Sunday 20 October 2019

Armed Gardaí target teens linked to top figures in Kinahan cartel

Cash, crack cocaine and heroin found as ‘new generation’ of cartel associates targeted

Armed gardai and the Criminal Assets Bureau officers (Niall Carson/PA)
Armed gardai and the Criminal Assets Bureau officers (Niall Carson/PA)

Ken Foy

The Kinahan cartel’s younger cohort have been dealt a double blow with gardai seizing drugs, cash and cocaine mixing agent in separate raids.

Officers stormed a Drimnagh property on Thursday, targeting a close teenage associate of Kinahan cartel figure Gareth Chubb.

They seized 100 grams of a substance believed to be mixing agent for cocaine, as well as more than €2,000 in cash, though the target of the raid was not in the house.

No arrests were made.

Senior sources said gardai were targeting the “new younger breed of criminal” heavily involved with the Kinahan cartel’s day-to-day operations in the capital.

TARGET

The Garda Emergency Response Unit used specialist equipment to break down a reinforced door in the raids.

In July 2017, Chubb (31), a close associate of the target of this week’s raid, was cleared by a Dutch court of the attempted manslaughter of a drug dealer who tried to sell him baking soda instead of cocaine.

However, he was jailed for six months for possession of a loaded gun he pulled out at an Amsterdam cafe during the terrifying incident.

Close associates of Chubb were also targeted by gardai in a series of raids in Dublin’s south inner city in March last year when around €10,000 and five GPS tracking devices were seized by officers.

Thursday’s operation was the second successful bust by local gardai against up-and-coming teenage members of the cartel in just six days.

On Friday last week, gardai seized around €2,500 worth of crack cocaine and heroin when they carried out two simultaneous raids on properties in the Lissadell area of Drimnagh.

Two teenagers were arrested, including a young man who has close links to cartel kingpin Liam Byrne.

The man has previously been described by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) as a “trusted lieutenant” of the international crime gang.

A male relative of this lieutenant was busted throwing the drugs out of a window of a house in the area when it was raided by uniformed officers.

However, it is understood Byrne’s close associate has taken responsibility for the drugs haul even though nothing was found in the property in which he lives.

“It seems some kind of drugs swap or transaction had taken place before gardai arrived at the two houses”, a senior source said.

“The fella that has taken responsibility is becoming a bigger and bigger player in the drugs scene.

“Like his close associate, Liam Byrne, he has a love for big, flashy cars and the high life. He is a big target for gardai.”

Byrne (36) is currently in exile in the Birmingham area and gardai chiefs have classified him as being the leader of the Byrne Organised Crime Gang (BOCG).

The High Court was told the career criminal was heavily involved in drug trafficking and violent crime and described the evidence for this as “extensive and detailed”.

THUGS

The Herald has previously revealed a group of a dozen young men closely associated with members of the Kinahan cartel have been described as “the next generation” of lieutenants in the capital.

The group of 12 young men and teenagers from the Crumlin/Drimnagh area are described as being “extremely loyal” to cartel member Byrne and other key associates like Chubb and Liam Roe.

At least six of the group, who are all in their late teens or early 20s, were present at the Regency Hotel when a five-man hit squad armed with handguns and automatic weapons entered the premises and opened fire in the February 2016 bloodbath which led to the murder of cartel figure David Byrne.

Among the so called “next generation” is Crumlin man Lee Gibson (20), who was investigated as part of the CAB’s major probe into the mob.

The CAB outlined in a High Court affidavit: “He is involved in the day-to-day business of the organised crime group (OCG) and through the investigation into the business it has been established that he has been involved in the importation and registration of several vehicles.

“Lee Gibson travels to the UK and Spain at the behest of this OCG and has been stopped in the company of senior members of this OCG on a regular basis,” the CAB said.

In mid-August, officers from the Crumlin Drugs Unit arrested a 25-year-old south inner city man when they seized cocaine with an estimated value of €64,000, along with €14,000 of cannabis herb.

Gardai also seized €7,500 in cash. Less than a fortnight later – on the same day cartel member ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson was jailed for life for the murder of David ‘Daithi’ Douglas – gardai in the locality made another significant cocaine seizure.

“Operations targeting these young criminals will continue in the coming weeks,” a senior source said last night.

ABROAD

“They will not be allowed to get too big for their boots and will be taken down,” the source added.

The generation of younger dealers has taken over because many of the cartel’s main players are now living on the run abroad or are locked up in prison. These include cartel boss Daniel Kinahan (left), who has not left Dubai now for more than a year.

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