Sunday Life


By Stephen Breen
08 August 2004

THREE senior LVF godfathers have flown to Spain to secure a major arms deal with Croatian mobsters, it has been claimed.

Senior sources claim the trio - two from north Belfast and one from mid-Ulster - flew to a resort in the Costa Del Sol last week, for a meeting with the eastern European arms dealers.

Sources say the terror bosses flew with their families to Spain in a bid to deflect attention away from the real reason behind their visit.

We also understand the trio were stopped by Spanish police, just minutes after they had concluded the deal with the Croatians.

It is believed a fee had just been agreed between the loyalists and the Croatians, before they were stopped on their way back to the resort.

Sources also claim the weapons, which are believed to include heavy machine-guns and pistols, will be transferred to Northern Ireland in the next few weeks.

This latest development comes after a major weapons shipment bound for the LVF was spirited away from Belfast harbour, onboard a fishing boat.

The loyalist paramilitary gang kept its huge weapons haul out of the hands of police, by off-loading five crates of guns and explosives, before the cargo ship docked at Belfast.

The operation mirrored Provo gun-running tactics from the 1970s and 1980s, when a number of huge weapon shipments were picked up off the Irish coast, before interception of the Eksund, in 1987.

Said a loyalist source: "The LVF leadership do not believe the war is over and that's why they sent three of their most senior figures to conclude this major arms deal.

"The three bosses used their families as cover, but the whole trip was arranged for them to meet the Croatians, who have been selling weapons all over Europe.

"They were also stopped by Spanish police during the trip, but there's nothing they could do, because they had no idea the LVF men had just left a meeting with the Croats.

"They have secured heavy firearms and they will be used to protect themselves and to wage war against nationalists, if the peace process breaks down."

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