A Bank of Ireland employee was warned by an armed gang that there would be “blood on your hands” if he did not co-operate during a €7.6m ‘tiger-kidnapping’ heist in Dublin, the High Court has been told.
Shane Travers became distressed when telling a jury he feared for his own life, and the lives of his girlfriend, her mother, and young nephew, after an armed and masked gang took them captive on the night of February 26/27, 2009.
The incident changed his life and he was “devastated and disgusted” when, less than a year later, he read a newspaper article which, he said, insinuated he had something to do with a crime “of which I was a victim”.
He was giving evidence in his action alleging defamation in a January 31, 2010, article in the Sunday World, which denies the claim.
Mr Travers, aged 31, of Portmarnock, Co Dublin, told his counsel, Jim O’Callaghan, that during the night of February 26/27, 2009, the armed gang produced various Polaroid photos, including of his young son, his parents’ home, and other Bank of Ireland employees, and warned him to do as they ordered or there would be “blood on your hands”.
“They knew everything about us,” he said.
Mr Travers said he had “absolutely nothing” to do with the gang or any criminals, and was never charged with this or any offence.
He said he told gardaí all he knew about the events and co-operated with their inquiries. The first and only time he was arrested arising from the heist was on January 28, 2010, when he was arrested under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act. He was offered a solicitor but did not seek one because he had “nothing to hide”. He was released without charge after 48 hours.
He was “disgusted and devastated” when he read the Sunday World article headlined “€7.6m Tiger raid ‘was nothing to do with me’”, with another headline: “But Gardaí are still convinced kidnap gang had inside info on bank stash”.
The case continues.
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