One of Ireland’s most feared criminals has become the second man with alleged links to the Kinahan cartel to be arrested in Spain in the past week for money laundering offences.
Gerard Mackin (39) was arrested by Spanish police earlier today on foot of a European Arrest Warrant issued by Irish authorities.
Mackin has been the focus of a major money laundering investigation by Limerick gardaí, which has been ongoing for a number of years.
Senior sources said that he is being detained by Spanish police and is expected to be brought to court in the coming days.
It could take a number of weeks at least before his extradition to Ireland is finalised especially if the gangster decides to contest it.
His arrest is not linked to that of Manchester born Johnny Morrissey (62) whom Spanish police swooped on last week for allegedly laundering €200 million in less than a year-and-a-half, some €350,000 a day.
It is understood that Mackin, who is originally from west Belfast, has been based in Spain for at least two years and fled Ireland after continued garda heat because of his faction’s involvement in the murderous Hutch/Kinahan feud in which they took the Kinahan side.
He was heavily involved in a dangerous organisation which became known as the ‘New INLA’ who were involved in hits for the cartel.
He was closely associated with cartel hitman and convicted hired assassin Caolan Smyth (30) and was observed by gardí visiting Smyth when the gangster who is now serving a 20-year sentence for the attempted murder of James ‘Mago’ Gately was staying in the Pearse Street House flats complex.
Two of Mackin's associates are currently serving life sentences for the murder of Gareth Hutch who was killed as part of the Hutch-Kinahan feud.
Jonathan Keogh (35) and Thomas Fox (33) were convicted at the Special Criminal Court in 2018 of the murder of Gareth Hutch, the nephew of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch.
Keogh's sister, Regina, is also serving a life sentence for the crime.
Another New INLA member, Eamon Cumberton (33), is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of dissident republican Michael Barr who was killed in April 2016 as part of the Hutch-Kinahan feud.
Mackin’s most recent criminal conviction in Ireland dates back to March, 2017, when he was jailed for three years by the Special Criminal Court for a "depraved and barbaric" assault in which a then 53-year old man was nailed to a kitchen floor with a nail-gun.
In 2014, Mackin's associates caused a major security alert when gardaí received intelligence that they planned to steal a number of garda uniforms from a Co Louth station.
In 2016, when Mackin was refused bail in relation to the nail gun offence, a senior detective told Limerick District Court that the crime related to an attempt to extort money from the victim, who is a member of the Traveller community.
The detective said that Mackin has formed a group involved in the extortion of money from Travellers and has "filled the void left by the demise of the Dundons under the veil of the IRA or INLA dissident groups".
Mackin, has been in a number of serious underworld scrapes since he was cleared of the 2008 murder of Eddie Burns as part of a dissident feud in the North.
Taxi driver Mr Burns (36) was shot dead in west Belfast in March 2007.
Mackin was the first person found guilty in a Dublin court for a murder in Belfast under the Criminal Law Jurisdiction Act of 1976.
However, in 2010 the conviction was quashed by Dublin's Court of Criminal Appeal and a retrial ordered, but it collapsed after three days, which meant Mackin was freed.