11 November 2005

Dungiven Man 'Disgusted' At US Arrest

Derry Journal

Friday 11th November 2005

A Dungiven man has said he is 'totally disgusted' at the way he was treated after he was stopped entering the United States last week and pressurised into becoming an informer for the PSNI. The man, Sean Devine, also said he is deeply perturbed at the extent of the surveillance he must have been kept under in order for the security services to know so much about him.
Mr. Devine said that he had been involved in work for republican prisoners in Maghaberry but had never been before a court on any sort of charges. He told the Journal what happened: "I went to the US on Saturday and we landed at Newark airport. As I was waiting to go through all the usual checks this Customs man approached me in the line and asked me to come with him to another room. "I did so and this man came in and identified himself as an FBI agent. Then three other people identified themselves, one said he was 'Stewarty' from MI5, the other two identified themselves as 'Declan' and Mervyn from the PSNI. Mervyn spoke with a strong Derry accent." Mr. Devine went on: "I was asked did I know why I was there and I told them I wanted a solicitor and an official from the Irish embassy. They ignored that and told me that they knew everything about me and that they wanted me to do something from them. They then named a load of republicans from Derry who they said they wanted me to inform on and as they put it 'put them away for a long time.'
They started pressurising me and offered me a house in Lisbon and a large sum of money although they never actually produced any. They also said they could arrange for me to have a holiday anywhere in the world for a couple of weeks to allow me to think their offer over." Mr. Devine continued: "They also told me that I was being refused entry to the United States but that if I agreed to 'help' them they could make a call to the White House and have a waiver issued which would allow me in.
"All during the questioning they kept telling me things which they could only have known from an extremely close surveillance. They mentioned that they waited in the Isle of Man for me to come there and that was my original intention to go there for a holiday. They were also able to tell me all my movements on the Thursday when I was originally supposed to fly out. They knew my passport had been faulty and that I had been refused permission to fly and also where I had gone after I left the airport and even where I went in Dublin." The Dungiven man was held from 11 a.m. until 5. 30 p.m. then told he was being deported from the US . He was placed on a flight coming to Ireland at 8 p.m. He added: "I am disgusted at the way this was done and by the fact that they seemed to have invaded my life. I refused to have anything to do with them even though they gave me a number to phone when I got back. Also it seems that the FBI and PSNI are working closely together trying to recruit informers."

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