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Senior Kinahan cartel suspect due before court in England this morning on stun-gun charge

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Arrested: Kinahan cartel suspect Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh. Photo: RollingNews.ie

Arrested: Kinahan cartel suspect Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh. Photo: RollingNews.ie

Arrested: Kinahan cartel suspect Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh. Photo: RollingNews.ie

One of the Kinahan cartel's most senior suspected associates will appear in court this morning on a firearms charge following an international investigation into drug-trafficking and money-laundering.

Thomas 'Bomber' Kavanagh (51) is due at North Staffordshire Magistrates court after a combination torch and stun gun was discovered during a search targeting his trafficking network in Britain.

He has been a long-term target of several national Garda units and is suspected of controlling a lucrative drugs patch in the British Midlands.

Sources have described the operation between British and Irish police agencies as one of the most significant joint criminal investigations between the two countries.

On Saturday, members of the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA), helped by gardaí, searched Kavanagh's mansion in the affluent Staffordshire neighbourhood of Tamworth.

Kavanagh, along with a 20-year-old associate, was arrested at Birmingham International Airport after stepping off a flight.

The NCA said he was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to import and supply drugs, firearms and ammunition, as well as money-laundering offences.

While he has not yet been charged over the long-running investigation into his trafficking enterprise, UK police discovered a stun gun during the searches on Saturday, which is illegal to own and possess in the UK.

Originally from Drimnagh in Dublin, Kavanagh has been a long-time associate of the Kinahan cartel. He has rarely returned to Dublin since leaving almost 10 years ago after being targeted by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).

Irish Independent