Northern Ireland

Royal Marine Ciarán Maxwell pleads not guilty to drugs and fraud charges

Ciarán Maxwell Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Ciarán Maxwell was arrested after searches in County Antrim and Devon

A serving Royal Marine from Northern Ireland accused of terrorism, fraud and drugs offences has denied some of the charges against him.

Ciaran Maxwell is charged with making explosives and storing them in hides in England and Northern Ireland.

In a brief appearance at Westminster Magistrates' Court, he was not asked to enter a plea on the terror charge linked to dissident republicanism.

He pleaded not guilty to bank card fraud and intent to supply cannabis.

Mr Maxwell - who is originally from Larne, County Antrim, but now lives in England - will next appear on all three charges at London's Central Criminal Court on 19 September.


Ciarán Maxwell: Charges in brief

  • Charge One involves the creation of a library of documents likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism
  • It also relates to obtaining chemicals and components for making explosive substances
  • It covers the possession of an adapted PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) pass card and items of PSNI uniform
  • It relates to manufacturing explosive substances and creating and maintaining hides to store bomb components in England and Northern Ireland
  • Charge Two relates to possession of cannabis with intent to supply
  • Charge Three is a fraud charge relating to bank cards

Ciarán Maxwell: Full list of charges


The 30-year-old was arrested in Somerset on 24 August following searches in Larne, County Antrim, and Devon.

His arrest was understood to be connected to two arms dumps found in County Antrim this year.

The charges include obtaining articles for use in terrorism - specifically chemicals and components to make bombs - and having an image of an adapted police pass card.

Mr Maxwell is accused of carrying out research resulting in "the creation of a library of documents" likely to be of use to terrorists.

Image caption Ciarán Maxwell was remanded in custody after a three-minute hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Friday

The offences are alleged to have taken place between 1 January 2011 and the day of his arrest.

Cannabis charge

A separate charge says that on the day of his arrest, Mr Maxwell had a quantity of cannabis in his possession with intent to supply.

Image caption Ciarán Maxwell appeared at court in London on Monday

He has also been charged with fraud and is accused of having images of bank cards and associated CVC numbers for use in connection with fraud.

His arrest came after a long-running investigation involving the Security Service (MI5), the PSNI, South West Counter-Terrorism Unit and Scotland Yard's Counter-Terrorism Unit.

He was questioned on suspicion of being involved in the preparation for acts of terrorism under Section Five of the Terrorism Act.

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