NewsCrime Desk

Gardai to go after Kinahan cartel links to international mobs

Christy Kinahan
Christy Kinahan

SENIOR gardaí will travel to foreign countries to track down criminals currently involved in Dublin's violent gangland feud.

Members of both the Hutch gang and the Kinahan cartel - who are involved in a deadly feud that has so far claimed seven lives - are based abroad in the belief that this leaves them "out of the reach" of An Garda Síochána.

The cities where the major criminals are living include the southern Spanish coastal town of Marbella, the Dutch city of Eindhoven and Dubai in the Middle East.

However, one of the country's most senior gardaí has warned that "if it is required", then members of the force will travel abroad to bring the criminals to justice.
Gardaí expect arrests to be made overseas as part of an investigation into the international crime syndicate.

Assistant Garda Commissioner John O'Mahony, who is responsible for the gardaí's Crime and Security branch, was speaking at a security briefing regarding the ongoing feud.

Meanwhile, hundreds of youngsters on the periphery of the gangs are to be targeted for offering logistical and fringe support in gangland murders.

Deputy Garda Commissioner John Twomey warned: "Those people that are involved on the fringes of these crimes, those that are involved in purchasing of mobile phones and purchasing of cars, are equally as culpable as those who pull the trigger and they figure centrally in our investigations.

"We are determined that good will win over evil. There is no place in this society for those who are determined to reek havoc on local communities."

Since the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel, 23 people have been arrested in relation to the six murders here.

The Kinahan cartel are suspected of being involved in six of the seven feud murders, as well as the mass distribution of drugs in this country.

"We have previously, where it has been required, sent operations people to work in conjunction with other police forces, and if that is what's required here we will do the same.

"Indeed, with regards to the new task force, that was one of the considerations we have given to that special task force to work closer and maybe, if necessary, to work in those countries," Mr O'Mahoney said.

"Because there is no doubt about it, what's happening in this country and what's happening in these communities - in particular the inner-city communities of Dublin - is being orchestrated from the south of Spain and from Holland and indeed from the UK, so if that's what is required then we will be going there," he added.

Mr O'Mahony also added that such operations were previously conducted to target John Gilligan and his drug-trafficking gang.

The Kinahan cartel's association with other European and international crime gangs was also described by the senior garda as a "huge, huge conglomerate" which includes other criminal organisations, such as the Russian mafia and the Marseille-based mafia in the south of France.

Gardai have been working with police forces in Spain, the UK, France and the Netherlands in an effort to target the wealth and activities of the cartel.

Operations are also ongoing in the Dublin Metropolitan Region, as well as other garda divisions across the country.

One of the main actions taken by gardai is Operation Thistle, which targets the sale, supply and distribution of drugs in the Kinahan stronghold of the south-inner-city.

So far this year, €11m worth of illegal narcotics have been seized nationwide, while drugs with a street value of €46m were recovered in 2015.

Members of the Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab) are also "following the money" of these criminal gangs, with over €1m in assets belonging to associates of the Kinahan cartel being seized earlier this year.

Further Cab operations are also expected to take place in the coming months.

Mr O'Mahony described the success of Cab as causing the "unintended consequence" of forcing criminals to flee abroad to protect their assets.

A special task force was also announced earlier this week to target criminals involved in the current gangland feud.

Headed by recently promoted Assistant Garda Commissioner Eugene Corcoran, the unit will hope to prevent and disrupt their operations, both nationally and internationally.

A murder on the continent last year is believed to have started the current feuding between the gangs.

Gary Hutch (33), the nephew of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch, was gunned down outside an apartment complex in Mira de Flores, Spain, last September.