Tony Quinn in court row over oil firm millions

 

ALLEGATIONS OF covert surveillance, phone hacking and intimidation filled the thick tropical air as businessman and former lifestyle guru Tony Quinn began his evidence in a courtroom row over millions of euro in oil revenues.

Mr Quinn, who flew to this tiny island by private jet from his home in the Bahamas for his court appearance, defended himself trenchantly against allegations of mismanagement by a former fellow director of International Natural Energy, Sheila McCaffrey.

INE has discovered extensive reserves of oil in Belize but has never paid a dividend to investors. Three of the individual directors and 74 of the 82 original investors were Irish and all had attended Mr Quinn’s mind power seminars. Those who founded the company have since fallen out and a succession of court actions has ensued, including Ms McCaffrey’s.

The court heard that INE spent almost $2 million in 2008-2010 on security and surveillance. Mr Quinn said he asked the company for security protection after fearing that he might become a victim of a “tiger kidnapping”.

He claimed he was followed constantly for two years and subjected to intimidation and surveillance. He said “things were being pushed up over the walls” of the house, a Martello tower in Malahide.

INE spent $130,000 on “IT penetration testing” while $192,000 was spent on “surveillance ops” in Dublin and London. Mr Quinn explained that its computers had been hacked and people were trying to listen in to board meetings at his home. He said he feared for his security in the presence of some former directors. Lawyers for Ms McCaffrey said Mr Quinn was being accused of being a cult leader and “mind-bender” long before his involvement with the company.