Former IRA members arrested

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TWO former IRA terrorist group members are among seven arrested for allegedly being involved in a tobacco smuggling ring.

Five Irish people, including husband and wife Leonard Hardy and Donna Maguire, a Norwegian woman and a Spanish lawyer were arrested by police. They are being investigated by the Spanish High Court for allegedly helping to launder up to €10.5 million though property transactions, according to the National Police.

Hardy and Maguire had previously been sentenced to prison terms over IRA attacks targeting a British military base in Germany in the late 1980s. Hardy escaped serving the jail sentence due to the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, which ended the IRA’s terrorist campaign. Maguire was jailed on charges of spying on a military base with intent to sabotage, but was released immediately, having spent six years on remand.

While Hardy has been released on €250,000 bail, Maguire has been freed without charges. The couple had been arrested in Lanzarote.

Those arrested were thought to have used property transactions to hide the proceeds of the alleged smuggling operation that sent tobacco to Ireland. The other arrests were made in Malaga, Alicante and Murcia.

As part of the judicial process a block has been put on the sale of 11 properties valued at €5.5 million, and 90 bank accounts have been frozen.

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