Thursday 18 January 2018

Gardaí seize drugs worth €740,000 in further blow to Kinahans

Cannabis seized in Dublin. Picture: Garda Press Office
Cannabis seized in Dublin. Picture: Garda Press Office

Ken Foy

Gardaí seized €740,000 of drugs believed to belong to the Kinahan cartel in Dublin city yesterday morning.

The arrest of two men, including a criminal from Portland Row in the north inner city, happened during a drugs exchange on Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin 2.

Gardaí from the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau stopped and searched a car and a van and discovered 37kg of cannabis herb with an approximate street value of €740,000.

Two men, one a 30-year-old and his 48-year-old associate, were taken to Irishtown Garda Station.

Daniel Kinahan
Daniel Kinahan

They were being questioned last night under section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996.

Sources say the fact that the arrested man hails from the north inner city is a sign of the Kinahan cartel's utter dominance on the Dublin drug scene.

"This shows how the Kinahan cartel has now infiltrated Hutch territory as the north inner city was always seen as a Hutch stronghold," a source said.

The drugs bust will come as a massive blow to the cartel which has become increasingly paranoid following a number of successful garda operations against it in recent months.

In January, paranoia within the murderous crime outfit was said to be at "unprecedented levels" after €37m of drugs, 15 weapons and more than €400,000 in cash and from bank accounts were seized in a number of days.

One suspect was arrested after a top-secret raid in which gardaí recovered almost €300,000 cash in vacuum-packed bags in the attic of his house. They also discovered more than €100,000 in a bank account linked to him.

These developments closely followed the recovery of 15 heavy-duty firearms at Greenogue Industrial Estate in west Dublin.

Days later, €3m of suspected heroin and cocaine were recovered during the operation in Co Kildare.

In the months following the seizures, it's understood Spanish based crime boss Daniel Kinahan has become convinced there is a mole in his ranks and is determined to get to the bottom of it.

Some of the cartel's top henchmen are also under huge pressure where their assets are concerned.

Crumlin gangster Liam Byrne, whose brother David Byrne was shot dead in the Regency Hotel gun attack, is currently embroiled in a legal battle with the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) over luxury assets - including high-end cars, belonging to him and a number of associates.

In March, the High Court cleared the way for the CAB to sell assets including several cars worth €500,000 from 11 individuals it says are linked to the Kinahan cartel.

Irish Independent

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