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Monday 19 March 2018

'Kidnap' mystery grows as developer is arrested

Kevin McGeever
Kevin McGeever
Last month, the Irish Independent revealed that the luxury mansion where Mr McGeever lived before he went missing is owned by a mystery company with no obvious links to the developer.

Paul Williams and Caroline Crawford

THE property developer who claimed to have been kidnapped for eight months has been arrested by gardai on suspicion of wasting garda time.

Kevin McGeever (68), from Swinford, Co Mayo -- who had been found wandering barefoot on the side of the road -- was arrested at his Craughwell home by officers in Gort, Co Galway.

He is currently still being held there.

The former tycoon was detained yesterday under Section Four of the Criminal Justice Act 1994, which contains provisions for wasting garda time and making false allegations.

He was brought to Gort garda station in Co Galway where he is currently being held. He can be detained for up to 24 hours. He was visited by a solicitor at the garda station last night.

A senior garda source said: "Gardai have exhausted every line of inquiry in relation to his mysterious case and found no evidence of a threat or a ransom demand. The fact he has been arrested (on suspicion of) wasting garda time speaks for itself."

A garda spokesman confirmed that a man had been arrested in relation to the ongoing investigation into Mr McGeever's alleged abduction yesterday.

"An investigation is continuing into the alleged abduction of a male. As part of that investigation a male was arrested this morning in the Galway area."

Members of his immediate family have claimed they were not aware of his arrest.

Earlier this morning, his brother, Bernard’s wife told the Irish Independent: “This is the first I heard of it. We knew nothing about this and my husband is in Dublin.”

Mr McGreever was visited by his solicitor last night, who remained at the garda station for about one hour.

He returned there earlier this morning where he spent a further 20 minutes.

The station where he is being held is the same one where a missing person's report was filed for Mr McGeever by his partner Siobhan O'Callaghan last June, a month after he had disappeared.

Eight months later, the Mayo-born businessman was found wandering barefoot on a road near the Cavan-Leitrim border on January 29 of this year. He was in an emaciated state, disorientated and had a long beard.

He was hospitalised at the Midlands Regional Hospital in Mullingar where he was treated for malnutrition.

He told gardai he had been abducted from the garden of his €3m Craughwell home 'Nirvana' at gunpoint by a number of masked men on May 27 last year.

He claimed to have been held by kidnappers for a ransom.

However, he was unable to supply any details about his captivity or on his abductors.

He was also unable to shed any light on why he may have been kidnapped.

The former businessman had been recovering from his ordeal at a retreat in the midlands following his release from hospital on February 11.

Gardai interviewed Mr McGeever on a number of occasions both while he was in hospital and since his release. However, concerns remained about certain aspects of his story. Officers in Gort were in charge of the ongoing investigation.

CCTV footage from the area where he was found was examined and gardai put out an appeal for information on a number of vehicles that may have been in the area at the time.

Mr McGeever sold residential and commercial property through his Mullingar-based firm KMM International Properties. However, he was the subject of investigations by the FBI, Interpol and police in Dubai, where he was involved in a lot of property deals.

He had twice been sought by international police forces in the past in connection with major fraud investigations and his name has featured on Interpol watch lists for much of the past decade.

Last month, the Irish Independent revealed that the luxury mansion where Mr McGeever lived before he went missing is owned by a mystery company with no obvious links to the developer.

Mr McGeever spoke publicly about his ordeal earlier this month to say that he wished to "put the record straight" about misleading information that had been emerged about him.

He said he was looking forward to dispelling allegations about the circumstances of his past business dealings and about his abduction.

However, he said he was still in recovery and was too weak to comment at present. He claimed to be suffering from 'change-of-food syndrome'.

The businessman started his career in the construction industry in his native Mayo. His siblings continue to live in the county but Mr McGeever had become an infrequent visitor to his home town.

Irish Independent

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