NewsCrime Desk

Drug kingpin 'cuts ties' with Kinahan cartel amid fears over Hutch feud

Daniel Kinahan
Daniel Kinahan

Drug kingpin Greg Lynch has cut 'busi­ness' ties with the Kinahan cartel and has tightened his connections with associates of James Carabini - once arrested in con­nection with a €200million cocaine haul.

Lynch is understood to be snubbing orders from cartel boss Daniel Kina­han, saying he doesn't want to get involved in his Hutch gang feud.

The 33-year-old still bears horrific facial scars after he survived an assassination attempt in 2013.

And sources say that he wants nothing to do with Kinahan and his cohort Liam Byrne's war with the Hutch faction.

Lynch is understood to be selling cocaine to distributors at a knock-down price along with associates of Carabini, who are suspected of running their own trafficking network independent of the Kinahans.

Greg Lynch

James 'Baldy' Carabini (55), from Cabra, north Dublin, made international headlines in 2005 when he was arrested after a €200m cocaine haul was discovered on a fishing boat. He was eventually cleared of all charges.

Carabini has been living in Spain for more than a decade after leaving Ireland following a CAB investigation.

The south-inner city gang linked to Carabini are also be­lieved to be running their own money laundering operation in­volving a number of businesses, including the hugely profitable e-cigarette industry.

James Carabini

Lynch was one of those whose homes were busted by CAB in the last 12 months and he is list­ed on intelligence documents as a key member of the cartel.

However, sources say that he is now closer to associates of Carabini when it comes to business and he is adamant that long-term friendships he has with senior Kinahan lieutenants will not draw him into the feud.

Lynch is not the only key Kina­han ally to ignore orders from Daniel Kinahan - the son of 'Dapper Don' Christy Kinahan - who now directs operations from his base in Spain.

Enforcer Paul Rice is also believed to have snubbed the demands of Kinahan to take out a rival dealer.

Rice has kept his head down for over a year since the Regency Hotel attack and has found his own life under threat due to his inaction on behalf of the cartel.

In recent weeks his driver, who is based in Tallaght, was issued with a GIM (Garda Information Message) that his life is also in danger.

Rice moved back to Ireland from Spain in the years after the Operation Shovel offensive against the Kinahan operation in 2010.

He and slain pal Gerard 'Hatchet' Kavanagh were hired to collect debts back home after companies and €500million worth of assets were frozen.

Rice was a loyal servant to the cartel but since February 2016 he has refused to carry out orders for Daniel Kinahan.

Paul Rice

The wily criminal is under­stood to be under constant sur­veillance and has been issued with a number of GIM forms.

Rice believes that a number of the threats are now coming from his own former mob.

Sources say that Lynch is also unwilling to take orders from Spain and has remained intent on minding his own patch since the feud drew unprecedented garda attention onto Kinahan associates in Dublin.

In order to secure his turf, it is understood that he has been selling product to distributors at a huge discount - in some cases wiping a third off the usual cost - and has been buy­ing direct from other suppliers in Europe not under the same pressure as the mob.

Lynch's most trusted lieu­tenant is a close associate of Carabini, who gardai believe is an independent drug boss based between the Costa del Sol and Amsterdam.

Carabini was known to have a close friendship with the British drug baron Mickey Greene, who lived in a luxurious property in Ireland for a number of years.

Even before he fled Ireland with a €250,000 CAB bill in the post, Carabini had been pinpointed as a major player on the drug scene.

He had been kept under surveillance for at least two years and his relationship with Greene was seen as his key con­tact in the international trade.

On the Costa, Carabini was working with John McKeown - known as 'the Mexican' - who went missing near Alicante in 2007 and is presumed dead.

McKeown was believed to have been looking after the interests of then-jailed drug lord John Gilligan on the Costa Blanca.

Carabini was also believed to be a close associate of Peter Mitchell, who was at that point based on the Costa del Sol.

A year after McKeown's disap­pearance, Mitchell was run out of the Costa after a failed assas­sination attempt by the Kina­han cartel. Mitchell washed up in Amsterdam.

There he hooked up with his old Gilligan gang buddy, John Traynor, who was arrested in 2010 and returned to the UK to serve out a sentence.

While the Irish drug trade has been dominated by the powerful Kinahan gang in recent years, it is under­stood that other large sup­pliers have been operating under the radar.

In the past year, many buyers in Ireland have become wary of dealing with the cartel as they are seen as being toxic due to the level of garda attention on their operations over the past year.

Greg Lynch has always been assumed to be one of the Kina­han's biggest distributors in the south-inner city but the Sunday World understands that he has tightened links with Carabi­ni's associates and distanced himself from his old pals in an effort to stay out of their feud.