Irish fugitive tiger kidnapping suspect arrested in Spain 'living under fake ID'
POLICE in Spain have arrested fugitive tiger kidnapping suspect Jeffrey Melvin.
The 34-year-old was held at Alicante Airport on foot of a European Arrest Warrant.
Melvin, from Lucan in West Dublin, disappeared in 2012 while on bail for his alleged involvement in a January 2010 tiger raid in the Irish capital.
He was accused of robbing the cash from Brinks Allied employee Reginald Shannon and also falsely imprisoning him, Angela Shannon and a child at the property in Dublin’s Bath Avenue.
A Spanish National Police spokesman confirmed the arrest today.
The force said in a statement: “The National Police have arrested at Alicante Airport an Irish fugitive accused of committing 11 crimes in his country.”
It added: “He was living in the province of Alicante with fake ID and adopted high levels of security to avoid being discovered.”
A source said: “Jeffrey Melvin is the man who has been arrested.”
Reports last year said Gardai had been tipped off Melvin was based in Spain but could be using a fake passport to travel between the Costa Blanca and Ireland.
It was also reported he had been travelling to Australia.
Reginald Shannon’s elderly mother and an eight-year-old child believe to be his niece were held on January 4 2010 while the Brinks Allied employee was sent to intercept a cash-in-transit van making a delivery at Bank of Ireland on O’Connell Street.
The female pair were later released unharmed.
A European Arrest Warrant was issued after Melvin failed to show up at court in June 2012.
He was previously described in court as a jack-of-all trades and a ‘Del Boy’ figure.
The comments were made by Stefan Saunders, from Hazelbury Park, Blanchardstown, a co-accused in the tiger kidnapping case who was cleared in May 2014.
The Spanish police said the warrant out for Melvin was based on “an indictment issued by the Irish judicial authorities for an alleged crime of robbery, three counts of illegal detention, six counts of illegal possession of firearms and an alleged crime of membership of a criminal organisation, having been allegedly recognised as one of the two authors of a robbery through the kidnap of two people, of a cash-in-transit van with €140,000 in 2010.”
The spokesman said: “The detainee is facing two possible life sentences if convicted of the crimes of robbery and illegal detention and up to 62 years if convicted of the crimes of illegal possession of firearms and membership of a criminal gang.
“Police who suspected he could be hiding out in the province of Alicante activated a search and find operation for him which culminated with his detention outside Alicante’s El Altet Airport while he waited in his car for another person.”
It is not known when Melvin was arrested or where he was living in Alicante province.
He will now be taken to Madrid for an extradition hearing held between closed doors where he will be asked if he consents to being returned to Ireland or not.
If he agrees to extradition, he will be flown back to Dublin within the next fortnight.
The process will be slowed if he refuses to be sent back and a second hearing will then place.
He is expected to be held in jail until his future is decided.
A Gardai source, quoted in February 2014, told an Irish paper: “Melvin is meant to be in Spain but there are rumours of other locations he might be.
“He’s been missing for a year and a half now. Officers are desperate to find him.”