THE two suspected leaders of the gang responsible for the murder of Real IRA leader Alan Ryan were in custody in the North last night.
The two men, aged 46 and 30, were arrested on Monday morning after heavily armed PSNI raided an apartment in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh.
It is understood that detectives seized a large number of forged documents, including driving licences and passports. They also confiscated over €60,000 in cash, which the two criminals were in the process of "drying and cleaning".
Sources revealed that the money was damp and dirty. The PSNI suspects that it had been buried for some time and had recently been dug up.
The two men, both from north Dublin, have been in hiding since the murder of the RIRA gang boss in September.
The Irish Independent can reveal that gardai officially informed the two men that their lives were in danger following Ryan's death.
Both men have been living between addresses in the North, Co Cavan and Spain in recent years. They are classified as "major players" in organised crime and had been feuding with Ryan and his gang for the past two years.
Last year, a warrant was issued by the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin for the arrest of the 46-year-old man after he had failed to appear in court on a number of charges relating to serious revenue offences.
It is understood gardai in Dublin will now begin extradition proceedings.
However, sources say that one or both men could also be charged with money laundering and fraud offences relating to the documents and cash seized.
Last night a PSNI source revealed that, unknown to them, the two criminals had been living in rented accommodation next door to where three police officers were living.