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FACING EXTRADIITON Dublin Jimmy linked criminal arrested in UK over million-euro building equipment theft

Brother of crime-lord's associate held over trailer thefts

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Cyril ‘Dublin Jimmy’ McGuinness

Cyril ‘Dublin Jimmy’ McGuinness

Cyril ‘Dublin Jimmy’ McGuinness

A brother of a major criminal linked to notorious crime-lord Cyril 'Dublin Jimmy' McGuinness has been arrested in the UK.

Noel McPhillips, from Co. Monagahan, now faces extradition to Belgium where he was sentenced in absentia to five years in jail in January over a million-euro-series of crane, excavator and trailer thefts.

Noel is the younger brother of notorious 'machinery racketeer' Damien McPhillips (55).

Damien also received a five-year sentence in Belgium last January - after he, too, was identified as one of four people involved in a gang that stole high-value equipment across West Flanders between September 30, 2016 and February 28, 2018.

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Damien McPhillips.

Damien McPhillips.

Damien McPhillips.

 

Various types of cranes, excavators and trailers were stolen before being shipped to the UK for resale.

The McPhillips' were alleged by prosecutors to have been pivotal figures in the business and being involved in forming a criminal gang.

A woman known to the brothers was also handed a three-year sentence by the court in the city of Veurne.

Belgian authorities issued European Arrest Warrants for the three Irish people after sentencing. All three were understood at the time to be based in the UK.

In a statement this week, prosecutors in Veurne confirmed the arrest of Noel McPhillips in the UK and were urging the British court for his extradition.

If McPhilips is extradited, he can object to his conviction and seek a new trial.

Damien McPhillips, was previously jailed for two years in 2014 for possession of a stolen truck. During the trial he was described as a 'machinery racketeer.'

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He was one of a number of people sentenced over a multi-million machinery theft racket run by Cyril 'Dublin Jimmy' McGuinness in the Noughties.

Police in Bruges launched Operation Secund with gardaí in 2007 after receiving a tip-off that Irish smugglers, led by McGuinness, were stealing machinery from farms across Belgium.

The haul on that occasion included a €480,000 cement pumping truck, a €109,000 bulk tanker, €54,000 of trailers and €72,000 in tractors.

The equipment was later resprayed and shipped to Rosslare before being sold to unsuspecting farmers.

McPhillips was jailed for four years for his role in the racket while McGuinness was extradited to Belgium to serve a seven-year sentence in 2009 for running the €3.4million scam.

McGuinness was freed two years later after successfully appealing his sentence after establishing a loophole in his warrant in Belgium.

Police believe it was after he returned to Fermanagh from his prison stint in Belgium that McGuinness was recruited by a "pay master" to wage a campaign of intimidation against the Quinn group, including the kidnapping of director Declan Lunney in September 2019.

In the wake of the Lunney abduction McGuinness fled to Derbyshire, England, but died there following a police raid on November 8 of last year.

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