'Fat' Freddie arrested as Spain seeks extradition
Published 15/10/2011 | 05:00
SPANISH authorities are seeking the extradition of a Dublin man who they claim is a member of an international criminal gang involved in the trafficking of drugs and weapons.
Gardai yesterday moved to arrest 'Fat' Freddie Thompson (30) at his home address at Loreto Road, Maryland, in Dublin's south inner city, on foot of a European Extradition Warrant (EAW) issued by a judge in Malaga in September 2010.
The court heard that the Spanish authorities are seeking his extradition on the grounds that Mr Thompson is a member of a criminal organisation whose members include Irish, British and Spanish nationals.
The warrant further claims Mr Thompson, who moved to Spain in 2008, is a member of an organisation which through a complex network of companies has laundered the proceeds of illegal drugs and weapons trafficking.
It is claimed that Mr Thompson's role is to secure weapons for the organisation. It is also alleged he has acted as a bodyguard and a chauffeur for the gang, which is based on Spain's Costa del Sol.
The Spanish authorities also allege in the EAW that Mr Thompson is an associate of and has worked for other known criminals, some of whom were described as good friends of his.
It is also claimed that ongoing police surveillance of Mr Thompson in a number of countries has revealed that on dates between 2008 and 2010 he travelled to locations including Morocco and Amsterdam.
It is claimed he travelled either in the company of or to meet up with gang members or other criminals. On occasions it is alleged that these trips were to organise criminal activity including the shipment of drugs. It is further claimed that Mr Thompson does not have any movable or immovable assets, such as property, in Spain, and therefore did not have any legitimate means to support his lifestyle.
At the High Court, Sergeant Sean Fallon of the Garda Extradition Unit told the court that Mr Thompson was arrested shortly before 3pm yesterday.
Sgt Fallon said that when the charges contained in the warrant were read and a copy of the warrant handed to Mr Thompson he replied: "I can't read, I am not taking that."
Sgt Fallon added that after he was arrested Mr Thompson was taken to Kevin Street garda station.
Mr Thompson, wearing a black hooded jacket and grey tracksuit bottom, did not speak during the brief hearing and stared straight ahead throughout the proceedings..
He was remanded in custody by Mr Justice Michael Peart to next Wednesday's sitting of the High Court.
Judge Peart said he was satisfied that the individual before the court was the person being sought in the EAW.
He told Mr Thompson he had a right to professional legal advice as well as the right to consent to surrender at any time during the extradition process to the Spanish authorities.
While no application for bail was made on his behalf, Mr Thompson's lawyers indicated that one would be made in the future.
The State indicated to the court that it would be objecting to any such application.
His lawyers also told the court they would be applying for legal aid, through the Attorney General Scheme, for representing Mr Thompson. The State sought a statement of means.