Gardaí probing link between former senior officer and Kinahan cartel
Gardaí are investigating a possible link between the Kinahan crime cartel and a former senior garda.
The Kinahan cartel has been "striking at will", leading officers to fear they have informers in the rival Hutch gang, or more sinister, in the gardaí.
Senior detectives are known to be actively investigating possible links between the Kinahan crime cartel and a former garda, as the ongoing feud claimed its seventh victim yesterday.
The ex-garda, who was involved in several serious crime investigations until his retirement, now associates with a relative of a key member of the killer gang.
Members of the Kinahan cartel who live in the same neighbourhood in the north inner-city as the Hutch clan are suspected of carrying out six of the seven murders in the feud so far.
Details of the retired officer's suspected involvement with the Kinahan cartel emerged as pressure mounted on Garda management to keep a lid on the increasing violence.
The former garda is suspected of assisting a Kinahan gang member to obtain a passport under a false name so that he could move back and forth to Spain without alerting gardaí.
The National Bureau of Criminal Investigation began probing the garda's association with the Kinahan gang when he was still serving.
The connection came to light when the false passport was seized from the cartel member.
When the application documents for the passport were traced, they were found to contain a stamp from a garda station where the officer had once served.
The investigation concluded when it was discovered that the Passport Office only retained photocopies of the original paperwork, making it impossible to uplift finger prints.
Security sources have admitted that they are concerned that the former officer may be acting as a "consultant" for the gang - advising on the workings of garda investigations, including surveillance and intelligence-gathering methods.
"This colleague may not be a main player but he has a lot of knowledge of how the gardaí operate and that is invaluable to a gang such as the Kinahans," a source told the Irish Independent.
"It is suspected that he is a de-facto consultant and he is regularly seen in the company of (named gang member) and visits his home."
Meanwhile, it emerged that more than 50 people, including innocent women and teenagers, linked with criminals on both sides of the bitter gangland feud have been officially warned by gardaí about active threats against their lives.
Among these are around 30 people connected to the Hutch faction, which includes yesterday's murder victim Gareth Hutch (35).
A Garda Information Message, known as a GIM form, is an official garda document in which officers give formal notice that they are aware of a possible threat on a target's life or safety.
Gardaí have identified more than 50 women who have been linked to the dangerous mobs involved in the bitter gang war between the Hutch mob and Kinahan cartel.
It was established that more than 30 of these women are linked to the Hutch gang, while more than 20 women are associated with the Kinahan gang.
It is understood that women linked to both factions have been given official warnings - ranging from girls aged in their teens to great-grandmothers.