Vermeer's The Concert

Vermeer's The Concert

Friday, September 28, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, John Hogan exposed as Brigadier Gordon Kerr's Top Informant !!

Derry INLA uncover 'British agent'

The 'Journal' can reveal that one of the INLA's most senior members in Derry has been working as a British agent for more than 20 years.
A source close to the INLA says it recently discovered the man has been passing information to both MI5 and police Special Branch since 1985.

It’s thought that the man, believed to be from the Greater Shantallow area of the city, was a central figure in the organisation throughout the 1980s and 1990s. As such, it’s understood he would have been aware of all INLA operations in the city.

The INLA source revealed that the man was a key member of the organisation until the late 1990s and, since then, had continued to be involved with the IRSP - the organisation’s political wing - and served at a high level in the party.

The source told the ‘Journal’: “We have just discovered an informer within the organisation. He has been passing information to the British security forces since 1985 and getting paid for it. He met with his MI5 and Special Branch handlers regularly, as often as every two weeks, to pass on information. He was in a central position within the INLA in the 1980s and would have known details of every operation taking place in the Derry area.

“He was a big figure within the INLA. In fact, he would have been a very central figure in the INLA up until eight or nine years ago. Since then he worked largely with the IRSP. We believe that, during this time, he continued to pass on low level intelligence on the activities of the IRSP. He was working for his handlers right up to when he was uncovered,” the source said.

Being ‘debriefed’

It’s suggested that the man is currently being “debriefed” by the INLA in Derry.

The source added: “He is being very co-operative. He is giving a full account of the information he passed to his handlers.The debriefing could be a long process because he was passing information for such a long time and meeting his handlers so regularly.”

According to the INLA source, the man is not under any threat from the organisation. “He has nothing to fear from the INLA. He is co-operatiing with the republican socialist movement and there is no threat against him,” the source said.

A spokesperson for the IRSP condemned the recruitment of informers and encouraged anyone in a similar position to come forward.

“As a political party, we condemn any efforts by a foreign government to infiltrate our party. We would also encourage anyone else who may find themselves in a similar position of working for British intelligence to come forward and they will get a sympathetic ear from us.”

Art Hostage comments:

Looks like John Hogan has some explaining to do !!
A'h, that's why Dessie O'Hare and Declan Duffy are getting so much flack, they are guilty of not succumbing to the charms of Brigadier Gordon Kerr and his Merry Murderous band, not ever becoming Brit military intelligence spies, sticking to their Irish Republican ideals, OK, with a bit of criminal enterprise thrown in.

A strange paradox, Dessie O'Hare, Declan Duffy, Declan McGlinchey etc have never, ever, been Touts, never, ever, co-operated with the Brit's, what do they get for this, a Contract taken out on their lives, thank god no-one has taken up this contract hit.

Whatever one may think about Dessie and the two Declans, they have worked for the Irish Republican cause unstintingly, and yes lined their own pockets, love them or hate them, they are either "Stand up guys" or politically naive, art hostage thinks the former.

As Brigadier Gordon Kerr's secret informant, John Hogan was asked by Brigadier Gordon Kerr to try and secure the stolen Gardner art for Dick Ellis, who is an old friend of Brigadier Gordon Kerr.

Seems like that route has now been closed, so perhaps the sting operations to secure the stolen Gardner art will finally stop.

Maybe some honesty and truthfulness will be forthcoming.

Watch out for Mr McGinley and Mr Sheridan's double cross game being exposed.

Brothers of charity, my arse, Brothers of Opportunity more like !!

Ask yourself why was the Gardner Museum robbed?

Answer this then you will realise the INLA connection.

The American connection:

It is no wonder the Gardner art has not been recovered, authorities will not allow any reward money to be forwarded to these guys.

Ironically, authorities would gladly allow reward money to be paid to Irish Gangsters, if they promise to spend it on high living and not political purposes.


John Hogan has been allowed to leave Ireland in disgrace due to the sincere Olive branch extended to him by the Honourable Mr Willie Gallagher, who I must add, has acted with a political maturity normally befitting a statesman.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, Malachy McAllister Moves to Canada Until Gardner Art is Returned !!

Mum begs: let my son stay in US

Monday, September 24, 2007

By Stephen Breen

The mother of a former republican prisoner facing deportation from America has expressed fears for her son's future.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph from her south Belfast home last night, Ellen McAllister told how she pleaded with the US government to allow her son, Malachy, and two of his children, Sean and Nicola, to remain in New Jersey.

The father-of-four fled his Ormeau Road home in 1998 after a Red Hand Commando gang came within inches of killing his family.

Mrs McAllister issued her plea after the Irish American Unity Conference lobby group claimed the family's deportation was "imminent".

The 77-year-old, who has just returned from a six-week trip to the United States, said the final decision on her son's deportation now rests with senators there.

She claimed her son's family would be "ripped apart" if he was forced to return to Belfast.

Mrs McAllister said: "My son is no threat to anyone. What crimes have my two grandchildren committed?

"I can't believe this is happening and I just hope the politicians allow him to remain in America.

" He hasn't been able to scatter his wife's ashes because he doesn't know where he's going to be in a few weeks time. We hope to know soon one way or the other what's going to happen.

"It will break his heart to bring only two of his children back to Belfast because they will have to start all over again.

"He has been making a positive contribution to America and should be allowed to continue the life that he has led for the last 20 years."

The ex-prisoner told how he had "exhausted" the judicial process in his bid to remain in the United States.

Malachy said: "It's now just a case of waiting to see if the senators can get legislation through which will allow my family to remain in the US.

"This is a humanitarian issue. My kids grew up in America and they don't know anything different. They are being affected by a circumstance which is completely out of their control."

McAllister (50), who has met with former US President Bill Clinton to discuss case, was jailed in the 1980s after being implicated by republican supergrass Harry Kirkpatrick.

Art Hostage comments:

I have the perfect solution, if the U.S. Govt insists on Malachy McAllister leaving the United States, he should be allowed to move just over the border into Canada, why it was Canada from where he entered the United States.

I am sure Prime Minister Harper would be willing to oblige and offer a way out of this unique case.

Once Malachy McAllister is in Canada, then as soon as the stolen Gardner art, Vermeer included, is returned to the Gardner Museum in Boston, Malachy McAllister can return to the United States as a reward for his efforts, and then he can be afforded citizen status.

This plan will suit everyone and prevent Malachy McAllister having to return to Belfast.
I am certain with all the powerful wealthy friends Malachy has gained, not least the Clinton's, funding for this venture will be forthcoming.

From a political perspective, what better way to attract the Irish vote in America, 40 million Americans claim some Irish ancestry, than for Democrats/Republicans to show solidarity with Malachy McAllister as not only a dividend of the Irish Peace Process, but also this Humane act of protecting the McAllister family can be By-partisan and of huge benefit to America as the Land of the Free and a safe haven for those who face persecution if deported.

OK, forget all the flowery rhetoric, the deal is allow Malachy McAllister to settle just inside Canada until he uses his connections to achieve the safe return of the Stolen Gardner Art.

Off the record, we all know the circumstances surrounding the original theft of the Gardner art and the Irish Republican connections.

By allowing Malachy McAllister to remain in the United States, or at the very least, to reside just over the border in Canada, there is much political capital to be made.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, Dessie, Declan, Duffy and McGlinchey, Save Malachy and Children, Get the Gardner Art Returned !!

Malachy McAllister, right, with John Corzine Jersey Governor, centre.

US 'may boot ex-INLA man out in 2 weeks'

Sunday, September 23, 2007

By Stephen Breen

A former republican prisoner facing deportation from the United States could be home within two weeks.

Speaking to Sunday Life from his New Jersey home, Malachy McAllister told how US senators will give a decision on his battle to remain in the States before the end of the month.

The father-of-four - who fled Belfast in 1988 after a Red Hand Commando gang came within inches of killing his family - hopes the politicians will support his campaign to stay.

McAllister (50) spoke after the Irish American Unity Conference lobby group claimed his deportation was "imminent".

He said: "I have exhausted the judicial process and it's now just a case of waiting to see if the senators can get legislation through which will allow my family to remain in the United States.

"We have a strong body of support here because people know that this is a humanitarian issue.

"My kids grew up in America and they don't know anything different. They are being affected by a circumstance which is completely out of their control.

"The case has obviously caused a considerable amount of concern to my family and I can only pray there will be a successful outcome to it."

McAllister, who has been backed by US congressmen Joe Crawley and Steve Rothman, is facing expulsion from his adopted country because of a conviction in the 1980s.

He was jailed when he signed a police statement after being implicated by republican supergrass Harry Kirkpatrick.

The weapons used in the attack on his home were later found - along with McAllister's personal details - in a loyalist arms dump.

McAllister's mother Ellen said her son's family would be "ripped apart" if he was forced to return to Belfast. She admitted: "My son and his two kids are no threat to anyone.

" What crimes have my two grandchildren committed?

"If he is such a threat why did they let him tour the White House?"

She added: "He hasn't even been able to scatter his wife's ashes because he doesn't know where he's going to be in a few weeks' time.

"It will break his heart to bring his children back to Belfast because he will have to start all over again.

"He is making a positive contribution to America and should be allowed to continue the life that he has led there for the last 20 years."

Art Hostage comments:


A personal plea to

Declan McGlinchey, and others !

If you guys can arrange for the Gardner art, Vermeer especially, to be handed back via a confession box, I am sure Malachy McAllister will be allowed to stay in the U.S.
Just show proof of life and I can get the wheels in motion, via Anthony Amore, head of security at the Gardner Museum, who will, in turn, lobby for this unique deal whereby the Vermeer and co surface, then Malachy McAllister can stay in the U.S.

Any direct payment of reward money is out of the question, you know the reasons why, law, politics etc, and the only way benefits can be obtained for the recovery of the Gardner art is through things other than direct payment of reward money.

Give it whirl, what a debt of gratitude Malachy McAllister and children will owe you guys, not to mention the nice little payday from General Thomas Slab Murphy, if his sectarian tax demand is withdrawn !!

Anthony Amore is a stand up guy and "really" can be trusted, he can be reached on

Boston 617 278 5114, or e-mail

As this will only be a deal agreed to allow the Gardner Art, Vermeer etc to surface "stings" don't apply, just when and where to collect the Gardner Art will suffice.

Furthermore, a little bit of expert advice for anyone who has credible information about the Gardner art, Anthony Amore is point man and key to any deals regarding the stolen Gardner art.

Forget all of us, Art Hostage, Dick Ellis, Charlie Hill, Rocky etc trying to reach a deal for the Gardner art, Anthony Amore is the "Real Deal"

Time for "Re-Defining Terrorism" A study of speeches by President Bill Clinton could hold the key to combating the Dark Side in the 21st century.

From Art Theft to Al Qaeda, the Devil finds work for idle hands !!
What's Anthony Amore's number again?

Boston 617 278 5114 or e-mail

Friday, September 14, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, Jimmy Woulfe Playing Catch Up, Join the Dots For Gardner Art !!

14 September 2007

Bulgarian rifle range price war attracting Irish criminal gangs

By Jimmy Woulfe, Mid-West Correspondent

A SALES war among a proliferation of rifle ranges in Bulgaria is attracting increasing numbers of Irish criminal gangs for target practice, as reported in yesterday’s Irish Examiner.

Six members of a notorious Limerick gang which travelled to the Bulgarian city of Varna were robbed of all their money when they were held at gun point by members of the Bulgarian mafia.

The McCarthy-Dundon gang members were targeted after they produced wads of US dollars when they went to target practice at one of the many firing ranges near the city.

Out partying later that night they were held up and forced to hand over all their cash, watches and mobile phones.

A price war has broken out on the internet among a myriad of firing ranges in Bulgaria making the country a popular destination for Irish gangs wishing to sharpen up their shooting skills while taking in the delights offered by Varna, which is Bulgaria’s main Black Sea resort.

For as little as $15 (€11) a person can fire off up to 100 rounds from a variety of weaponry. Guns on offer for practice include Maverick pump-action 12-calibre shotguns, Taurus handguns and 357 Magnums.

Previously, Limerick gang members preferred to travel to Florida for gun practice sessions. They travelled as tourists on the pretext of visiting Disney World.

Low-cost weekly flights from Shannon to Burgas have made Bulgaria the number one destination for Limerick gang members who want to go to sun destinations on working holidays. Burgas is only 30 minutes drive from Varna.

The bad experience of members of the McCarthy-Dundon gang has caused concern in Limerick gang circles.

Varna is a major centre for the Bulgarian mafia who have forged strong links with the deadly Russian mafia.

Mostly made up of former security force members, they control all serious crime in Varna, a big part of which involves the theft of valuable cars for export.

Art Hostage comments:

H,mm, who do we know has allot of property interests in Burgas, Bulgaria, click links below to join the dots:??

Anti-social behaviour stems profits and is not tolerated by Irish and Bulgarian/Russian Godfathers alike, be it General Thomas Slab Murphy, Semion Mogilevich or General Lyuben Gocev, Ivan "The Doctor" Todorov and Vasil "The Scull" Bozhkov

Jimmy Woulfe dearly wants to report the Art Hostage story but is hampered by his burden of office.

Now back to the stolen Gardner art, Vermeer and co please !!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, Gardner Art Can Bring Peace Between Irish Republicans and Irish Gangsters, Stolen Art For Peace !!

Sorry, no pictures, this is the real deal.

13 September 2007

Dinner and just desserts for gang’s ‘working holiday’

By Jimmy Woulfe, Mid-West Correspondent

Irish Examiner

IN A more Simpsons than Sopranos moment, members of Limerick’s most feared gang were robbed while on a “working holiday” recently.

If that was not enough to turn the stoniest face of the hardest criminal a deep crimson, it all happened when the Limerick troupe were on a gun-practice holiday with some of the most horrifying hoods from Britain’s “Yardies” gang.

Six key criminal figures in the McCarthy-Dundon gang, having tired of firing lead at barn doors in Limerick, decided to head off to Bulgaria to bang some bullets there.

After days of filling the air with cordite, the gun slingers decided to have a night out boozing and banqueting in Varna.

But the leader of the gang and five sidekicks found themselves surrounded by armed Bulgarian mafia members and robbed of all their money, credit cards and passports.

A source in Limerick said last night: “The lads were over to get in some machinegun practice. There are great facilities over there with no questions asked.”

The six members of the McCarthy-Dundon gang returned to Limerick soon after.

The gang leader narrowly escaped death four years ago when a gunman opened fired with an AK47 assault rifle as he sat outside his home in the Moyross area.

Several members of the McCarthy-Dundon gang were sent to Florida some years ago to improve their shooting skills after they failed to kill a well-known criminal rival, despite hitting him with 14 bullets in the upper body.

At that time the gang members travelled to the US on the pretext of visiting Disney World.

However, they moved on to a shooting range, spending thousands of dollars on target practice using a wide range of weaponry.

Behind The Bulgarian Mafia is The Global Irish Republican Billion Dollar Property Empire, Eminating From South Armagh.

The Irish Independent publishes this blockbuster story by Sam Smyth -- linking one of Bertie Ahern's most trusted advisors to the finance firm at the centre of the Cork arrests and, by implication, to the Northern Bank robbery.

ONE of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's most trusted troubleshooters is linked to a Cork-based finance company at the centre of the investigation into the money seized yesterday by gardai.
Banker Phil Flynn is a director in Chesterton Finance, the money-lending company whose other two directors are being questioned by detectives about yesterday's seizure of cash in Co Cork.
Last night, Mr Flynn was trying to contact Irene Johnstone (53) and Ted Cunningham (56), both directors of Chesterton, who were helping gardai with their
Mr Flynn, the current chairman of the Bank of Scotland (Ireland), said last night he has been a director of Chesterton Finance for six months and he had checked the company out before he became a director.
He said: "I know Chesterton is clean. I had it checked out before I became a director six months ago."
Mr Flynn... said he had been trying to get in touch with Ms Johnstone and Mr Cunningham but could not get a reply from their telephones. He added: "Chesterton is not a big operation, it does short-term lending to people who can't get a loan elsewhere."
He continued: "The company lends against an asset and loans up to half of the asset's value."
Mr Flynn added: "It (Chesterton) is a small company. At any time it has just one to two million out on loan."
Who's Flynn? An ex-vice president of Sinn Fein, a former trade unionist, chairman of the Bank of Scotland in Ireland. Here's another profile, drawn up when he was parachuted in to try and fix decentralisation.

The Taoiseach is known to trust Mr Flynn's advice and he has been asked to deal with a number of very sensitive issues for Bertie Ahern.
Ted Cunningham and Irene Johnstone, who sit on the board of Chesterton Finance with Mr Flynn, are also directors of another company, Finance & Legal Clients Ltd (normal).
Unimaginable buzz at moment - sources close to government say the next 48 hours are going to be a whirlwind. So fasten your seatbelts, kids. We're in for a bumpy weekend.

Charlie Bird - wanker that he is - on Morning Ireland just now refused to credit Sam Smyth or the Indo, and talked about his conversations this morning with Flynn, who confirmed the substance of the Indo story.

Also, it was Flynn's brother whose Dundalk house was raided by the Criminal Assets Bureau on a document hunt, reports Bird.

In fairness, Flynn has never made a secret of his political leanings or contacts. But where does it all lead?

Tags: ireland, Northern Ireland, irish, irishblogs, Sinn Fein, IRA, corruption, Phil Flynn,

UPDATE: Charlie Bird added credit to Indo and Sam Smyth in later bulletin. Apparently even three Charlie Birds weren't enough for Charlie Bird to ignore common courtesy.

UPDATE 2: Irish Examiner profiles fellow Chesterton director Ted Cunningham. With picture.

Ted Cunningham was placed under surveillance by Special Branch detectives after he was witnessed attending a meeting with a pair of Bulgarian arms dealers who travelled to Ireland six months ago.

It is believed he had secured contracts to launder as much as €10m in republican money over a period of time, not just from IRA sources but also possibly the INLA.

Mr Cunningham is listed in the Companies Office as being a director of nine companies: * Chesterton Mortgage Co Ltd. * Insurance Concepts Ltd. * Tullybeg Retirement Village Ltd. Beechlawn Golf Course and Driving Range Ltd. * Highbury Holdings Ltd. * Firmount Developments Ltd. * Midlands Projects Ltd. * Wolfe Tone Holdings Ltd. * Cave Hill Holdings. There is no suggestion of illegality on the part of any of these companies.

General Thomas Slab Murphy to build village in Burgas vicinities, Bulgaria.

24 July 2007 05:10 FOCUS News Agency

Sofia. Two companies run by Aden and Stephen Murphy – alleged relatives of Thomas Murphy (considered head of IRA fighters) have been registered in Burgas,with plans to build up a village area near the seaside town, the Bulgarian 24 Chasa daily writes.

According to lawyers, the two Irishmen are clients of Bulbank, as they have for some time been receiving their mail at the address of the bank’s branch in town. There are reports of letters arriving there, demanding that the two men disclose the origin of money, coming in as transfers from abroad.

‘Bulbank strictly abides by the legal provisions for check-ups in such cases. And if there are any hints of possible breaches, the bank immediately informs the authorities in charge’, the press office of the bank commented.

Relatives of IRA Chief Slab Murphy Register Firms in Bulgaria

23 July 2007, Monday

Relatives of Thomas “Slab” Murphy, the Chief of Staff of the Provisional IRA, have registered two firms in Bulgaria in January, a journalistic enquiry of the 24 hours daily revealed.

The two men, sharing the Muprhy family name are Steven and Eiden, who are believed to be Slab’s brother’s sons.

Steven and Eiden have registered the firms “A M” and “B D” on January 24 in Bulgaria at the same address, 8 Mara Gidik Street. In addition to the same family name and the same address registration, the two provided the same address in Ireland - a farm in the village of Ballybinaby, Hackballs Cross in the County Louth.

This is the same place where Slab Murphy lives.

Many Irish citizens have come to Bulgaria and registered their own firms in order to purchase real estate, since the country joined the European Union in January.

Murphy was involved with the South Armagh Brigade of the IRA before becoming Chief of Staff of the IRA Army Council. An ex-correspondent for the Daily Telegraph has named him as planning the Warrenpoint Ambush of 1979, in which 18 British soldiers were killed, and was also allegedly implicated in the Mullaghmore bombing the same day.

Accused by the Sunday Times of directing an IRA bombing campaign in Britain, in 1987 Murphy unsuccessfully sued the paper for libel in Dublin.

In October 2005, officers of the British Assets Recovery Agency and the Irish Criminal Assets Bureau carried out raids on a number of businesses in Manchester and Dundalk.

It has been extensively reported in the media that the investigation is aimed at damaging the suspected multi-million pound empire of Murphy, who according to the BBC’s Underworld Rich List, has accumulated up to GBP £40 Million through smuggling oil, cigarettes, grain and pigs; as well as through silent or partial ownership in legitimate businesses, and in property.

Ahern speaks of 'red herring' at Mahon Tribunal

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern told the Mahon Tribunal today that he has waited more than seven years to clear his name over bribe allegations designed to damage him personally and politically.

Reading an opening statement to the anti-corruption inquiry at Dublin Castle, a combative Mr Ahern insisted he never took money for political favours in his 30-year political career.

He also rebutted specific Tribunal claims that almost £30,000 cash lodged in a bank by his former partner in 1994 was actually a sum of 45,000 US dollars.

A packed 200-seat public gallery joined more than 100 journalists in the Tribunal building for today`s public sitting, dubbed one of Mr Ahern`s biggest political tests.

"There is no dollars. There were never any dollars. It is a complete red herring," Mr Ahern told the Tribunal from the witness box.

"No dollars were received by me. No dollars were ever lodged."

Tribunal counsel Des O`Neill SC asked Mr Ahern why he had not made his lengthy statement before today.

Mr Ahern said: "I didn`t finish this statement until late last night."

He added: "I have been tormented about theses issues since May 8 2000. I have waited seven-and-a-half years for this day."

The Taoiseach claimed that media leaks from the Tribunal earlier this year were "calculated to do me enormous personal and political damage."

In the first day of two days of direct evidence, Mr Ahern said: "I did nothing improper. I did no wrong and I wronged nobody."

Mr Ahern`s former partner Celia Larkin insisted at the inquiry yesterday that she lodged almost £30,000 in sterling notes in December 1994 to pay for refurbishment work on a Dublin house the politician was expecting to rent.

The owner of the house, Manchester businessman Michael Wall told the Tribunal on Tuesday that he gave the money in a briefcase to Mr Ahern in his constituency office.

The Mahon Tribunal is investigation allegation of planning corruption surrounding the development of a shopping centre in West Dublin in the 1990s.

Art Hostage comments:

In order to put a stop to this developing situation and in the interests of peace, perhaps the McCarthy/Dundon Clans would be so kind as to use their considerable influence and control to allow the stolen Gardner art, Vermeer and co, to surface, via a confession box, as a an Olive branch to Irish Republicans who control the Billion dollar European property empire.

Once this is achieved, any sectarian tax demand of General Thomas Slab Murphy, indeed all the Murphy family, should be withdrawn forthwith.

The net result will be the stolen Gardner art is re-united with its Maternal, Spiritual home, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, any feud between Limerick clans and Irish Republicans is stopped before it can turn deadly, no reward money is paid to those who currently control the Gardner Art, and even a ceasefire called by dissident Republicans.

Any monetary reward for the McCarthy/Dundon clans can come from a grateful General Thomas Slab Murphy, who, I am sure, will show his appreciation for facilitating the Sectarian Tax demand withdrawal.

O'h and why we are at the peace-making, how about Declan Duffy and Dessie O'Hare being afforded the respect they deserve, enough already with the attempted hiring of a hitman.

When I request Peace, I also mean Piece, spread it around, there is enough for everyone, greed only gets everyone Fucked, Nicked/Arrested, or both.

Not one to miss a window of opportunity, Art Hostage firmly believes if this course of action is taken then all concerned will benefit, rather than an all out war.

Don't forget to join the dots from the streets of Limerick to the Irish Political Godfathers, via South Armagh, Billion dollar property Empire and Bulgaria.

Bertie Ahern is looking forward to a well deserved holiday, where, you guessed it, Bulgaria !!

To be continued......................................

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, Dick Ellis, of QUINTONS FARM HOUSE GROVE LANE ASHFIELD STOWMARKET IP146LZ The Truth Behind the Art Hostage Myth !!

Art Hostage would like to take this opportunity to clarify the facts surrounding the audacious recovery of these three stolen artworks, above, by Ex-Head of Scotland Yard's Art Squad, Richard "Dick" Ellis, of   


The £50,000 reward remains unpaid by the insurers AXA and I can state categorically that Dick Ellis has not, I repeat, has not, received one single penny of the £50,000 reward advertised.

The Moron who gave back all three paintings in one go, and then would not reveal his source when interviewed by London Acton Police, deserved to be locked up for being so thick and moronic.

Any blame for failing to collect the reward money falls squarely at the feet of the Moronic Second hand car dealer who handed back the three artworks, for thinking he could collect a ransom.

Furthermore, Dick Ellis spelt out clearly what would happen after recovery and how it would depend on London Acton Police to decide if a reward should be paid.

From a criminal perspective, given all the facts presented honestly by Dick Ellis, the Moronic Second Hand Car Dealer should have walked away, or at the very least consulted a lawyer to define his legal position and probabilities of collecting the reward legally.

Dick Ellis was just doing his job, the fact it turned out to be like taking candy from a baby is just a bonus.

Any comments about Dick Ellis receiving reward money and living "High on the Hog" were said Tongue in cheek and are not to taken as Gospel.

Dick Ellis was definitely not responsible for the Dinosaurs extinction, nor does Dick Ellis know there whereabouts of Bin Laden.

Any reference to these things are not to be taken seriously, no I mean it, really, Dick Ellis was not responsible for the Dinosaurs extinction !!

For the record, high value stolen art is always being offered back for rewards via Art Hostage and others.

Art Hostage gives an honest legal assessment of each case and then allows Underworld contacts to decide if they want carry through with any hand backs of stolen art.

The fact that Art Hostage has not recovered any stolen art recently is a sad indictment of the current attitude of Police and allows Art Hostage to retain the trust of the Underworld.

Art Hostage does not do "Stings, set up's", as they are short-sighted and counter productive for an honest negotiator.

Art Hostage leaves "stings and set-up's" for Police, it is after all, their job !!

Finally, it is worth considering how Crimestoppers operates.

An informant can give information anonymously and then collect a reward anonymously via a password at a high street bank, see website for details, below

This has proved effective and I wonder why the Police won't allow the Private sector to use the same tactic in recovering certain Iconic stolen works of art ?

I must say however, the way Crimestoppers operates inevitably breaches sections 21, 22, 23, and 27 of the 1968 Theft Act, therefore if this is allowed to go on at Crimestoppers why not use this method in recovering the Vermeer,Da Vinci, Cezanne, White Duck and other Iconic stolen artworks ?
 Dick Ellis, of  

Even as a youngster aged 12, below, Dick Ellis was searching for stolen art, !!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Stolen Art Watch, Montreal 35 years and Counting, Stolen Gardner Art Boston 17.5 Years and Counting !!!

35 years after daring theft of paintings, mystery lingers
Bill Bantey

For CanWest News ServicePublished: Sunday, September 02, 2007

MONTREAL -- Were the paintings destroyed? Is the new "owner" sitting on them, afraid to show them off? Could they be in South America?

Thirty-five years ago tomorrow, three armed and hooded bandits broke into the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts through a skylight under repair and made off with 18 paintings and 37 objects of decorative arts and jewelry.

The three armed thieves used a ladder propped against a back wall of the museum to enter through the skylight which was only partially alarmed due to repairs.

Some 20 more paintings were left behind after the thieves accidentally set off a door alarm while leaving the museum.

It was the biggest theft in the museum's 112-year history. The loot, valued at $2 million by the museum, included a Rembrandt oil, Landscape with Cottages, valued at $1 million in 1972.

All but one of the stolen paintings -- a small Jan Breughel The Elder -- remain missing today.

David Giles Carter, director of the museum at the time of the robbery, says the worst possible scenario is that the paintings have been destroyed, perhaps because the pictures were too "hot" to be disposed of on the art market.

He says it's also possible the paintings are hidden somewhere by the new owner, who might be "sitting on them for a lifetime." Sean B. Murphy, then president of the museum, considers it possible the theft was a "robbery on consignment" and the works have found their way to South America.

"Many wonderful things happened at the museum during my presidency, but this was one of the worst," he said recently. "The lessons of the robbery are that a museum needs a first-rate security system and the insurance to go with it."

The museum now has that state-of-the-art system.
Another Breughel The Elder, two Corots, two Millets, a Courbet, a Daumier, a Delacroix and a Gainsborough were among the stolen art.

A second group of paintings, including an El Greco, a Picasso and a Tintoretto, were abandoned by the thieves when one of them inadvertently tripped an alarm near a side door.

Carter actually spoke to one of the thieves, he recalled. He gave the thief the nom de guerre "Port of Montreal" because those words appeared on a brown envelope the museum director received from the robbers containing snapshots of the works to prove they had them in their possession.

But negotiations eventually broke down when the thieves became suspicious -- with reason -- that a trap had been laid for them.

Carter was on holiday when the robbery occurred and returned to find "a scene of wartime desolation" in the gallery.

It was a "low ebb of fortune and morale." "A scene out of a movie" was how the museum's then-assistant registrar and chief of the catalogue Pauline Gravel described it.

The skylight through which the burglars entered was usually connected to the security system, but a construction crew working at the building had dropped a plastic sheet over the alarm, neutralizing it.

A first guard was surprised about 1:30 a.m. He had just made his rounds on the second floor and was preparing to take a tea break when the intruders ordered him to the ground.

He didn't move fast enough and one of the bandits fired his sawed-off shotgun into the ceiling. The two other guards on duty came to investigate and they, too, were overpowered, bound and gagged and made to lie on the floor of what was then known as Arthur Lismer Hall.

By the time one of the guards had freed himself and called police, an hour had passed. The art and the intruders were gone. It was about 3 a.m. The thieves had pulled off the robbery in about 30 minutes and escaped.

The thieves demanded a ransom of 25 per cent of the value of the stolen objects, $500,000, but later lowered the figure to $250,000.

Carter demanded further proof that the robbers still had the goods and asked that they produce one of the paintings. He was directed to a locker in Central Station. There Youngson found the missing painting by Breughel (Landscape With Buildings and Wagon).

Telephone lines were tapped but the calls were never long enough to be traced. A rendezvous was arranged by Carter, who told the thieves an insurance adjuster -- in reality, a police officer -- would bring cash to a meeting in exchange for one of the paintings.

The meeting was aborted, however, when a police patrol car was spotted nearby.

Art Hostage comments:

I wonder how many times these paintings have been offered back to the Montreal Museum via Police, but Police would not santion a deal/buy back ??????????????
I have put out the word to the Underworld, (I know a major underworld figure who has dealt in Canada, knows all the big criminal players) that Art Hostage is keen to hear if Authorities have been offered these pictures over the years but refused.
Also I want to know the current location of these stolen artworks, don't everyone !!
Unfortunately in 1972 current FBI Icon Robert Wittman was a young man and not the Worlds Greatest Art Sleuth as he is today.

Bloody shame, Bob Wittman would have got the Montreal pictures back and not allowed the sting to be exposed.

However, this case should act as a warning to those who seek to try and recover just one or two of the Stolen Gardner paintings.

Although it may be attractive to recover a couple of Gardner paintings during a sting operation, the net result will be driving the rest of the Gardner paintings deep underground where they may remain for another 20 years, replicating the Montreal case.

Art Hostage, on the other hand, would rather see a deal made that allows all the Gardner paintings to surface and then decisions can be made as to how and if there are to be charges, arrests, etc.

Bitter as the pill may be to swallow about paying a reward for the Gardner art, and the fact a deal may stick in the craw, what is the alternative?

Pay out the reward and keep record of where the money goes.

Or, even better, allow the Gardner paintings to surface, reward to be paid, then just apologise for incompetence in not being able to prosecute in the Gardner case and regard it as "The one that got away"

As with the Montreal paintings, the Gardner paintings are being held by organised crime and if a sting operation were to be successful it would only lead to the recovery of minor artworks, leaving the Vermeer etc "deep-sixed" and out of reach for many years to come.

This is a real dilemma for those of us who are desperate for the Vermeer and Rembrandt's Storm on the Sea of Galilee to be recovered.

I want to make a personal plea to the staff at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.

Please, please, please consider the wider picture before you embark on recovering minor stolen paintings from the Gardner Collection.
Would you rather have two pictures back and be deprived of the main ones and the rest???????

Is the lure of a few media headlines in recovering a couple of Stolen Gardner artworks worth risking not recovering the main ones, Vermeer etc for the next 20 years???

However, if the Vermeer and the Rembrandt were to be the initial two offered back by the Underworld, it may be worth getting those back in some kind of sting operation.

Problem is the people who have the Gardner art are not that gullible and I fear a gun battle and the loss of life if they are cornered.
Worse still, the Gardner paintings could be damaged.
Imagine, the Vermeer with bullet holes or ripped to shreds by the bad guys during the struggle.

That thought sends a shudder down my spine.

As I have been stating from the start, treat the Gardner case as a one off, a special case whereby a buy back is authorised, otherwise we will just have to wait in hope, as with the Montreal case 1972, 35 years and counting.