The Sunday World's Criminal Rich List Pt 1
THE unimaginable wealth of some of the criminals on our rich list shows that drugs still provide the mainstay for gangland’s elite.
The cartels are at the top end of the drug spectrum, but for a line of ‘Charlie’ to reach the streets there are many, many others getting rich.
The insatiable appetite for cocaine and other illicit drugs across Ireland has spawned empires which deal in murder and misery. Smuggling and the vice trade is also a great source of wealth to the underworld, where greed turns the wheels of industry.
Here are some of the underworld's richest.
Christy ‘Ditsy’ Nevin
WHEN feud trouble breaks out among the traveller community in the Midlands, ‘Ditsy’ Nevin is never far away.
Despite his advancing years he is still at the forefront when it comes to swapping online threats and challenges to rival bare-knuckle boxers. In 2009 he landed in hot water when he threatened CAB officers who called to his house. He collected €1million from the National Lottery in 2013 after winning a midweek draw.
VETERAN gangster Martin ‘the Viper’ Foley may have become a dad again at the ripe old age of 64, but his financial fortunes have slumped.
Earlier this year his business partner, kidnapper Mick Cunningham, died from a heart attack, just months after the CAB raided his home, taking everything they could get their hands on in lieu of a bill of almost e1m. Foley, who friends say is notoriously mean, still lives in an ordinary council house in Crumlin, but spends a lot of time in Gran Canaria. Over the past five years he has largely stuck to debt collecting.
BEST known as the original traveller businessman, Willie McGinley came to prominence after building his fabulous Crystal Manor house on the outskirts of Longford. Every Christmas the property is lit up in a spectacular show of lights.
He built up his wealth as a trader at casual markets, but in recent years was found guilty of dealing in stolen goods. His son Brian was convicted last year of playing a part in an aggravated robbery which targeted the family of a prominent Athlone businessman. Another son, Patrick ‘Toucher’, has been charged with murder in Northern Ireland.
Martin ‘Ripper’ Joyce
‘RIPPER’ runs a tyre business from his home at Primatestown, just outside Ashbourne. He was once investigated over running a diesel laundering operation on the site.
He was previously convicted of threatening a Criminal Assets Bureau officer and of running an illegal waste disposal operation at Dunsink Lane in
WALTERS has reportedly been targeted by dangerous criminal gangs after he handed €600,000 over to the Criminal Assets Bureau.
He has been associated with handling cash for organised criminal outfits based in Dublin and came under the spotlight when two men were caught digging up a seven-figure sum of money just outside Limerick city. The huge seizure of cash has been linked to associates of Walters.
PAUL ‘Hippo’ Ward is suspected of getting back into the drugs business since his release from prison in 2005 and is believed to buy his product from George ‘the Penguin’ Mitchell.
He lives in Leixlip in a plush family home and is suspected of being behind wholesale supplies of cannabis – the same drug that made millionaires of the Gilligan gang in their prime. He has always loved the high life and splashing his drug cash.
The Byrne Brothers
BROTHERS Liam and David Byrne, from Raleigh Square, have motored their way up the ranks of the Kinahan mob through loyalty and hard work.
The brothers are based between Spain and Dublin and when home they love to flash their expensive cars and wads of cash. The pair and their father James ‘Jaws’ Byrne have squirrelled their way into the heart of the Kinahan mob through their friendship with Daniel Kinahan.
GANGSTER number one Greg Lynch is just 31-years-old, but has become one of Ireland’s biggest and most powerful drug dealers. He controls the Dublin 8 area known as ‘Fortress Gangland’ for the Kinahan mob and is believed to have up to 200 foot soldiers working for him.
The mobster lives in an ordinary home in the heart of his territory and splashes out on his horses which he keeps in the Dublin mountains.
DRUG boss Brian Mahoney and his gangster wife Ciara live in a blinged-up home in Coolock, where they have pumped money into bullet-proof windows and doors and a top of the range security system.
Inside their fortress each room is complete with plasma screens and the best that money can buy. Mahoney is a key member of the Kinahan gang having started out as a driver, but later establishing himself as a legitimate businessman for cover along with mob money man Matthew Dunne.
Graham ‘The Wig’ Whelan
EXILED drug lord Whelan is believed to be based in Birmingham, where he has amassed a tidy fortune helping distribute drugs and guns across England.
Once seen as a minnow, he became a key member of ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson’s gang and took over as his boss got caught up in a feud. He left Ireland as he felt Gardai circling in the last four years.
HOPKINS is a lifelong associate of George Mitchell and has made a sizeable nest egg from a career in organised crime.
He was caught with ‘the Penguin’ in 1986 when the pair stole a truckload of meat and were charged with aggravated burglary and false imprisonment. When Mitchell was released he moved into international drug trafficking and became a major supplier into Ireland.
THE criminal known as ‘the Pigeon’ has bought up an impressive property portfolio on foot of a compensation claim he received years ago, but Gardai believe he is actually a prolific drug dealer with links to the Kinahan mob.
The 35-year-old who hails from Dublin’s north inner city runs a number of businesses to front his real operation.
The younger Kinahan is not seen as being as bright as his brother, but is still a mainstay in his father’s empire.
He is married and lives with his partner and children in the hills of Benahavis overlooking the Spanish coastline. In Ireland he stays in a mansion at Coldwater Lakes which was last owned by companies linked to the Mansfield family.
THE Dapper Don’s son loves to flash the cash on the Costa del Sol, where he has built up a personal fortune from the enormous drug-running empire his father controls.
He owns a plush villa in Estepona and other properties on the Costa, where staff tend to his every need. Friends say he tries to distance himself as much as possible from Oliver Bond council flat he grew up in.
Keep an eye out tomorrow for the next instalment.