Guns stockpiled for Regency-style attack, gardaí fear
Gardaí believe the Kinahans were planning a Regency Hotel-like attack on the rival Hutches with the massive weapons haul seized from the cartel.
Armed gardaí stormed the warehouse in the Greenogue Industrial estate, Rathcoole, west Dublin, in a dawn operation on Tuesday.
As the heavily armed officers raided the premises, they found a man loading the weapons. Another two men were arrested in a van.
In total, 15 firearms were recovered, including one AK-47, nine revolvers and four semi-automatic pistols.
Senior sources last night said investigating detectives were satisfied the weapons were being prepared for a spectacular attack, similar to the one carried out at the Regency Hotel almost one year ago.
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"When they stormed the warehouse, the guns were being loaded, and all the indications are that the Kinahan cartel were going to pull off a spectacular similar to the one carried out at the Regency Hotel last year," a source said.
"There are no high-level Hutch targets currently in the city, so the belief is that the guns were to be used in the coming days rather than the day they were seized."
It comes as gardaí across the Dublin region are on a knife-edge as the one-year anniversary of the Regency gun attack approaches.
Three men arrested in relation to the weapons seizure had their period of detention extended at Dublin District Court yesterday morning.
They will now be either charged or released unconditionally by lunchtime today.
It has also emerged that a paranoia within the ranks of the Kinahan cartel started when two mid-level members were caught in possession of firearms last summer.
This, sources say, has led to a "chaotic disorganisation" in the international crime gang.
It started when two cartel members were stopped by members of the Special Detective Unit (SDU) last summer and found in possession of two handguns.
This operation was one of the first in which mid-level Kinahan associates were caught in direct possession of several firearms.
"Criminals within the gang started becoming paranoid, and massive disorganisation crept in as a result," said a source.