Monk nephew held in Spanish drug trafficking crackdown
Published 10/11/2012 | 05:00
Convicted Dublin criminal Gary Hutch has appeared in a Spanish court on charges linked to the massive international police operation into the activities of the drug trafficking network led by Christy Kinahan.
Hutch had been sought across the continent on a European arrest warrant, which had been issued by a Spanish magistrate more than two years ago.
Spanish police arrested the fugitive on the Costa del Sol on Monday night.
He was taken into custody and then brought before a court sitting in Estepona, near Marbella, yesterday and remanded in custody by the judge. Hutch, who is from the north inner city, is alleged on the Spanish warrant to be a lieutenant of one of Kinahan's main associates.
His arrest was sought as part of Operation Shovel, which was set up in 2008 and involved the gardai, Spanish and Dutch police in targeting alleged members of the Kinahan gang behind the multi-million euro crime empire.
It resulted in 23 arrests in Spain and the UK in police swoops in May 2010.
Those detained included Kinahan and his closest associates as police officers began to track down a trail of assets across four continents that was estimated to be worth between €100m and €200m.
International arrest warrants were subsequently issued for Gary Hutch and "Fat" Freddie Thompson, from the south inner city.
Thompson was extradited earlier this year from Dublin to Spain.
All of those detained have since been released on bail by the judge, who was appointed to investigate the network's involvement in crimes ranging from drug trafficking to money laundering and falsifying documents.
Kinahan, who had been detained in a raid on his €6m villa in Estepona, was later arrested again and extradited from Spain to Belgium where he is currently serving a four year sentence for money laundering offences.
Hutch (29) is a nephew of gangland figure, Gerry "The Monk" Hutch, who negotiated a deal with the Criminal Assets Bureau.
In February 2008 he narrowly escaped a gun attack near Estepona, which resulted in the murder of his friend, Paddy Doyle.
Over the past five years he had been moving regularly between here and Spain and was also known to have been a regular visitor to Amsterdam.