REVEALED: POLICE HUNT SUSPECT OVER TIGER KIDNAPPING WITNESS INTIMIDATION

 

Police hunt this man over threats to tiger kidnap witness

Police hunt this man over threats to tiger kidnap witness

DETECTIVES investigating the alleged intimidation of a Crown Court witness have released two men arrested on Monday.

However, they still need the public’s help in identifying a CCTV image of another wanted man.

The pair aged 36 and 43 were detained in Belfast on Monday morning. Following questioning by officers from the PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch, the two were set free on Monday evening.

It comes after four men were previously detained, charged and remanded in custody in connection with threats made to a man in Coalisland, Co Tyrone, on January 8.

Police are continuing to investigate the case and have now released a CCTV image of another man they wish to speak to.

They said: “Police are seeking to identify the man to eliminate him from their enquiries.”

Information can be passed on to detectives on 028 9180 1507, or provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

In January, four men were remanded in custody at Strabane Magistrates Court charged with threatening a witness in a tiger kidnapping case.

Patrick Larkin, 45, of Ladbroke Drive, Belfast, Francisco McAtamney, 42, of Mount Eagles Crescent, Dunmurryy, Stephen Mackin, 31, of Northwick Drive, Belfast and Mark McGrann, 29, of Mount Eagles Crescent, Dunmurray, appeared in the dock of the court  charged with threatening a 35-year-old man at his Coalisland home on January 8.

Wearing prison issue clothes, all four men signalled only to identify themselves and to acknowledge the charges before them.

Outlining the case, a PSNI Detective Constable told the court that it was related to a tiger kidnapping trial that began at Belfast’s Crown Court on Monday in which McGrann is also a defendant.

The officer said that on Tuesday, January 8, a witness in the kidnapping case was at his home on the Moor Road in Coalisland when a knock came to the door.

Three men told him that they wanted to speak to him but when he told them to get out they warned “don’t go to court”.

A phone was then taken to prevent the man’s wife from alerting the police.

When the three men left the witness pursued them down the street, shouting to neighbours to phone the PSNI.

He continued to follow them as they approached an ‘Eagle’ Taxi but instead of getting into the waiting car, the trio walked on.

The witness continued to follow the men until they made off across fields, Strabane Magistrates Court heard.

Half an hour after the incident the taxi was again spotted before a local cab firm took a call from a man looking for a lift to Belfast.

Police were alerted and the man, identified as McGrann, arrested. He immediately owned up, telling officers “It’s me you are looking for”.

The keys to the Eagle taxi were found in his pocket.

Several hours later police responded to another call to a local taxi firm from three men looking for a lift back to Belfast.

Belfast-based Eagle taxi linked to intimidation in Strabane

Belfast-based Eagle taxi linked to intimidation in Strabane

The three men were picked up, arrested and taken to Antrim Serious Crime Suite where all four were formally charged.

A bail application was made on behalf of McAtamney but was opposed by the PSNI on the grounds that further witnesses could be intimidated.

District Judge Liam McNally accepted the objections and remanded all four men in custody to appear by video link at Dungannon Court on January 16.

In the case of McGrann, bail granted for an earlier blackmail charge was revoked.

At the time of the incident, police appealed to anyone with any information about the movements of the silver Volvo taxi, fitted with an Eagle sign on its roof, between 6pm in Belfast on Tuesday January 8 and midnight in Coalisland, particularly in the Moor Road and Washingbay Road areas to contact them on 028 9180 1507 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The silver Volvo S70 was believed to have travelled to Coalisland from the Belfast area. Its registration number is V620 EWB.

ternatively, anyone who does not want to give their details can provide information anonymously to the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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