The Irish property tycoon who claims to have been held captive for eight months has been arrested for wasting police time.

Kevin McGeever, 68, was taken into custody for wasting garda time and making false allegations.

He was found wandering barefoot and emaciated on a country road near Ballinamore in County Leitrim at the end of January.

McGeever was suffering from malnutrition and was confused. Reports also suggested he had the word 'thief' carved into his forehead.

He said he was fed just one ham sandwich a day, was beaten and regularly threatened with death. The property developer insisted he was being held for a ransom.

However, after claiming to have been held hostage for eight months in a shipping container, police are now accusing McGeever of making the whole story up.

A police spokesman said: "An investigation is continuing into the alleged abduction of a male. As part of that investigation a male was arrested this morning in the Galway area."

Fraud charges

A source also told the Irish Independent: "Gardai have exhausted every line of inquiry in relation to his mysterious case and found no evidence of a threat or a ransom demand. The fact he has been arrested (on suspicion of) wasting garda time speaks for itself."

After being found on the country road, McGeever was treated at the Midlands Regional Hospital in Mulligar.

He told police he was abducted from his mansion in Craughwell, named 'Nirvana', at gunpoint. It later emerged he did not own the property, further adding to the mystery surrounding his dissappeance.

Reports also showed that McGeever was wanted by Interpol and the FBI for charges of fraud - Abu Dhabi authorities reportedly tried to have McGeever extradited from Germany for a fraud case involving an estimated €500,000 (£428,000).

Earlier this month, McGeever vowed to quash any rumours relating to his past business dealings.

He said he was "enthusiastic about setting the record straight" about the allegations of fraud.