A 55-year-old man arrested in connection to an ongoing investigation into fraud and blackmail has appeared at Fermanagh Magistrates Court.

Paul Maye (pictured right yesterday, Wednesday), of Sallys Wood, Irvinestown, denies all offences. He is charged with blackmail, threats to kill, transferring criminal property, possessing criminal property and encouraging or assisting an offence to be committed.

The charges relate to incidents which took place between September 27, 2017 and January 4, 2019.

A police officer, under oath, told the court they could connect Maye to the charges. The court heard, on September 27, the victim was contacted by a ‘John Magee’ who asked to borrow money. When the victim refused, threats that he would be shot if he did not hand over the money were made. £5,000 was handed over to a man and a woman in Augher.

A further £4,500 was handed over in Magherafelt when more threatening messages were sent to the victim followed by £3,500 in Moneymore.

During one of the meetings, the victim heard the name ‘Paul’.

In December 2018 a ‘Jim Graham’ contacted the victim to say he could retrieve the money taken from him if he handed over £14,000.

The victim handed over the money in Omagh, however he did not get any of his money back. The handover, which was meant to take place at a shop in the Dublin Road but was then rearranged to a cinema on the Drumquin Road.

After this meeting, the victim asked around about people going by the name of ‘John Magee’ and ‘Jim Graham’ and it was through these conversations Maye’s name came up.

More research on the internet saw the victim view an article on Maye and the victim was able to identify the man he had handed over money to in Augher, the court was told.

Other evidence including CCTV footage, including Maye at the shop on the day the £14,000 was handed over, mobile phones and a sum of money have all been seized as part of the investigation. District Judge Michael Ranaghan remanded Maye in custody to appear again on April 1.