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Bomb squad How mobster Thomas 'Bomber' Kavanagh's core crew have been defused by police

Gary Vickery's capture this week in Spain takes another Kavanagh associate off the streets.

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Thomas 'Bomber' Kavanagh

Thomas 'Bomber' Kavanagh

Thomas 'Bomber' Kavanagh

THE arrest of Gary Vickery in Lanzarote this week has taken another key associate of Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh off the streets as his empire continues to crumble.

Dublin man Vickery (38) who is wanted in the UK for supplying millions of euro worth of drugs as well as money laundering, was arrested by the Guardia Civil this week.

Vickery is set to be extradited to the UK where will be sentenced for his involvement in conspiring to importing more than £23m (€27.2m) worth of drugs into the UK and money laundering as part of Kavanagh’s operation.

Kavanagh and Dublin man Daniel Canning (42) have also pleaded guilty to similar charges last year.

The cartel associates were arrested following a four-year investigation by the UK’s National Crime Agency and the Garda's National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB).

However, their sentencing has been delayed after Vickery flew to the Canary Islands after being given bail and repeatedly failed to return to the UK to show up in court and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

His capture this week takes another Kavanagh associate off the streets.

For years Kavanagh headed up the UK arm of the Kinahan cartel’s operation form his base in Tamworth in Birmingham.

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Gary Vickery

Gary Vickery

Gary Vickery

However, as well as directing UK operations gardai believe he played a key role in directing Irish-based lieutenants.

But since the Regency Hotel shooting, Bomber's core crew have been steadily dismantled by gardai and UK cops.

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The majority of Kavanagh's inner criminal circle are now behind bars, or facing lengthy prison sentences.

Bomber is currently serving a three-year prison in the UK after being caught with a stun gun but could face a significant sentence in relation to the drugs importation.

He is also worried he could be targeted by gardai in relation to directing criminal figures based in Ireland.

Several of Kavanagh’s associates have found themselves behind bars in recent times.

Bomber was dealt a massive blow back in 2017 when his key lieutenant Declan Brady was arrested when gardai uncovered an arsenal of weapons in Rathcoole, Dublin, in 2017.

Brady, who was given the nickname Mr Nobody because he had remained under the radar for years while pretending to be a legitimate businessman, was overseeing the transport of weapons and drugs into Ireland at the height of the Kinahan-Hutch war.

Gardai believe UK-based associates of Kavanagh helped get the weapons into Ireland.

The premises was set up to look like a branch of a legitimate UK logistics company but gardai raided it and found an arsenal of weapons which included nine revolvers, four semi-automatic pistols, a sub-machine gun, an assault rifle and 1,355 rounds of ammunition.

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Declan Brady

Declan Brady

Declan Brady

Brady was sentenced to 11-and-a-half years in prison after he admitted supervising the firearms arsenal.

Two other cartel associates arrested over the weapons haul Jonathan Harding, of McNeill Court, Sallins, Co Kildare, was sentenced to ten years with one suspended, while James Walsh, from Neilstown Drive in Clondalkin, was sentenced to nine years with one suspended.

Another man Sean Ruth from Stradbrook, Stradbally Road in Portlaoise, was sentenced to three years after DNA linked him to a firearm found at the Rathcoole premises.

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(Circled Left and Right) Sean Ruth and Declan Brady at David Byrne's funeral in 2016

(Circled Left and Right) Sean Ruth and Declan Brady at David Byrne's funeral in 2016

(Circled Left and Right) Sean Ruth and Declan Brady at David Byrne's funeral in 2016

He later received a suspended sentence for money laundering offences.

As well as overseeing the weapons storage Brady was heavily involved in laundering drugs cash for Kavanagh and other cartel associates and gardai found almost €270,000 which he had hidden in a property Naas, Co Kildare in January 2017.

Subsequent investigations revealed Brady laundered approximately €1.3m in crime cash.

Brady was sentenced to seven years and three months for laundering cash for a criminal organisation in June this year.

Clondalkin gangster Peader Keating, who was another key lieutenant working for Kavanagh, was jailed for 11 years in September for directing a plot to murder Hutch associate James Mago Gately.

Keating was of the most senior figures working the cartel in Ireland until he was locked up and is suspected of being tasked with helping organise a number of shootings linked to the feud.

He has close links to Kavanagh and spent time at his property in Tamworth as well as a property belonging to Kavanagh in Spain.

He was arrested by authorities in the UK 2017 after the seizure of €5.5m linked to Kavanagh’s operation but later released without charge.

Several others were jailed as part of the thwarted plot against Gately including Estonian hitman Imre Arakas who was flown into Ireland to carry out the hit.

David Duffy, from Greenfort Lawns in Clondalkin and Stephen Fowler from Blakestown Cottages in Clonsilla were also recently jailed for providing logistical support in the plot.

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David Duffy (l) and Peader Keating (r)

David Duffy (l) and Peader Keating (r)

David Duffy (l) and Peader Keating (r)

Keating is also suspected of hiring hitman Glen Clarke who is suspected of being the gunman behind two botched hits on Hutch associates which instead claimed the lives of innocent men, Trevor O’Neill and Martin O’Rourke, in separate incidents in 2016.

Trevor O’Neill was shot dead while on holiday in Spain in 2016 when a gunman believed to be Clarke opened fire intending to target Jonathan Hutch was also in the vicinity.

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Glen Clarke who shot himself on the way to a gangland hit January 2017

Glen Clarke who shot himself on the way to a gangland hit January 2017

Glen Clarke who shot himself on the way to a gangland hit January 2017

Martin O’Rourke was shot dead on Sheriff Street in Dublin the same year when a gunman was trying to target a Hutch associate in the area.

Clarke’s DNA was found the murder weapon and is believed to have been the killer.

Clarke was found with a gunshot wound to the head in a car in Leixlip, Co Kildare, in December 2016. Investigating gardai said they believe he may have accidentally shot himself while Clarke’s family believe he was murdered.

While several of Kavanagh’s close associates may be off the streets his brother-in-law Liam Byrne is believed to still be directing cartel operations from abroad.

Byrne, whose brother David was shot in Regency Hotel attack, left Ireland for the UK after CAB seized millions from him and associates in recent years.

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