NewsCrime Desk

Kinahan car thief escapes hit attempt as armed man lifted

Car found burn out in Rathoath after the hit on Noel 'Kingsize' Duggan
Car found burn out in Rathoath after the hit on Noel 'Kingsize' Duggan

A CRUMLIN mobster suspected of sourcing high-powered stolen cars for the Kinahan Cartel narrowly avoided a hit attempt when an armed man was arrested outside his home, the Sunday World can reveal.

The bumbling hitman was nabbed with a handgun as he sat in a taxi outside the up-and-coming mobster’s home in the south-inner city just over two weeks ago.

The intended target has been operating a lucrative business providing stolen cars at a moment’s notice to be used by the Kinahan Cartel for feud hits.

It is believed Gardaí confronted the gunman after spotting him acting suspiciously outside the car thief’s home. After being questioned, the stressed-out criminal admitted he had a handgun in  his pocket and was arrested. Amazingly, he had paid for the taxi cab and had failed to disguise his face.

The gunman is believed to be known to Gardaí but is not regarded as a major mob player.

Detectives are currently investigating if the botched hit was ordered as part of the Hutch-Kinahan feud.

However, other lines of investigation are also being pursued.

The intended target is regarded as an important cog in the Cartel’s operation and acts as a linkman in the now booming stolen car trade.

Many of the stolen cars – usually Audis, Saabs or BMWs – have been taken by criminals fishing keys out of letter boxes.

The Crumlin criminal then arranges for them to be stored at a safe location so they can be accessed at a moment’s notice by Cartel gunmen. The number plates are usually removed and replaced with fakes.

The feud, which is already the bloodiest in Irish gangland history, has lead to a boom in business for reliable car thieves.

Stolen vehicles were previously sold for around €750, but criminals are now demanding €1,500 per car.

In March, Gardaí discovered two burnt-out cars shortly after the murder of Noel ‘Kingsize’ Duggan near his home in Ratoath, Co. Meath

The cars, a BMW and a Saab, had been left at a car park at the back of Cairn Court estate, just off Glascarn Lane in Ratoath.

In May, a Cork-registered Audi A6 was found partially burnt out in Drumcondra after RIRA man Michael Barr was shot.

Gardaí believe they have now prevented up to a dozen murders since the outbreak of the gangland war.

Car used in inner city hit

This week, in a milestone for the investigation, detectives secured the first major conviction linked to the probe into the Kinahan-Hutch feud.

Donegal man Shane Rowan (39), was jailed for seven-and-a-half years for possession of assault rifles and ammunition, as well as four years in prison for IRA membership.

He was caught with three assault rifles, as well as three magazines suitable for use in each rifle, at Tuiterath, Balrath, Slane, Co. Meath in March.

The court heard that Gardaí had confidential information that Rowan was to collect firearms on behalf of the IRA in Dublin.

The Sunday World can reveal that the weapons were discovered as a result of intelligence gathered by the Special Detective Unit into links between the Hutch gang and dissident republicans.

Even before the feud started, the Gardaí were monitoring whether northern-based dissidents were supplying guns to the Hutch gang.

Rowan’s arrest came as a direct result of intelligence suggesting he was involved in transporting guns for dissident chiefs based in the North.

In court this week, Detective Sergeant Padraig Boyce said that Rowan was “a volunteer” and “certainly wouldn’t be issuing instructions”.