Thursday 14 December 2017

Watch: Dramatic footage of armed Spanish police arresting senior Kinahan cartel member in bed

Armed police wait to enter the hotel room of the Irishman
Armed police wait to enter the hotel room of the Irishman

Gerard Couzens

THIS IS the dramatic moment a senior member of the international Kinahan crime cartel is arrested in his Spanish hotel bed.

Armed officers held the Irishman after storming his room as he was fast asleep beside an unidentified woman at the hotel in the Costa Dorada resort of Salou 60 miles south of Barcelona.

Footage released by police showed the elite team - carrying semi-automatic weapons with flashlights on them - running into the room after getting radio orders to strike as colleagues went in through a back terrace.

They can be heard shouting in Spanish, ‘Las Manos, Las Manos’ - English for ‘Hands up, hands up’ before yelling in English, ‘Don’t Move’.

The 34-year-old Irishman, wanted on a number of charges, appeared to be asleep at the time although the television in his hotel room was still on.

The fugitive, also a suspect in the 2010 murder of gang boss Eamon ‘The Don’ Dunne who cannot be  named for legal reasons, was driven to Madrid after his arrest for an extradition hearing.

Armed Spanish police burst into the bedroom of the Irishman
Armed Spanish police burst into the bedroom of the Irishman

It was not immediately clear today if he had consented to extradition or opposed his forced return to Ireland.

The hotel where the arrest took place has not been named.

Spanish police revealed they had come close to catching the wanted ‘major league’ gangster in November last year at Malaga airport.

He escaped after crossing a busy motorway as officers closed in on him when he went to meet relatives arriving from Ireland.

The European Arrest Warrant was issued after a search of his car in 2013.

The 34-year-old was arrested over the 2010 murder of Eamon 'The Don' Dunne.

The senior cartel player was previously arrested in relation to the murder but was never charged.

However, he is facing serious charges that were brought against him after Dunne was gunned down at The Fassaugh House pub in Cabra.

A Spanish police spokesman, confirming the Costa Dorada hotel arrest and identifying the detainee only by his initials, said: “Spanish National Police officers have arrested an Irishman born in 1982 on foot of a European Arrest warrant at his hotel in Salou near Tarragona.

“Efforts to locate him centred on the province of Malaga due to his alleged links to the Kinahan organised Irish crime family," he added.

The spokesman, revealing how the suspect narrowly avoided capture in November last year, added: “Subsequently it was discovered several members of his family were due to travel to Malaga and a surveillance operation was set up on Spanish soil, thanks to which he was located with his family at Malaga Airport.

“He reacted with great violence against officers who went to arrest him and fled, crossing several lanes of a motorway before managing to escape.”

The Irishman had checked into the hotel in Salou using a false identity. His detention was the work of Special Operations Group GEO officers based in Catalunya who are often called on to rescue hostages or take out terrorists.

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