Thursday 21 June 2018

Suspect due in court as loaded gun seized in foiled gangland hit

The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin

Robin Schiller

A man is to appear in court this morning after a suspected gangland hit was foiled over the weekend.

He was charged by gardaí yesterday following the seizure of a loaded revolver in a significant Garda operation in Dublin's north-inner city on Saturday afternoon.

Two men, aged 27 and 30, were detained at separate locations by heavily armed gardaí shortly after 4.30pm in the Dublin 3 area.

A revolver was found on the 30-year-old man as he cycled a bike along East Wall Road, while the 27-year-old was arrested in a car on nearby Clonmore Road.

A source last night told the Irish Independent that gardaí intervened and arrested the pair over fears there was an imminent threat to life.

"The exact target has not yet been established, but a number of Hutch family members and associates live in the immediate area and could have been potential victims," the source said.

Yesterday gardaí charged one man and he will appear before the Criminal Courts of Justice this morning.

The second man was released without charge and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The two men have been regularly stopped and searched by gardaí in the North Dock area in recent weeks. Gardaí are probing if they were carrying out surveillance on a potential target in that area on those occasions. They are believed to be working for the Kinahan cartel.

A Garda spokeswoman said that Saturday's arrests were part of an "ongoing investigation into organised crime and threats to life in the Dublin region".

The operation was led by detectives from the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB), who were assisted by officers from the Special Crime Task Force and the Garda Crime and Security section.

The men were held in Garda stations in north Dublin under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act, so could be held for up to three days.

Both men are well known to gardaí and were previously jailed over a similar incident.

The men received lengthy prison terms after being caught with a loaded revolver in a stolen car in north Dublin almost a decade ago. On that occasion, gardaí believe they were on their way to carry out a shooting linked to a local dispute.

The 27-year-old arrested over Saturday's gun seizure was also recently arrested over a botched hit linked to the Kinahan cartel.

The planned shooting, in the south-east of the country, was foiled when armed units swooped on a number of men as they were on their way to target a Hutch family member aged in his 30s.

Two men were questioned over that incident and released without charge.

A third man, who is aged in his late 20s and from the north-inner city, is still wanted by gardaí in relation to that gun seizure.

Last month it emerged that more than 500 people have had threats made to their lives in Dublin as part of three ongoing feuds, particularly the Hutch/Kinahan dispute.

Assistant Garda Commissioner Pat Leahy, in charge of the Dublin region, said there were 11 critical threats and a further 51 severe threats, while 71 have been described as substantial.

The Hutch/Kinahan feud has so far claimed up to 18 lives both in Ireland and abroad.

Irish Independent

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