Struggle to pay drug debts likely to be beginning of the end for Freddie

NEWS of the seizure of €8.5m of cocaine linked to 'Fat' Freddie Thompson's gang could be a fatal blow against Dublin's highest-profile criminal.

While Freddie is large in girth he is now slim in assets.

He's been on the go for a long time and this is the greatest hit he has taken personally.

Remember, a drugs boss almost certainly has to pay for drugs which would have been given to him on tick. Thompson now has a large problem in that the money that would have accrued would have been used to repay his debt and for an installment on the next shipment. Now there's no money.

Rest assured, fear stalks Freddie, and fear stalks his associates over how detectives from Kevin Street found out about the placement of this cache.

His criminal associates still resident Ireland will keep a low profile because Thompson will want to know who shopped him and allowed gardai to seize his drugs, and two guns with them.

This blow could not have come at a worse time for Freddie. The gang boss is between a rock and a hard place. He can't rest in Dublin because of garda attention from Kevin Street. He can't rest in Spain because he is wanted by a judge to be questioned about his alleged participation in Christy Kinahan's "Irish mafia".

He does have friends in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. He has been active in Holland before. He was arrested during a night out in Rotterdam and when his apartment was searched a large seizure was of drugs and guns was made. Another error for Freddie's operation.

In truth, 10 years after he emerged as a major player, Thompson is running out of places to lay his head at night .

His moving-on began following operations by the Divisional Crime Task Force in the south inner city, led by me during my service in Pearse Street Garda Station. His gang would regularly socialise on the south side, believing they would be safe because of the amount of CCTV.

The task force under my command, backed up by armed detectives, would enter the relevant pub and face them down. The gardai would be verbally abused and called every name under the sun.

Now, Freddie, you did not like the problems you had with the gardai in the south inner city, but even you must realise you are now in a much more serious pickle.

Your search for whoever squealed on you is a minor matter in comparison to the terror you must feel about the thugs you owe money to. They have to be paid. You will have to pay them. An IOU or a threat will not be acceptable in this case.

You can't ask one of your Dublin henchmen to undertake the investigation into who shopped you, because you could be asking the very fellow that did the shopping. No doubt somebody will suffer because of your desire for retribution, to fulfil your lust to be boss.

After a decade in the hot seat, you are running out of road, and it could not have happen to a better man -- given the amount of terror you have caused to others. Friends will desert you because you are now a liability.

Freddie, my boy, you can run but you'll never be able to hide.

PJ Browne is a former detective superintendent who has previously investigated the activites of Freddie Thompson's gang