NewsCrime Desk

Crime gangs using Dublin pubs as “fronts” for their illegal activities

Christy Kinahan
Christy Kinahan

The two rival gangs involved in the capital's deadly feud have been using city pubs as "fronts" for their proceeds of crime.

It is estimated there could be up to half a dozen public houses controlled by the gangs across Dublin.

The Hutch mob and Kinahan cartel have made millions of euro from crime in recent years and it has been established that both crews are using pubs to channel the vast cash resources the mobs have earned.

Gardai are investigating a number of licensed premises, including a well-known tourist pub which has been linked to the Hutch gang.

The Kinahan gang is suspected of having a "major interest" in a prominent Dublin city centre bar and restaurant as well as a well-known pub in Dublin's north inner city.

The Hutch mob is suspected of using a number of north inner city pubs to launder money and a middle-aged criminal, who has very close links to Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch, is suspected of being involved in organising a number of these premises.

This north city criminal has a number of previous convictions, including for his involvement in the illegal cigarette trade.

Sources have revealed that the Kinahan mob have been "employing" a northside gangster, who is aged in his late 30s, to manage the north inner city pub which is connected to that gang.

"As well as being businesses that can be used to launder money, some of these pubs are very handy places for meetings between gang members to take place and this was happening on a regular basis," a source explained.

"However, since the feud kicked off, there seems to have been a major reluctance for these pub meetings because of fears that the rival factions would use such a gathering to target each other," the source added.

It is believed that both warring factions are aware of the pubs linked to the rival mobs.

A massive investigation into the tit-for-tat murders of David Byrne and Eddie Hutch Snr is ongoing, but there have been no arrests in either case.

Armed gardai are mounting a number of operations to ensure there is no further bloodshed with dozens of people from both factions warned of active threats against their lives.

There have been no major developments in the garda investigation since 11 homes linked to the Hutch mob were raided by gardai on Tuesday of last week.

The purpose of the raids was to try and gather information about the Regency Hotel gun attack in which Kinahan cartel gang member David Byrne (34) was murdered and two of his pals were also shot.

Among the properties searched was one linked to the hitman who was dressed as woman and another linked to a criminal who was disguised as a garda and armed with a deadly AK-47 in the attack.

The hitman dressed as woman - who was caught by press photographers - is in his early 20s and is a very close associate of Gary Hutch, the gangster whose murder by the Kinahan cartel on Spain's Costa Del Sol last September sparked the deadly feud.

A mobster, who is suspected of being one of the AK-47 gunmen, is a north inner city criminal who is aged in his 30s and is a feared hitman who is suspected of carrying out the murders of Paul Kavanagh last year and Eamon 'The Don' Dunne in 2010 on behalf of the Christy Kinahan cartel.

However, he cut ties with that mob after the murder of his close pal Gary Hutch, and is now a sworn enemy of the faction.

This criminal warned last week that the feud would will not be over until his arch rival Daniel Kinahan is shot dead.

"We will not rest until Daniel Kinahan is dead. He caused all of this, it won't end until he is in his grave'," the hitman said.

Another home that was targeted last week is linked to a 23-year-old criminal who is currently in jail where he presented himself a fortnight ago because of the grave threat he is under from the Kinahan cartel.

He is a chief suspect for the botched murder attempt on Kinahan gang member Liam Roe at the Red Cow Hotel last November and is also suspected of involvement in the hotel attack and in the murder of Paul Kavanagh last April.

Gardai have not yet mounted an operation targeting the gangsters who are suspected of murdering Eddie Hutch Snr.

Two men suspected of involvement in the murder of Eddie Hutch Snr have been formally notified by gardai of active death threats against them from associates of slain Gary Hutch.

The two criminals under threat are closely linked to the Christy Kinahan cartel. One of them is a Finglas-based hitman who is facing serious charges before the courts while the other is a chief suspect in the shocking 2006 Baiba Saulite murder case.

In an ironic twist, it has emerged that the Finglas-based hitman was previously very friendly with the 23-year-old Hutch mob criminal who is suspected of involvement in the Regency Hotel attack.

Sources say that the dangerous duo were even involved in the same stolen vehicle business together in north Dublin but they are now sworn enemies who gardai believe would "shoot each other on sight."

"They were very close but all that is over now, they hate each other's guts," a source pointed out.

The bitterness that these former pals feel towards each other now is a common factor in many relationships between gangsters on opposing sides in the feud.

"A lot of these fellows grew up together and worked with each other but that has all changed now. One of the problems is that each faction has such detailed knowledge of the other because of the past relationships that they had with each other," the source added.

Ken Foy