Hijack linked to fuel smugglers’ turf war

May 20, 2013

AN armed hijacking which occurred in Crossmaglen town centre earlier this month is being linked to an alleged ‘turf war’ between illegal fuel smugglers along the border, the Examiner has learned.

Around noon on Friday May 3rd two men, one brandishing a gun, forced the driver of a jeep from his vehicle, before fleeing in the stolen car through the town, thronged with people attending the monthly Fair.

The hijackers were travelling in a silver car which had been rammed by another vehicle from behind on Newry Street.

The gang was earlier involved in an altercation in Culloville where a man was severely beaten up.  Despite being injured, the victim escaped when a number of his friends arrived on the scene.

A high speed chase then followed which culminated in the hijacking of the vehicle in Crossmaglen.  The gang then sped off towards the border.  The stolen car was later found near Dundalk where attempts were made to set it on fire.

It has been suggested that the incident is linked to an ongoing row between fuel smugglers and that the victim allegedly owed money to a criminal involved in oil and alcohol smuggling.

A spokesperson for the PSNI declined to confirm the allegation but said the investigation is ongoing and all lines of inquiry are still open.