Tuesday 26 September 2017

Kinahan cartel members dispatched to the North to kill Regency shooter 'Flat Cap'

Paul Williams and Robin Schiller

Members of the Kinahan cartel have been dispatched to the North to carry out a revenge attack on a man suspected of involvement in the Regency Hotel murder.

The dissident republican - dubbed 'Flat cap' - was pictured leaving the Drumcondra hotel armed with a handgun.

It is understood that gardaí are working closely with the PSNI, who have been monitoring the killer's movements.

Sources have told the Irish Independent that gardaí are preparing a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) recommending that 'Flat Cap' be charged.

He will then be arrested by the PSNI and the State will seek his extradition to the Republic.

However, it has emerged that the Kinahan cartel is understood to have sent gang members to the North in a bid to carry out a hit on the individual before he is arrested.

Also pictured fleeing the Regency Hotel in the aftermath of the shooting was a gunman dressed in drag, also armed with a handgun.

Senior detectives were last night continuing to question a man aged in his 20s who they suspect is the cross-dressing gunman.

On Friday night, following a high-speed chase, members of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) stopped a black Nissan Almera on the Malahide Road in Dublin and arrested two men.

One is believed to be an associate of slain Gary Hutch (34).

The other, who is aged in his late 20s, was arrested for road traffic offences. However, he was released without charge yesterday morning.

Gardaí investigating the Regency Hotel attack are also expected to charge two members of the gang with murder.

Sources have revealed that investigators used facial recognition software to formally identify the suspect, a close associate of Gary Hutch, whose murder by the Kinahan cartel in Spain sparked the current spiral of feud violence.

The same technology has also confirmed the identity of the veteran republican hitman wearing a flat cap.

Meanwhile, it has also emerged that a number of other individuals are also likely to be arrested with helping the killers make their getaways and hiding weapons after the attack.

Detectives have also discovered that a well-known veteran crime figure was centrally involved in the planning of the Regency attack and drove members of the gang away afterwards.

Gardaí suspect over a dozen people were directly involved in the shooting and subsequent getaway effort.

Five gunmen stormed the hotel - three dressed as fake garda ERU members and carrying AK47s - during the February 5 attack. Another individual drove the Ford Transit van from the scene, while a number of cars, including taxis, were used to collect the hit team from the Charlemont housing estate, where the van was later found burnt out.

Gardaí also believe a gang member acted as a spotter for the hit team.

Irish Independent

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