Two arrested as cross-border police operation sees shuttle-bus hijackers apprehended in County Armagh after kidnapping horror.
Three people were taken hostage when a mini-bus was hijacked at Dublin Airport in the early hours of Wednesday. Two men were arrested by Police Service of Northern Ireland officers having rammed their car with a stolen Dublin hotel shuttle bus.
The hijackers forced the bus to drive to the Northern Ireland border at Crossmaglen, County Armagh, where they were detected by the Police Service of Northern Ireland. The bus then rammed the PSNI police patrol car in order to make an escape back over the border into the Republic. No police officers were injured in the incident, the Belfast Telegraph reports.
The mini-bus was a shuttle service owned by a well-known hotel chain. At the time of its hijacking, it was on the road in from of Terminal 2, at Dublin Airport in Northern County Dublin at 1am.
Two hijackers jumped in the bus and locked the doors. The bus took off in the direction of the north-bound M1 motorway.
The three traumatized passengers were released near Julianstown, in County Meath, about 30 minutes from the Airport. The criminals demanded money from the passengers before they were released. Happily, the three people were unharmed.
The bus then continued norther through the town of Dundalk and across the border to Northern Ireland. The PSNI had been alerted of the situation.
Police believed the vehicle had then diverted to County Monaghan. The chase was then taken on by the Republic of Ireland's gardai.
A major police operation was implemented and the Emergency Response United activated.
The Irish Independent reports that the bus crashed. The two men fled on foot and stole a car. The police gave chase and they pair were apprehended and arrested.
In a statement, the PSNI said they "received a report from our colleagues in An Garda Siochana that a stolen transit van had been tracked crossing the border".
"Officers observed the vehicle in Crossmaglen Square, and upon police entering the car park the transit van collided with the police vehicle causing damage to the front of the car," a spokesperson said.
"The transit van then made off from the area and re-crossed the border.
"The PSNI officers were not injured during the incident."
The two men, aged in their 30s, were arrested and are currently being held under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act at Carrickmacross Garda station. Gardaí say investigations are ongoing.