Saturday 18 November 2017

Kinahan gang pay €3k for 'Hutch spotting' teen spies

An unarmed garda stands alongside a member of the ERU carrying a machine gun (main); Gerry Hutch (inset), Daniel Kinahan (inset)
An unarmed garda stands alongside a member of the ERU carrying a machine gun (main); Gerry Hutch (inset), Daniel Kinahan (inset)

Ken Foy

The Kinahan cartel have been offering up to €3,000 a go for young criminals in the north inner city to act as “spotters” in their own communities to trace the movements of rival Hutch family members.

Sources say that the help of the young spotters, including teenagers, has been “invaluable” in the cartel’s murderous campaign, in which four of the 10 feud cartel victims have been shot dead in a small area of the capital’s northside.

“Information has come into gardai that individuals who know the Hutch family were prepared to betray them, with a figure of €3,000 being offered for credible information about their movements,” a source said.

“There can be little doubt that the cartel’s network of local spies has really helped them and this applies to murders as well as attempted murders and even foiled hits,” the source added.

The development comes after the Herald revealed gardai are investigating whether the cartel has been using tracking devices to monitor the movements of innocent members of the Hutch family.

A number of cars belonging to Hutch family members have been examined by gardai.

In the latest incident, an innocent 65-year-old woman, who is connected to feud murder victim Gareth Hutch, is suspected of having a tracker device placed under her car. CCTV images from the woman’s north inner city home showed a young man underneath her car with a flashlight.

Gardai from the Bridewell station were nearby but it is not known if they witnessed the incident.

However, when officers were made aware of what happened they then forensically examined the vehicle before returning it to the woman five days later.

Among the murders that spotters are suspected of helping the cartel take part in include that of Eddie Hutch Sr (59), who was shot dead at his home in Poplar Row on the night of February 8.

Eddie, a brother of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch, was targeted by a four-man hit team just days after the Regency Hotel attack.

Another murder in which spotters were suspected of playing an active role was that of Martin O’Rourke (24), who was shot dead in broad daylight on the afternoon of April 14.

O’Rourke was a victim of mistaken identity, with the target of the brutal slaying being Hutch gang member Keith Murtagh (32), who escaped uninjured.

Gardai continue to mount a number of operations on both sides of the capital to prevent further bloodshed, which has led to a number of major firearms seizures recently.

Earlier this month, gardai foiled a gangland bloodbath after seizing a “significant” arsenal of weapons from the Kinahan cartel.

Officers from the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) found the weapons in a vehicle in the Cabra area of Dublin.

The arsenal included two MP-9 machine guns, two silencers and three loaded Smith & Wesson handguns.

One line in the investigation is that the weapons were to be used in a north inner city “pub massacre” against members of the Hutch mob, including a close business partner of on-the-run target Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch.

The ongoing feud has claimed a number of innocent lives, including dad-of-three Trevor O’Neill, who was shot dead in a case of mistaken identity while holidaying in Spain.

The city council worker was  killed by a hitman who was believed to be targeting Jonathan Hutch, Gareth’s brother, who was staying in the same area.

Hutch told police that he was the target of the shooting and returned to Dublin soon after the incident.

His family home has been targeted by gunmen since his return.


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