Two teenage thieves got more than they bargained for when they stole a motorbike owned by the childhood best pal of mob boss Daniel Kinahan.
At one stage five carloads of thugs linked to the Kinahan cartel were scouring the capital's northside before the alleged culprits were caught, bundled into a car and given a severe hiding.
The pair must now cough up over €3,000 in a "punishment tax" to the 39-year-old south inner city man, who is considered one of Kinahan's most trusted associates.
The bizarre drama began at around 7pm on Tuesday, when the high-powered motorbike was stolen from the front garden of a house on the northside.
Sources said Kinahan's pal was visiting family members when the machine was taken.
After spotting that his bike had been stolen, the low-profile criminal decided to "round up a posse of men" in a bid to retrieve his highly-prized possession.
"Very shortly afterwards there were five carloads of lads with links to the cartel looking for these fellas," a source said.
It is believed that after around 90 minutes, the thieves became aware of the dangerous situation they were in.
Sources said that in a "complete panic" the pair discarded the bike close to McKee Barracks, near Phoenix Park, and attempted to flee from the area.
However, they were spotted close to the motorbike and forced into a car.
The car was then driven to the Oliver Bond flats complex in the south inner city.
The two teenagers were then brought to a flat where they were "interrogated and severely beaten" before being warned that they must raise €3,000 in the coming weeks as compensation for their behaviour.
"This is a punishment tax really," the source added.
"No one has gone to the gardai in this case and this is how criminals routinely resolve matters like this."
The two teenagers are from the Cabra area and are suspected of being behind a spate of motorbike and moped thefts in the capital in recent months.
The stolen bike is now back in the hands of Kinahan's pal, who has a previous conviction for violent behaviour.
Sources say he has kept in "regular contact" with Kinahan since his exile from Ireland after his cartel's bitter feud with the Hutch mob kicked off following the Regency Hotel bloodbath.
Kinahan, who is understood to be living in Dubai, has not been seen here since the funeral of his slain associate David Byrne in February of last year.
The cartel pal at the centre the incident is not considered a drug dealer but sources say he has an "important function" in "collecting and moving money" for the mob as part of its south inner city activities.
It is understood that the south inner city man has visited Kinahan a number of times since the deadly feud began.
In September, the Herald revealed that Kinahan faced being murdered by his own men as a result of the crisis the gang finds itself in.
A senior source said it was "likely" that detectives would formally inform him of credible threats to his life if he returned to Ireland.