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N. Ireland Ex-Con Says He Plotted Brink's Job

September 19, 2003|From Associated Press

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Ten years after a Brink's depot was emptied at gunpoint of $7.4 million, a former rebel from Northern Ireland contends in a memoir that he masterminded the heist.

"Mountains of money disappeared in front of our eyes as we heaved it into sacks," Samuel Millar writes in "On the Brinks" about the January 1993 robbery. "Every now and then we stopped and grinned at each other. I was so happy that I wanted to hug myself, give myself a big kiss."

Millar, who had served time in his homeland for a botched bombing, was convicted in 1994 along with an Irish-born priest, Father Patrick Moloney, of stashing $2 million from the robbery in a New York City apartment.

No one was convicted of the actual robbery -- a Brink's guard was acquitted of carrying out an inside job -- and no one can be charged now because the statute of limitations ran out five years later.

The rest of the money from the nation's fifth-largest armored-car holdup is missing. Investigators have said they suspect it was funneled to the Irish Republican Army.

But Millar maintains that the money was stolen a second time after he stashed it that night at the home of a friend of his purported accomplice -- a man identified only as "Marco."

An FBI spokesman in Buffalo, N.Y., Paul Moskal, declined to comment Thursday, but the chief investigator was skeptical of Millar's account of what happened to the missing loot. Millar's autobiography was published in Ireland this month by Galway-based Wynkin deWorde, which also published his first novel, "Dark Souls," in April. Millar, now 49, lives in Belfast with his wife and children.

As a member of the IRA's youth wing, Millar racked up a decade behind bars in Northern Ireland, in part for a botched bombing in 1976.

Millar drew a five-year sentence for stashing the money from the heist, but was transferred to a Northern Ireland prison under a prisoner-exchange program in 1997 and released two months later.

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