked to Murphy. In an unusual move, Murphy issued a statement denying he owned any property in Manchester, and said he even had to sell his own home to pay legal fees following a failed libel action.

Meanwhile, Back in the Republic of Ireland


Murphy's flaw!
'Slab' kept detailed ledgers for IRA's criminal empire - and they're now in hands of authorites following raid...
19 November 2006

The IRA's multi-million pound border crime empire has been laid bare - in handwritten ledgers seized from the home of top Provo Thomas 'Slab' Murphy.

Precise details of massive smuggling and counterfeit operations are contained in the records found during a joint PSNI-Garda raid on Murphy's farm in March.

They pinpoint how the IRA sold millions of pounds of illegal goods to members and criminals for distribution.

Officers from the Irish Criminal Assets Bureau can hardly believe their luck at finding the meticulously kept ledgers, which give the clearest insight ever into the Provos' racketeering empire.

The discovery is likely to cause embarrassment to Gerry Adams who earlier this year claimed Murphy was "not a criminal".

One source said of the ledgers: "It is an old-fashioned book-keeping method that may reflect the age or the generation of the person who maintained it. But it is immaculate and is very easy to follow.

"In simple terms, purchases or smuggled goods of one type are colour-coded and they turn up in the same colour code when they are sold on at a profit.

"Diesel has one colour code, petrol another and cigarettes another. These are immaculately maintained records which will enable the Criminal Assets Bureau to levy a tax bill of maybe £5m against Murphy."

The records clearly indicate the cost of goods brought into the IRA's 'stores' and the price received for the contraband goods when they were offloaded on both sides of the border.

They reveal how the goods came into the IRA's possession and were then sold on to its members and criminals for distribution.

The majority of the transactions show smuggled fuel being ferried from the Republic into the IRA's control around Murphy's farm at Ballybinaby, which straddles the Armagh/Louth border.

The records were seized earlier this year when 200 soldiers and cops accompanied customs officers to carry out a major search of the property belonging to Murphy, a former IRA chief-of-staff.

Officials from the Republic's Criminal Assets Bureau and personnel from the Customs and Excise Department were accompanied by gardai as they entered the property from the southern side of the border.

Two laptop computers concealed among bales of hay in a barn were located during the search, but sources say the handwritten ledgers provide the most detailed insight into the IRA's criminal operation.

Senior officials in the CAB in Dublin are understood to be delighted at the precise book-keeping details recorded in the ledgers.

Because they're handwritten and not formulated on a computer, handwriting experts may be able to pinpoint the identity of the person who maintained the records, and tie them into the IRA's crime operations.

That could lead to a membership charge or a more serious terrorist charge being brought by the Garda.

In a stout defence of Murphy after the raids, Mr Adams described him as "not a criminal" and went on to say he was "a key supporter of the Sinn Fein peace strategy".

Mr Adams also said that smuggling was wrong and that his party supported the pursuit of criminal assets.

But that praise for Murphy could backfire on Mr Adams when the CAB goes to the High Court in Dublin to demand millions from him in unpaid taxes, and lay bare the criminal, financial empire Murphy has controlled for the IRA for over two decades.



Art Hostage says: It is not only Gerry Adams in the frame, Johnathon Powell said at the 2001 Labour Party Conference, and I quote, "We (Brit govt) figured back in 97, allowing a few "Uneducated Micks, (South Armagh IRA Brigade) to smuggle contriband across the border will prevent the "Devil finding work for idle hands"

"The British Army, if confronted by an IRA Soldier, would prefer him to pull a carton of smuggled cigarettes out of his holdall, rather than an AK47"

Well Johnathon," Curly Bonce", Powell, you have underestimated the ability of the Irish and now there is a Billion, yes billion dollar empire created by the skill and tenacity of the South Armagh brigade.

Instead of this witchunt, General Thomas Slab Murphy should be allowed to retire gracefully.

This is so vindictive and counter productive it makes me wonder if the Brit and Irish govt's really want closure on the Irish conflict.

Thomas Slab Murphy's continued support for the peace process is vital, especially as there is real dissent coming from mainstream Irish Republican quarters.

Pulling the tail of the Celtic Tiger, (Tom Slab Murphy) will only provoke a negative response from those loyal and will add nothing to the peace process.

Instead why not "Ride the Celtic Tiger" allowing the peace process to finally put an end to any, I repeat any Irish Republican armed action.

Thomas Slab Murphy should be given another role, that of peacemaker between the dissident Irish Republican groups and mainstream Irish Republicanism, his talents should not be underestimated.

Furthermore, when the Stolen Vermeer from Boston surfaces via a confessional box, I will be the first to give credit where it is due.



The Sunday Times November 19, 2006

Gallagher: Adams death threat is bogus
Liam Clarke
A LEADING republican dissident has dismissed claims that Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness are under a death threat as “bogus”. The two Sinn Fein leaders had claimed that the threat against them came from disaffected IRA members and elements of the INLA.

Willie Gallagher, a former INLA prisoner who has been in talks with other republican groups, described their claims as “rubbish”. He said: “I believe that someone in Sinn Fein has concocted this to divert people away from the party’s internal problems with the PSNI. It is designed to get the troops to rally round the leadership during this ‘great time of danger’ and stifle political criticism.”

Adams and McGuinness aired their fears of a death threat at a Sinn Fein press conference in Belfast last Monday. Adams said that the two leaders and Gerry Kelly had stepped up their personal security as a result.

It is understood Adams had raised the same issue in recent weeks in meetings with Peter Hain, the Northern Ireland secretary, with the Irish government and with Sir Hugh Orde, the PSNI chief constable.

Adams claimed the threat emanated from “a handful of disaffected IRA people” who may have linked up with “members of republican micro groups and some members of the INLA”. He continued: “I would say to republicans out there who have concerns about the present political situation that they should not allow themselves to be manipulated or to have their concerns exploited by those who have very, very narrow cul-de-sac agendas.”

Later McGuinness said the threats had “become more serious, as a debate within Sinn Fein has opened up on the issue of ending political policing”.

The PSNI has not warned the Sinn Fein leadership of any threat and Michael McDowell, the Irish justice minister, said he is not aware of one either.

Gallagher believes that Adams and McGuinness are referring to a programme of meetings which had involved Real IRA supporters, members of Sinn Fein and members of the IRSP, the political wing of the INLA. He said that a larger and more public meeting was planned to be held before Christmas.

The former INLA prisoner accused the Sinn Fein leaders of trying to “negate and stifle any type of debate by vilifying us as collaborators and assassins so that nobody will have anything to do with us”.

Gallagher added: “I have attended every meeting and there has been no discussion of any kind of military actions or campaign. What we have discussed is the political capitulation of Sinn Fein.

“There is not a chance in the world of the INLA ceasefire being broken. I do not see any role for armed struggle at the present time and we are absolutely opposed to anyone from Sinn Fein being killed.”

Art Hostage comments:

I must say Mr Gallagher does have a point. Ever since the early ceasefires back in the Ninties the INLA has been treated terribly, its members, who were eligible for parole, were denied this, as other paramilitaries were released, they have been outcast simply because of their Marxist, Socialist doctrine.

Instead of marginalising the INLA they should be utilised to help broker a complete Irish Republican ceasefire, this incessant pulling the tails of Celtic Tigers is becoming juvinille and prevents a genuine attempt at finally ending all military action by all Irish Republican groups.

So, we have two out of three sincere bedrock Irish Republicans, Thomas Slab Murphy and Wille Gallagher, they can be joined by Phil Flynn, to close the deal.

There is nothing worse than wasted talent, especially when that talent can achieve monumental political change.

I am sure Bertie Ahearn, Phil Flynn and the CEO of Slab's secret company Harcourt will lobby on behalf of Thomas Slab Murphy, to allow him to retire gracefully, I mean, they have been secret admirers and subserviant minions who have feasted at the Thomas Slab Murphy table of Irish Republicanism historically, so, now that the music is about to stop, make sure Slab has a Chair.

Anything less will be an attempt to "Airbrush" history and be a case of persecution that will be another stain on the history of the Republic of Ireland.

Wille Gallagher should also be afforded the chance to prove his credentials, just as Bobby Storey has assimilated into his new role.

If Wille Gallagher has the ability to play a political role, then allow him the oportunity.

This blatent persecution and sectarian prosecution of Thomas Slab Murphy and family, comes at the same time as the Brit govt are about to make payment of $60 million to the UDA, Loyalist paramiltaries, for them to stop criminality and paramiltary involvement.

I want America to know of this Double Standard and continued persecution and sectarian prosecution of Irish Republicans.

Without the likes of General Thomas Slab Murphy, there would be no peace process.

Upon another note, which Catholic Church Confessional box contains the stolen Vermeer?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dick Ellis is trying to sting the Irish guys who hold some Gardner art.

He is going to get them all arrested soon, so beware of the Dick Ellis false promises and undercover sting operation happening now in Ireland.
July 3rd 2012

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