PICS: Gardai swoop on Kinahan thugs traveling to "whack Michael Frazer"
This is the moment armed gardaí pounced on two Kinahan cartel members as they travelled to carry out a gangland hit.
Members of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) arrested the two men, aged 34 and 38, on Bank Holiday Monday night on the Kylemore Road in Ballyfermot, South Dublin.
Gardaí recovered a loaded handgun from the white van they were travelling in.
The exclusive photos show how gardaí pulled in front of the branded van on the busy road.
The armed gardaí are seen interacting with the suspects before escorting them from the vehicle.
It is believed that the two men were low level members of the Kinahan cartel. Sources say they were planning to murder gang target Michael Frazer who lives in the Crumlin area.
Gardaí do not believe the attack was directly linked to the feud between the Hutch crime faction and the Kinahans.
A loaded handgun, along with a can of petrol, were found when gardaí stopped their van.
Frazer has survived six murder bids at this point.
The first attempt on Frazer's life was in March 2014 when he was shot a number of times in a botched hit in the car park of a church in Clondalkin.
Frazer also survived separate murder attempts in the south inner city, Firhouse, Drimnagh and Islandbridge areas between July and November of 2014 before he finally fled the country in April 2015.
The south inner city incident happened in July 2014, when gardai intercepted an assassination team in the South Circular Road area and these same mobsters were also arrested by gardai in January of last year dressed in disguises, ready to pounce on their target.
An even more serious attempt on Frazer's life occurred at a pub car park in Firhouse on August 2014 when he was lured to a meeting, but the hitman's gun jammed.
A fortnight after this, Frazer made a panicked call to gardai and said that he saw a man wearing a balaclava standing outside the Drimnagh house he was staying in.
In January 2015, two heroin addicts from the Ballyfermot area were arrested and questioned about another failed murder attempt on Frazer at Islandbridge.
Frazer, who does not have serious criminal convictions, is no stranger to violence and his family home in Drimnagh has been shot at on a number of occasions.
A grenade was also thrown into it eight years ago.
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan has praised gardaí for their successful intervention on Monday.
He said the decisive action taken by An Garda Síochána on Monday has "undoubtedly prevented further loss of life".
"I commend the courage and determination of the Garda members involved in the operation. The outcome demonstrates the effectiveness of the relentless efforts of An Garda Síochána in tackling the menace of organised crime gangs."
Minister Flanagan said no-one should underestimate the scale of the challenge which gardaí face, "or the time it may take to put particular gangs out of business".
Cathal McMahan & Laura Larkin