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trailer theft Belgian prosecutors demand Irish brothers with ties to 'Dublin Jimmy' be sentenced to 5 years

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The two brothers on charge had close ties to crimelord 'Dublin Jimmy'

The two brothers on charge had close ties to crimelord 'Dublin Jimmy'

The two brothers on charge had close ties to crimelord 'Dublin Jimmy'

Belgian prosecutors have demanded that a major criminal and his brother who had close links to notorious crimelord Cyril ‘Dublin Jimmy’ McGuinness be sentenced to five years in jail after they were tried in their absence at a court in the city of Veurne.

The duo from Co Monaghan are among five people from Ireland and the UK who are accused of a spate of thefts of cranes and trailers in west Flanders between September 2016 to Feb 2018.

Prosecutors alleged that they committed a total of twelve offences in which various types of cranes, excavators and trailers were stolen before being smuggled to the UK.

‘Dublin Jimmy’s close associate has a number of previous convictions and the 55-year-old may face extradition to Belgium if the court convicts him when it rules on the case on January 5.

His younger brother is also alleged to have played a “pivotal role” in the crimes as is a 34-year-old Irish man who was extradited to Belgium from Sweden after he was involved in a traffic accident in the Nordic country.

The 55-year-old Co Monaghan man previously served a sentence in the UK for similar crimes following an international police operation, which spanned 11 jurisdictions and led to the recovery of €7m of stolen machinery over a decade ago.

As part of the same investigation, ‘Dublin Jimmy’ of Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, was given a seven-year sentence in Belgium for his part in the theft of tractors and trailers units.

The same gang were linked to at 11 raids around a decade ago in Fermanagh, Tyrone, Armagh, Cavan and Monaghan, in which diggers were used to break open cash machines.

Feared criminal McGuinness (54) died of a heart attack in November of last year in Derbyshire, England, when English police raided a safe-house that he was hiding in as part of a major arrest operation involving three police forces into the horrific Kevin Lunney case.

Mr Lunney, a father of six, was abducted close to his home in Co Fermanagh on the evening of September 17, last year.

The businessman's leg was broken, he was doused in bleach and the letters QIH were carved into his chest during the two-and-a-half hour ordeal before he was dumped on a roadside in Co Cavan.

His close associate who is facing jail time in Belgium has never been arrested in relation to the Lunney probe in which four men are due to go on trial next year at the Special Criminal Court charged with falsely imprisoning and assaulting the Quinn Industrial Holdings director.

‘Dublin Jimmy’ was suspected of orchestrating the campaign of violence against directors of Quinn Industrial Holdings including Mr Lunney which began in 2015.

It previously emerged that the discovery of a number of bank accounts that were used by bogus front companies set up in the Republic on behalf of McGuinness may also lead directly to the mysterious ‘paymaster’ who paid McGuinness to orchestrate the campaign of violence.

Gardai have said that this campaign escalated from 2016 onwards to include criminal damage, assault causing harm, false imprisonment, blackmail and extortion before Mr Lunney was attacked.

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