Wednesday 18 July 2018

Gardaí investigate Kinahan figure's €200k 'bounty' for Patsy Hutch shooting

Patsy Hutch was the target of a foiled hit on his life
Patsy Hutch was the target of a foiled hit on his life

Ken Foy and Allison Bray

Gardaí are investigating if a major Kinahan cartel drugs trafficker based in the UK offered more than €200,000 for the foiled hit on Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch's brother.

Four Dublin men remained in custody last night at Store Street and Clontarf Garda stations where they were being questioned about a conspiracy to murder Patsy Hutch (57) near his north inner city home on Saturday morning.

Brothers Gary (34) and Glen Thompson (23), from Plunkett Drive, Finglas, as well as former British army soldier Robert Brown (35), from Phibsborough Road, Dublin, were arrested in a north inner city car park.

A senior source revealed that gardaí are probing whether Gary Thompson became enlisted in the plot by a cartel-linked Finglas drug dealer nicknamed "Mr Flashy".

In a follow-up operation a 41-year-old New INLA figure from the Cushlawn area of Tallaght was also arrested.

Their time in custody was extended at a late night sitting of Dublin District Court on Sunday and the four suspects are expected to be questioned for a number of days.

Sources have revealed detectives are looking into intelligence that a notorious middle aged Birmingham-based criminal, who has very close links to exiled cartel kingpin Liam Byrne, put up the cash for the murder of Patsy Hutch.

The Birmingham based trafficker was one of the first targets of the gardaí's Criminal Assets Bureau and left Dublin for the English Midlands in the late 1990s where he enjoys a luxurious lifestyle.

The England-based criminal remains a target for the agency as he is considered one of the most senior members of the Kinahan cartel.

Monitored

Gardaí are investigating if he offered the huge "bounty" which is alleged to have attracted at least four criminals to take up the offer.

However, every move being made by the men was being closely monitored by the Garda Drugs and Organised crime Bureau as part of their latest major intelligence operation.

Yesterday at a Garda press briefing, Ian Cruxton, deputy director of the UK's National Crime Agency, said that the British authorities were working closely with gardaí to tackle organised crime.

"We stand shoulder to shoulder with our colleagues here," he said.

"We feel we have a very powerful operation."

Asked whether Irish criminals can still elude detection in the UK, he said: "Our message will always be that the UK won't be a safe haven."

Assistant Commissioner John O'Driscoll echoed those sentiments and said the level of international cooperation between An Garda Síochána and worldwide police agencies is at an unprecedented level.

"Our aim is to ensure that our targets become the targets of international crime agencies," he said.

Intelligence-sharing between An Garda Síochána and other police forces is already "reaping rewards", he said.

Mr O'Driscoll also said that the lives of up to 50 people have been saved in the capital thanks to Garda operations targeting organised crime.

Irish Independent

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