Friday 27 April 2018

'If they wanted to kill me, there's easier ways to do it' - Suspected target of Paul Zambra foiled gangland hit denies involvement Newsdesk Newsdesk

The man who reportedly escaped a hit on him after gardai seized weapons from and arrested notorious criminal Paul Zambra has said that he wasn't the target.

Armed detectives stopped a BMW driven by Zambra on Dublin's northside at lunchtime on Friday.

Two loaded handguns were found in the vehicle on Clonshaugh Avenue and Zambra was arrested by officers from the Emergency Response Unit (ERU).

Another 44-year-man was stopped in a van nearby on Clonshaugh Road and was also arrested.

It was understood that the gardai had foiled a planned gangland hit on Dubliner Dean Russell (44), the brother of Anthony Russell who was shot dead in an Artane pub in 2008.

Anthony Russell was a close associate of paedophile north inner city gang boss Christy Griffin.

One theory on the suspected attempted murder is that it might be linked to a dispute with a Coolock criminal who has just been released from jail.

Read more: 'It was like a war zone' - armed gardai swoop on gangster Paul Zambra

However Russell has denied that he is involved in a dispute. "If they wanted to kill me, there are easier ways to do it," he told the Sunday World.

"This is nothing to do with me. I wasn't even in the country yesterday. I only got back to the house at 615am today," he said last night.

Russell said that gardai called to his home and checked under his car. It is believed they were looking for a tracking device.

"The police knocked up to my house after they arrested them and my daughter was there. They said they were checking under the car for pipe bombs, but they haven't come back since and I haven't been informed my life is in danger."

Russell, who has had at least one conviction, has said he has turned his back on crime and sees no reason why he would be a target.

"I don't have dealings with criminals. I have a close set of friends, I dont have any enemies. I'm not involved in feuding, I don't owe any money, I don't know Zambra. I don't even know what they look like.

"I'm adamant it was nothing to do with me. unless it's something I don't know about and I normally have a good idea."

It is understood that gardai foiled a hit on Russell in 2009 - and that criminals from the north inner city were involved.

Russell said that his involvement in the dispute has "disgusted" him.

"I just want to be left alone," he said.

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