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Wrecks appeal Kidnapper husband of murdered Baiba Saulite building up a scrap empire in the UK

Hassan who was once suspected of ordering a hit on his wife Baiba moves his breaker's yard into sprawling new premises with the son he once kidnapped

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Hassan Hassan.

Hassan Hassan.

Hassan Hassan.

Lebanese criminal Hassan Hassan is building up a scrap empire in the UK - working side by side with his and murdered wife Baiba Saulite's eldest son.

Documents obtained by the Sunday World, as well as pictures taken in the UK this week, reveal Hassan has moved his car-dismantling operations from a small breaker's yard in the East Midlands to a sprawling compound.

Aerial shots reveal how upwards of a thousand scrapped cars are crammed into the new facility, which is several acres in size and guarded by dogs and CCTV.

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Guard dog sign

Guard dog sign

Guard dog sign

The convicted car thief moved to the new facility in 2018 and is now intent on turning his operation into a dynasty, having welcomed the couple's eldest son and his business into the compound in October.

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Hassan Hassan's car breakers yard near Nottingham

Hassan Hassan's car breakers yard near Nottingham

Hassan Hassan's car breakers yard near Nottingham

His son's new business, which has been set up as a separate corporate entity, also involves selling car parts taken from the scrapped vehicles.

The secure facility is a massive upgrade on the small dismantler's yard Hassan was running several miles away when we previously pictured him in the UK in 2015.

Back then, Hassan was making a living buying end-of-life vehicles in the UK and Ireland before dismantling them and sending parts and full vehicles on to a sister outlet in Tartus, Syria.

He has since expanded the scope of his operations, offering storage facilities and selling parts online via eBay.

Hassan's Irish criminal convictions for car theft date back to February 2004

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Aerial view of scrapyard run by Hassan Hassan

Aerial view of scrapyard run by Hassan Hassan

Aerial view of scrapyard run by Hassan Hassan

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He was arrested at Mount Andrew Rise in Lucan, Co. Dublin, where, it was later said in court, he was living with Baiba.

He was charged in Naas District Court with four counts of handling stolen goods.

His trial heard that he had been stealing luxury cars to order in Dublin and its neighbouring counties and exporting them for spare parts from a warehouse in Kilcullen, Co. Kildare, to the Middle East and eastern Europe.

His three co-accused were two Syrian men and another Lebanese man.

Hassan was found guilty and was sentenced to four years in prison.

It was while he was in prison for these offences that his wife Baiba was murdered.

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The convicted criminal has always denied giving the order for Baiba's murder and even claimed efforts to blame him were a stitch-up.

"I am being blamed for my wife's murder. I am being framed. I did not kill my wife," he claimed on one occasion.

Twenty-eight-year-old Baiba was shot dead on the doorstep of her rented house in Swords, north Dublin, on November 19, 2006.

In the wake of her murder, officers investigated suspicions that Hassan had put out a hit on both her and her solicitor John Hennessy after they successfully forced him to return their sons to her care.

He had kidnapped the two boys on December 6, 2004, after taking them for an agreed three-day visit, staying with his sister.

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Hassan Hassan

Hassan Hassan

Hassan Hassan

Instead, he sent them to live with his mother in Lebanon.

When he failed to return them, Baiba grew alarmed and phoned him at about 7.30pm.

He repeatedly cut off her calls and finally declared: "You will never see them again."

Baiba reported her children missing to Swords Garda Station and to her solicitor.

On Christmas Eve of that year, Hassan was sent to jail for contempt of court, having failed to appear in court with the children, as scheduled, on December 22.

He tried to inveigle the judge into releasing him, promising: "If you let me go, I will go and get the children."

At first, he said he had arranged for the boys to go to England to stay with some of his relatives but it later it emerged they were in Lebanon.

The following spring, Baiba travelled to Lebanon and reclaimed her children.

On November 7, 2006, Hassan - 12 days before Baiba's murder - pleaded guilty to two counts of child abduction under the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.

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Hassan Hassan

Hassan Hassan

Hassan Hassan

He was sentenced to two years in prison for the abductions.

Investigators believed a contract put out on Baiba's life was originally taken up by the McCarthy-Dundon crime gang, who passed it on to the Dublin mob controlled by Martin 'Marlo' Hyland.

In turn, Hyland used some of the younger criminals in his organisation to carry out the murder.

Hyland was himself executed less than a month after the assassination of the Latvian mum.

Slain gang-boss Eamonn 'the Don' Dunne was also suspected of being involved in the murder, as a car used in the killing was found in an apartment bock in Ballymun for which he provided security - but he was never arrested.

A long-running investigation into the horrific killing of the innocent mum of two resulted in gardaí recommending charges against senior members of the Dundon gang and Hassan in 2010.

The file carried a recommendation that Hassan be charged with conspiracy to commit murder, but the DPP refused to prosecute on evidential grounds.

In the same year, Hassan was released from Portlaoise Prison, where he served his sentences for kidnapping and car theft.

After his release, he regained custody of the children and moved them to Tartus in Syria, from where he travelled back and forth to the UK.

Hassan became engaged to a woman in Tartus in January 2011.

They later married before moving back to the UK with Baiba's sons following the outbreak of war in Syria.

No one has ever been charged with Baiba's murder.

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