IRA pair held in Algarve gun raids

IRA pair held in Algarve gun raids
10 July 2011
Sunday Mail

Two suspected IRA dissidents have been held in the Algarve.

Anti-terrorist officers arrested the pair after raids on Friday, which also netted an arms cache of 10 weapons plus ammunition. A Portuguese man was also held.

The raids were approved after several months of surveillance by British and Portuguese police.

The suspects, aged 38 and 59, were yesterday being held in jail after being quizzed by a local magistrate.

Police believe they led a support network for the Real IRA.

One of the men is thought to be an expat, living on the Algarve. The other is said to have driven from Belfast to pick up weapons he planned to smuggle back into Northern Ireland.

A Portuguese police spokesman said: "The men formed a criminal organisation dedicated, among other things, to international arms trafficking."

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