Armed cops swoop on Kinahan associate after high-speed chase
THIS is the dramatic moment armed cops swooped on a former CAB target and Kinahan Cartel associate following a car chase in Birmingham on Friday night.
The Dublin man, in his 40s, was arrested alongside two other men after cops used tyre deflation rounds to blow out the tyres of their vehicle in Birmingham city centre just after 8pm on Friday.
West Midlands Police can be seen holding automatic weapons to the heads on the arrested men as they are restrained on the ground in front of shocked onlookers.
The three men were nabbed as part of an investigation by West Midland police into the supply of firearms.
Gardaí are expected to now launch an investigation to see if the guns were destined for Ireland to be used in the Hutch-Kinahan feud.
The Dubliner who was arrested has ties to gangland figure Liam Byrne and has been previously investigated by CAB.
The Kinahan Cartel have been heavily involved in organised crime in the Birmingham and Solihull areas since Christy Kinahan Snr previously lived there during the Noughties.
The area acts as a base for the organisation’s U.K. operations and a large number of Birmingham crime figures were spotted at David Byrne’s funeral last year.
Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh – the brother-in-law of gangster Liam Byrne – also lives in a massive five-bedroom mansion in the area.
Gardaí have been in constant contact with British police about the links between Irish and Birmingham-based criminals.
A source has told the Sunday World the arrested man has previously come to the attention of the Gardaí and he is suspected of acting as a money-launderer for Cartel figures – including Gerard ‘Hatchet’ Kavanagh.
In a statement to the Sunday World on Saturday, West Midlands Police said: “Firearm officers have used tyre deflation rounds to disable a vehicle in Masshouse Lane in Birmingham city centre yesterday evening before 8pm.
“The public were in no danger at any time during the incident and the vehicle has been seized for forensic examination. Three men have been arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of firearms and remain in police custody.”
This morning, West Midlands police confirmed that one man, aged in his 40s, was still in custody while the other two men, one in his 40s and one in his 30s, had been 'released under investigation'.
One onlooker to the events on Friday night said he initially believed someone had been shot outside his hotel.
“I was in my room when I heard gunshots outside and straight away I went to my window. There were four shots in total I think and then I just started videoing it.
“There were police there with guns out and they kept screaming at the guys on the ground to get down.
“It was very very tense because you just don’t expect something like that in Birmingham.
“And the weird thing is there was little or nothing about it in the news today.”
The Dubliner is believed to have left Ireland in recent years after coming under serious pressure from some of the country’s most dangerous criminals.
It is believed he owed a six-figure sum after being given cash to invest by senior figures within the cartel.
However, the cash was lost and he received a serious threat against his life.
A source has told the Sunday World that he struck a deal with a senior Cartel figure which allowed him to move to the U.K. and work off his debt.
Separately, Bomber and his wife Joanne Byrne have opened a new company in the U.K. – to buy and sell properties.
The couple have just registered Kavanagh Property Holdings months after their high end car company was investigated by Revenue.
Joanne who is a sister of Kinahan lieutenant Liam Byrne is listed as a co-director of the company along with her husband, who is at the top of the Garda’s target list of organised criminals.
Kavanagh pleaded guilty to fraud charges last March in the U.K. and was given 16 months in jail suspended once he pays back almost €100,000 to the British exchequer.
The millionaire car company boss was probed by Revenue who found he used fake pay slips to raise a mortgage on his luxury Tamworth home in 2012. Similar charges against wife Joanne will remain on file.
The couple left Ireland penniless after being stripped of their assets by the CAB, but have made a miraculous financial recovery since.
They live in a huge gated mansion in the plush suburb of Tamworth complete with an outdoor bar and hot-tub.
‘Bomber’ was the chief family mourner at David Byrne’s lavish funeral last February following his murder at the Regency Hotel.
He was a cousin of murdered brothers Gerard ‘Hatchet’ Kavanagh and Paul Kavanagh but never returned for their final farewells.