Sunday 22 September 2019

Target was 'minutes from death' as gardaí swoop on hit team of four

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Garda Stock Photo

Ken Foy

FOUR well known criminals were arrested after gardaí foiled a plot to murder a drug dealer who has links to the Hutch gang.

Gardaí from the elite Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) seized a handgun and a silencer when they stopped a vehicle at Philipsburgh Avenue in north Dublin at around 8pm last night and the suspects are now being held for conspiracy to murder.

Sources said officers had been carrying out surveillance on the four criminals, aged 23, 35, 37 and 38, for a number of weeks after becoming aware they had been enlisted to kill the north inner city dealer on behalf of the Kinahan cartel.

“Their target was literally only minutes away from death when these fellas were stopped,” a senior source said.

It is understood that gardaí used specialist bugging equipment on the phones and vehicles of those involved in the murder plot which had been ongoing for weeks.

Among the four criminals in Garda custody last night is a 38-year-old south inner city criminal who was only freed from jail in July.

The Irish Independent revealed at the time that 16 people had to be given security advice because of his release which was subject to a major Garda alert.

This man is already a suspect in a string of gangland murders but has barely any previous convictions and previously was cleared of charges in a gruesome murder case.

A 23-year-old cousin of this criminal was also arrested in last night’s detailed operation. This young Ballyfermot man previously survived an assassination attempt when he was shot in the face almost four years ago.

Also arrested as part of the Garda operation was a long-term member of the Kinahan cartel aged in his mid 30s and another south inner city criminal aged in his mid 30s.

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