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Identity crisis Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch ‘had multiple fake passports’, gardaí believe

He had definitely more than one fake travel document. This is an individual who had been travelling all around Europe and beyond for five-and-a-half years”

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Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch

Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch

Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch

Gardaí believe jailed crime boss Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch had used multiple fake travel documents as well as the Croatian passport he was caught with in Spain last week.

However, it remained unclear last night how many documents Spanish police seized from Hutch (58) after searching his hideaway in Fuengirola last Friday.

Hutch, who is being held in a high-security Spanish prison, faces being extradited back to Ireland over the Regency Hotel murder of Kinahan cartel gangster David Byrne in February 2016.

“He had definitely more than one fake travel document. This is an individual who had been travelling all around Europe and beyond for five-and-a-half years,” a source told the Irish Independent.

“This is an individual who has a wide range of criminal contacts throughout Europe.”

The Guardia Civil released footage yesterday of the moment Hutch was arrested as he sat in a restaurant with his wife in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.

He had been using his own credit card and bank account until recently, but stopped in April after he became aware the authorities were after him.

In a statement yesterday, the Spanish force described Hutch, using his nickname ‘The Monk’ and his initials, as a “dangerous” criminal wanted in Ireland to face charges for murder.

The Guardia Civil confirmed it had searched for him in the Canary Islands earlier this year, but lost track of him before intelligence pointed them toward the Costa del Sol.

He was found in Fuengirola, near Malaga, where he was arrested on Thursday afternoon in a restaurant.

In the footage released to the media yesterday, Hutch is seen holding a menu and wearing a face mask before he is surrounded by police who arrest him and march him to a bathroom, search him and then put him in a car.

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A garda was present for the entire arrest operation and confirmed The Monk’s identity to his Spanish colleagues seconds after the arrest.

The Guardia Civil said it had set up a discreet surveillance operation on Hutch’s Fuengirola apartment, and it appeared he had his own “logistics network”, which meant he did not have to leave his “hiding place”.

Last Thursday, a surveillance team saw Hutch leave the apartment and walk through the town centre.

“He leaves his home walking through the busy streets of the centre of the city,” police said in the statement.

“He is very focused on his safety, making numerous stops and direction changes until he accesses a well-known restaurant where he is detained by Guardia Civil agents. He was carrying false documentation at that time.”

The investigation was carried out by the Fugitives Squad of the Guardia’s central operational unit and its Rapid Action Group in collaboration with An Garda Síochána and Europol.

The Irish Independent understands Hutch is likely to face further serious charges when he is returned to this jurisdiction, including attempted murder and possession of firearms.

He appeared before a court in Madrid on Saturday after being taken there in an armed convoy from Fuengirola.

He is expected to contest his extradition despite facing tougher conditions in the Madrid prison than he is likely to face in Ireland.

The process could take months to be resolved in the Spanish courts.

Hutch is believed to be worth millions of euro thanks to a property portfolio that stretches from Dublin’s north inner city to Turkey.

It is suspected he amassed his wealth through money laundering and shrewd investments.

This is despite the fact he handed over €1.5m to the Criminal Assets Bureau.

Eighteen people have been killed in the Hutch-Kinahan feud, which began with a dispute between The Monk’s nephew Gary Hutch and several Kinahan crime figures living in Spain.

Gary Hutch became the feud’s first victim when he was shot dead on the Costa del Sol in September 2015.

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