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Gangs with eastern European links among kidnap suspects

Published 04/02/2013

Andrea McKernon NORTHERN Ireland gangs with eastern European links are among suspects in the bizarre kidnapping of a property developer found wandering in the Co Cavan countryside eight months after he disappeared.

An incident room has been set up by gardai for the disappearance of businessman Kevin McGeever who was discovered in a dishevelled state walking on a country road close to the Fermanagh border with the word 'thief' etched into his forehead.

It was reported that initially the word had been misspelt before being corrected.

His family are believed to have been receiving 'intermit-tent' contact with him during his hostage ordeal.

The 68-year-old tycoon is said to have told gardai that he was kept in a darkened container because he owed money to both Russian gangsters and the IRA.

Gardai are expected to make a statement about the case in coming days.

"Several lines of inquiry are being pursued," a Garda spokesman said.

It is believed the money allegedly owed related to property transactions - some of which are said to have been based in Dubai.

There is also a suggestion that Mr McGeever, who was reported missing by his part ner Siobhan O'Callaghan in June, may have been held north of the border.

He fronted KMM Commercial Properties, selling luxury homes in Dubai to wealthy Irish and British clients during the boom years in the Republic.

He has offices in Mullingar and built a €3 million mansion known as Nirvana in Craugh-well, Co Galway.

Mr McGeever's last known address was in Clontarf in north Dublin.

He was found with a long beard on a country road on the Cavan/Leitrim border on Tuesday. He had overgrown fingernails and had lost around five stone in weight.

Former Sinn Fein electoral candidate Catherine Vallely and her partner Pat Rehill found the millionaire on the side of a road between Swan-linbar in Co Cavan and Ballinamore in Co Leitrim.

It is the same area in which businessman Don Tidey was held captive for more than three weeks by the IRA in 1983. ■ FOUND MISSING TYCOON: Catherine Valley ■ RETURN: Kevin McGeever was found in a dishevelled state walking on a country road close to the Fermanagh border with the word 'thief' etched into his forehead