Sunday 15 December 2019

Armed gardai foil gangland hit with raid on safe house

Senior member of cartel arrested after loaded handgun seized

'Gardai had received intelligence in recent weeks that a 39-year-old gun-for-hire had returned to Ireland and was expected to carry out an assassination attempt' (stock photo)
'Gardai had received intelligence in recent weeks that a 39-year-old gun-for-hire had returned to Ireland and was expected to carry out an assassination attempt' (stock photo)
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

A senior member of the Kinahan cartel was arrested along with another man after armed gardai raided a suspected safe house in Dublin and recovered a firearm.

Members of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) searched the property in Clondalkin before midnight on Friday as part of an operation targeting organised crime in the city.

During the raid a handgun was recovered and two men, aged 26 and 39, were arrested. The pair are being detained under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act and can be held for up to three days. They are being questioned at Clondalkin garda station.

Sources described the arrest of the older man, from north Dublin, as "highly significant" as he is a suspect in a number of shootings including the murder of Gerry 'The Monk" Hutch's brother Eddie Hutch Snr just days after the Regency Hotel attack in 2016 which saw Kinahan cartel criminal David Byrne shot dead.

Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.

Log In

The suspected hitman has been living abroad for several years after being questioned over the murder of Eddie Hutch. He is also a suspect in at least two other feud-related murders as well as a number of non-fatal shootings.

He is believed to have spent the last three years travelling between the UK, Spain and Dubai, where cartel leader Daniel Kinahan, his father Christopher Snr and his brother Christopher Jnr have been living for almost two years.

The younger man is also understood to be a known criminal with links to a Finglas drugs gang.

A senior source last night described the arrest of the 39-year-old, regarded as one of the most dangerous criminals working for the cartel, as highly significant.

"It is a major result for gardai following a lengthy intelligence operation and there is no doubt that a hit was due to take place when the ERU entered the property," the source said.

"Indications at this early stage are that it is linked to the Hutch/Kinahan feud which has not gone away despite quietening down over the past year.

"A specific target has not yet been identified but there are a number of Hutch associates who remain under threat."

Gardai had received intelligence in recent weeks that a 39-year-old gun-for-hire had returned to Ireland and was expected to carry out an assassination attempt.

When they raided a property, described as a "safe house" in the Woodford area of Clondalkin they discovered the major criminal at the back of the house with the loaded handgun.

An associate of this man, a 26-year-old from Finglas, was also in the house at the time. He has links to a crime gang in north-west Dublin led by the drug dealer known as 'Mr Flashy' and has previously been jailed over a high-profile violent incident.

The 39 year old man is believed to have spent the last three years on the run splitting his time between the UK, Spain and Dubai- where Kinahan Cartel boss Daniel and his father and brother now reside. He is also wanted on warrants for crimes not linked to the feud and his return despite being a wanted high-profile criminal has left investigators surprised.

Sunday Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News