Spanish and Irish cops turn up the heat on Kinahan drug cartel
High-ranking members of the Kinahan Cartel are feeling the heat as Gardaí and Spanish police lean down on their every move.
On Saturday, cops threw up armed checkpoints near the villa where Daniel Kinahan lives on Spain’s Costa del Sol.
Daniel Kinahan's lush villa
Officers made a number of arrests and are understood to have been monitoring the property, although it is understood that Kinahan isn't staying there.
Raids, checkpoints and arrests have dogged the gang since they went to war with rivals from the Hutch faction.
Criminal Assets Bureau officers have been leaning heavily on the Byrne family from Raleigh Square and their associates, since David Byrne’s murder in the Regency Hotel.
Two car sales businesses linked to the family have been raided and high-spec cars and motorbikes have been seized.
Last week James Byrne – a brother of David and Liam, who is not involved with the crime outfit – was arrested at Dublin Airport.
James Byrne arrested at Dublin Airport
Several officers were on hand as Byrne was taken into custody just outside Terminal One. The Sunday World was watching days later when he boarded a flight to Malaga – the heartland of the Kinahan mob.
James was seen previously confronting officers when a series of raids were carried out on the Byrne family homes in the wake of Eddie Hutch's killing – believed to have been carried out in revenge for the Regency shooting.
'Fat' Freddie Thompson has been putting on a brave face as his drug business is crushed by the increased pressure by gardai.
In recent weeks he was seen out with wife Vicky Dempsey and later wearing a disguise as he walked through Drimnagh.
The chaos caused by the feud has created a gap in the drugs market for other gangsters to exploit.
John Gilligan's drug-dealing career is thought to be back from the dead thanks to the war. He had been lying low near Birmingham after fleeing two attempts on his life last year.
Police checkpoint in Spain
The Sunday World recently revealed how Gilligan has met with mobster Troy Jordan after getting assurances from the Kinahan Cartel that he is no longer a target.
Until recently, Gilligan had been under the protection of a member of the extended McCarthy clan from Limerick, according to sources.
Although not well known to the authorities in Ireland, he is known to have wide criminal connections and other Irish fugitives have been sheltered by him.
The McCarthy clan and their rivals from the Collopys have been effectively put out of business by a series of arrests in the last six months.
It means that there is chance for new players to start supplying the market, added sources.
As they desperately try to keep their business going, it is understood that Liam Byrne had been spending increasing amounts of time in Birmingham, where his brother-in-law Thomas 'Bomber' Kavanagh lives.
Daniel Kinahan had moved back to Spain, but is understood to be travelling now as he no longer feels safe in his bolthole.
Gardai believe that the gang are about to implode from the pressure brought on them since the feud ignited following the assassination of Gary Hutch in Spain.