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Senior Kinahan cartel associate arrested in Lanzarote bar


Arrested: Gary Vickery (38)

Arrested: Gary Vickery (38)

Arrested: Gary Vickery (38)

A senior associate of the Kinahan cartel wanted for supplying millions of euro worth of drugs as well as money laundering has been arrested in Spain.

Dublin man Gary Vickery (38) had previously pleaded guilty to having a prime role in conspiring to import class A and B drugs into the UK.

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The large-scale shipments were worth more than £23m (€27.2m) while he also admitted to laundering the criminal organisation's cash.

Two other men - Thomas 'Bomber' Kavanagh (53), a high-level Kinahan member, and Dubliner Daniel Canning (42 )- have also pleaded guilty to similar charges last year.

The three senior cartel associates were arrested following a four-year investigation by UK police and the Garda's National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB).

However, their sentencing has been delayed after Vickery failed to show up to Ipswich Crown Court. He was initially granted unconditional bail and claimed he could not show up to court as he could not get a PCR test, but a warrant was later issued for his arrest.

Yesterday members of Spain's Guardia Civil arrested the Irish fugitive at a bar in the town of Yaiza, south of Lanzarote.

The operation was carried in conjunction with the UK's National Crime Agency who led the investigation into the major drug importation network.

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Gary Vickery is due to appear before a Spanish court today on foot of extradition proceedings back to the UK.

His two co-accused are currently on remand in a UK prison awaiting sentencing.

Daniel Canning, originally from Walkinstown in the capital, also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of possessing a firearm and ammunition.

Thomas Kavanagh is the brother-in-law of Regency Hotel murder victim David Byrne and has previously been named as directing a crime network in Birmingham linked to the Kinahan cartel.

NCA Deputy Director Matt Horne said: “Vickery was given ample opportunity to return to the UK following his guilty plea, but has failed to come back on every occasion.

“We will ensure those who cause harm to the UK though organised crime are held accountable, and this case highlights our tenacity.

“I’d like to thank the NCA officers here in the UK, and our international liaison team in Spain, who have worked closely with colleagues in the Guardia Civil to locate Vickery.”

The multi-national inquiry resulted in a major blow to Kavanagh’s crime network in October 2017 when the NCA seized around €5.5m worth of drugs and more than £225,000 (€252,000) in cash in raids across the Midlands and Dover.

'Bomber' is currently serving a three-year sentence for possession of a firearm after a modified pink stun gun was found in his "highly fortified" Tamworth mansion.

This article was amended on 21/10/2021 at 7.50pm 

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