An Englishman closely linked to the Kinahan cartel has been arrested after a dramatic raid by armed police in Lithuania.
James Mulvey (40), who had been seen in the company of cartel figures in Dublin on a number of occasions before the capital’s gangland feud broke out last year, was arrested yesterday in Kaunas.
The Birmingham thug is facing charges in relation to a major conspiracy to import a huge haul of drugs into Ireland a decade ago.
Mulvey is wanted in connection with the 2007 seizure in Belgium of 20 kilos of cocaine, 365 kilos of cannabis and ten kilos of phenacetin, according to the European arrest warrant.
The drug seizure has always been suspected of being a joint enterprise between Mulvey’s English mob and Christy Kinahan Snr.
However, the drugs were intercepted by police and five people were jailed in the UK in 2009 for a total of 88 years.
Mulvey faces an extradition hearing in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius today after being held in the raid by armed local police.
It is not thought that gardai were directly involved in this week’s bust.
A gun, 100 rounds of ammunition and two ballistics vests were among items seized in the Lithuania raid, the UK National Crime Agency (NCA) said.
The NCA’s operations manager Adam Warnock said: “The NCA’s international partnerships mean we can extend the UK’s reach overseas to combat criminal networks and the serious financial crime which props them up.
“James Mulvey has been targeted by the NCA, the West Midlands RART and HMRC as we believe he heads a crime group involved in drug trafficking, money laundering and a multi-million pound VAT fraud.”
Five other people were arrested in the English Midlands and Somerset on Tuesday on suspicion of being part of a gang involved in a multi-million pound VAT fraud and money laundering.
The five, a 42-year-old woman from Charlton Adam, near Glastonbury in Somerset; a man aged 37 from Tamworth in Staffordshire, a 50-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman from Wythall in Worcestershire and a 58-year-old man from Atherstone in Warwickshire, were later released on bail.
Around £40,000 in cash and computers were also recovered following an investigation by the NCA, West Midlands Regional Asset Recovery Team and HM Revenue and Customs.
Police on Mauritius also raided addresses in Tamarin
area of the Indian Ocean island and confiscated digital equipment and documents, the NCA said.