HeadLine: ROYAL SCARE AS GUN TRIO HELD
The Mirror, 13/10/2004, p1
by SHAUN MILNE and MARK SMITH
THE QUEEN was at the centre of a major security alert just hours
before the official opening of the Scottish Parliament.
Three men were arrested on gun charges just a few miles from
Holyrood on Saturday morning.
It is believed that cops made the arrests at gunpoint after stopping
a car as it left the Forth Road Bridge near South Queensferry.
The arrests came hours before the Queen and a host of top
celebrities – including Sir Sean Connery and First Minister Jack McConnell – took part in the lavish televised opening of the £430million Parliament
building at Holyrood.
A huge security net was in place to protect the Queen and dignitaries.
The operation which resulted in the arrests was led by senior detectives
from the Grampian Police force.
But it is understood Lothian & Borders, Grampian and officers from
the Metropolitan Police in London all played a part in the security
operation surrounding the televised ceremony.
The Mirror understands three suspects were detained near South Queensferry, Edinburgh, and transported back to the Grampian force area for questioning.
Three men appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Monday charged with firearm offences and were remanded in custody.
However, the Crown Office said they would not name the men.
Yesterday police were searching a Scots river but refused to officially confirm if the search was linked to the arrests.
More than 30 officers took part in the operation on the River Don in
A helicopter began helping the search teams on Monday, and yesterday the
search continued with police divers taking to the water and sniffer
dogs patrolling the river bank.
At the scene, Grampian Police Chief Inspector Adrian Watson said:
“The search is part of an ongoing operation.
“It involves around 30 officers and a dog team, and they have been
joined by an underwater search unit.
“Searches were also made at a number of addresses in Aberdeen over
the weekend, including a flat at Aulton Court in the city’s Seaton area.
“Three men are the subject of a report to the Procurator Fiscal regarding
this ongoing inquiry. The men appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on
Chief Inspector Watson added: “There is no danger to the public.”
Yesterday, a Crown Office spokesman said: “Three men appeared charged with contravening the Firearms Act.
“They were remanded in custody. No other details are being given as inquiries are ongoing.”
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