Thug arrested during Kinahan swoop is suspect for Hatchet and Hutch murders
The feared Dublin criminal who is in custody in Spain for the murder of Gary Hutch has also been investigated for the savage murder of Gerard ‘Hatchet’ Kavanagh in September, 2014, the Herald can reveal.
Yesterday gangland criminal James Quinn (34) was sent to a prison near Malaga after making his first formal court appearance before a Spanish judge.
He was arrested as part of a joint operation by gardai in Dublin and police in Spain targeting the Kinahan cartel this week.
The thug from Basin Street in Dublin’s south inner city with around 70 previous convictions is also a suspect in a number of other gun attacks, including that of cartel bully ‘Hatchet’ Kavanagh, also on Spain’s ‘Costa del Crime’, more than two years ago.
Drimnagh criminal Kavanagh (44) died after being struck with nine bullets at Harmon’s Irish Bar in Elviria, Spain when he was targeted by a two-man hit team in 2014.
Sources revealed last night that gardai have received information that James Quinn was involved in the murder but Spanish police have never gained enough evidence to charge him for that crime.
Kavanagh’s murder was part of an implosion within the Kinahan cartel which also led to the brutal gun slaying of his brother Paul in Drumcondra six months later.
Two masked gunmen burst into Harmon’s Irish Bar at 4pm on September 6, 2014 and opened fire on Kavanagh with a machine pistol while he tried to flee.
When he fell to the floor, one of the two assassins, dressed from head to toe in black, stood over Kavanagh and fired a ‘make sure’ last shot to his temple as he lay dead.
The pair made their getaway in a BMW they had left with the engine running near the bar.
A vehicle matching its description was found burnt out shortly afterwards near a supermarket 5km away on the road to Marbella.
Senior sources say that Quinn is considered a “trusted enforcer” for the cartel and has been living with the mob near Marbella for almost a decade.
Quinn, a nephew of veteran criminal Martin ‘The Viper’ Foley appeared in front of an investigating judge after being taken to a duty court in the Costa del Sol resort of Fuengirola for the behind-closed-doors hearing.
He was rushed into a courtroom out of sight of waiting press amid tight security yesterday morning.
He was due to spend his first night at Alhaurin de la Torre prison last night.
The maximum security jail is also where Quinn’s associates Christy Kinahan and his two sons Daniel and Christopher were remanded in custody after their arrests in May 2010 following a major police
investigation into drugs trafficking and money laundering.
Suspects under Spanish law can be held for a maximum of four years without charge – although a new application to continue holding them in custody has to be sought by officials after two years.
It is not yet known if Quinn’s lawyer made a request for bail for his client at the hearing, or whether Quinn agreed to answer questions about the Hutch murder.