NewsCrime Desk

Man in cartel drug and guns bust “let his guard down” at hotel meet

Man in cartel drug and guns bust “let his guard down” at hotel meet

A man arrested over the weekend by specialist gardai investigating the activities of the Kinahan cartel was caught after "letting his guard down" and attending a meeting, according to sources.

The 28-year-old suspect, who is originally from Co Kildare, was arrested at a hotel in Gorey, Co Wexford, at about 2pm on Sunday and was taken to a west Dublin garda station.

He was still being questioned last night about his major role in moving firearms and drugs for the deadly mob.

The arrested man is suspected of having "direct knowledge" of a number of cartel murders.

The suspect was arrested following a surveillance operation, when detectives realised he was attending a meeting at the respected hotel.

He had only arrived back in the country from Spain's Costa del Sol hours before his arrest.

He has been "strongly linked" to two major firearms seizures gardai made against the cartel in January, in which officers recovered 15 weapons - including an AK-47, revolvers and semi-automatic pistols - as well as a large quantity of cocaine.

The suspect fled the country shortly after these seizures but sources have revealed that he "let his guard down" by attending Sunday's meeting.

It is believed officers are "very hopeful" of being able to bring criminal charges.

"This man was on the radar of gardai for moving drugs, firearms and cash. He is not considered a hitman or anything like that, he is above that level," a senior source said last night.

"He has been strongly linked to those big seizures last January as well as organising other serious cartel activities. He spent a number of months out of the country but he has now been arrested."

The arrest of the man is considered "very significant".

It was carried out by officers from the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, who have been monitoring his activities for months.

"This is part of the relentless campaign by gardai to dismantle the Kinahan crime gang," a source said.

A garda spokesman said he was being held "on suspicion of enhancing the ability of a criminal organisation to commit or facilitate a serious offence".