Wednesday 13 December 2017

Crime empire's top fixer is held as gardaí rout gang

Detective Superintendent Tony Howard, of the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, addresses the media at Dublin Castle after the seizure of weapons belonging to the
Kinahan cartel Picture: PA
Detective Superintendent Tony Howard, of the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, addresses the media at Dublin Castle after the seizure of weapons belonging to the Kinahan cartel Picture: PA

Tom Brady and Ken Foy

Gardaí have dealt a huge blow to the Kinahan cartel with the arrest of one of the gang's "most important" figures in this country.

Ireland's most dangerous crime gang is reeling from a series of setbacks after gardaí uncovered its deadly arsenal, arrested suspected key personnel in the organisation and seized almost €500,000.

The seizures and arrests have dealt a deadly blow to the operations of the Kinahan crime cartel, which has been responsible for the murders of nine of the 10 victims of the gang's vicious feud with the Hutch group.

Among those arrested is a man known as 'Mr Nobody', who is believed by gardaí to be the top logistics organiser in this country for the Kinahan outfit.

He is one of three men currently in garda custody after the discovery of the cartel's firearms cache in a warehouse at the Greenogue industrial estate outside Rathcoole, Co Dublin. A fourth suspect arrested has since been released from garda custody.

The cache of 15 firearms and about 13,000 rounds of ammunition included a sub machine gun, an assault rifle, nine revolvers and four semi-automatic pistols.

'Mr Nobody' has a low profile in the criminal underworld and earned his nickname because he operates under the radar.

But senior officers say he is a close ally and trusted lieutenant of the Kinahans.

He is seen as their main organiser here, taking charge of the finances and the acquisition of firearms for the members of the gang operating here.

He has not been involved in any of the attacks but is regarded as a very significant player in the cartel "behind the scenes".

One garda officer told the Irish Independent: "He is one of the most important, if not the most important, Kinahan figure, based in this country."

'Mr Nobody' was one of three suspects arrested at the scene of the arms seizures - one in the warehouse and two others nearby.

The fourth suspect, in his late 30s, was detained a few hours later when armed gardaí intercepted a car in Tallaght, Co Dublin. He has since been released.

Read More: Arrest of 'Mr Nobody' sets off panic in Kinahan cartel as noose tightens

The other three men are being held in garda stations in west Dublin under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act, which allows officers to detain them without charge for up to three days.

Three of the suspects gave addresses in Co Kildare and the fourth in Clondalkin in west Dublin. 'Mr Nobody' is from south Dublin but has been living in Co Kildare for some time.

He is also a prime target for the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), which has been chasing the assets of several members of the Kinahan outfit for the past few years.

Officers from the Garda drugs and organised crime bureau seized documents and a total of €300,00 in cash at the warehouse and in follow-up searches of houses in counties Kildare and Dublin.

The searches also resulted in gardaí 'freezing' a further €140,000 in a number of bank accounts and this money can be held on the directions of a superintendent for seven days and is then subjected to a review by a judge.

The fresh documents seized in the raids are expected to provide further information for the CAB as officers compile files on their targets.

Gardaí now fear an explosion of gangland violence as leading members will be determined to find out how gardaí were able to target their operations with such effect.

"There will be blood over this, make no mistake. What has happened here over the last few days has led to unprecedented levels of paranoia within the cartel. They are already looking for the rat or rats in the camp," a senior source said last night.

Gardaí say the successes against the cartel by the force in recent days could lead to the gang imploding from within.

"This has happened with gangs both here and internationally when police forces make massive in-roads," a senior source said.

Meanwhile, forensic officers continued a detailed examination of the warehouse yesterday.

Irish Independent

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