MEMBERS of the drugs gang put together by Ireland's wealthiest criminal are back in business despite garda efforts to dismantle the network.
Detectives have been working with Spanish and Dutch police to prosecute alleged members of Christy Kinahan's gang, believed to be behind a multi-million drugs and crime empire. Now officers admit the prosecution is unlikely to go ahead for some time.
In the meantime, the gang members are back in business and have reinvented themselves by using their old contacts on the continent. The massive cross-border police investigation codenamed Operation Shovel will not be completed until well into next year.
It was set up in 2008 but progress has been slow because of the complexity of the task.
Most of the inquiries carried out by the garda national drugs unit and their counterparts overseas have been finalised. But alleged assets are still being tracked around the world.
The suspects are being investigated for involvement in crimes ranging from drug trafficking to money laundering and falsifying documents.