Garda pur­su­ing Ki­na­han charges

Car­tel is a cyn­i­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion that preys upon ‘des­per­ate’ in­di­vid­u­als, says judge Crim­i­nal gang that plotted to mur­der Pa­trick ‘Patsy’ Hutch op­er­ated in cells

The Irish Times - - Front Page - CONOR GALLAGHER Crime Correspond­ent Court re­port: page 4 Anal­y­sis: page 4

The Garda Drugs and Or­gan­ised Crime Bureau is ac­tively pur­su­ing crim­i­nal charges against drugs smug­gler Daniel Ki­na­han.

In a press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day fo­cus­ing on the Garda’s suc­cess against the Ki­na­han crime group, As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner John O’Driscoll said the bureau is in­tent on dis­man­tling the gang, which is es­ti­mated to be worth about ¤1 bil­lion.

With­out men­tion­ing Daniel Ki­na­han by name, in line with stan­dard Garda pol­icy, Mr O’Driscoll said he was con­fi­dent the Garda will suc­ceed in bring­ing the very top of the gang’s hi­er­ar­chy to jus­tice.

Garda sources later con­firmed his state­ments were re­fer­ring to Ki­na­han, who cur­rently lives in the United Arab Emi­rates (UAE) and has been mak­ing ef­forts re­cently to es­tab­lish him­self as a le­git­i­mate fig­ure in pro­fes­sional box­ing.

Ki­na­han has been iden­ti­fied by an Ir­ish High Court judge as con­trol­ling a vast in­ter­na­tional net­work of drugs and arms smug­gling.

The as­sis­tant com­mis­sioner’s com­ments are the strong­est sig­nal yet that the Garda be­lieves it has enough ev­i­dence to mount a case against Ki­na­han and re­fer a file to the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions (DPP).

It is un­der­stood gar­daí be­lieve their strong­est chance of suc­cess in pros­e­cut­ing Ki­na­han is link­ing him to the con­spir­acy to mur­der ri­val James Gately.

There is also ev­i­dence link­ing him to the foiled plot to mur­der Pa­trick “Patsy” Hutch in Dublin’s north in­ner city in 2018.

Yes­ter­day, Mr O’Driscoll said gar­daí had sent rep­re­sen­ta­tives to sev­eral coun­tries, in­clud­ing in the Mid­dle East, as part of or­gan­ised crime in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

The Ki­na­han car­tel is a cyn­i­cal crim­i­nal or­gan­i­sa­tion that preys upon “des­per­ate and fool­ish” in­di­vid­u­als in the re­cruit­ment of “dis­pens­able foot-sol­diers”, a High Court judge has said.

Mr Jus­tice Tony Hunt made the com­ments at the Spe­cial Crim­i­nal Court yes­ter­day as he im­posed sen­tences to­talling 19 years on three men who took part in a Ki­na­han Car­tel plot to kill a mem­ber of the Hutch fam­ily in Dublin’s north in­ner city.

Michael Burns (43) was jailed for nine years while Stephen Cur­tis (32) and Ciarán O’Driscoll (25) were both sen­tenced to five years each in prison for their role in the plot to mur­der Pa­trick “Patsy” Hutch.

Sen­tenc­ing the de­fen­dants yes­ter­day, pre­sid­ing judge Mr Jus­tice Hunt said the court was sat­is­fied the three men were work­ing for the Ki­na­han or­gan­ised crime gang, which is in­volved in money laun­der­ing and drug traf­fick­ing. He said the gang op­er­ated in cells or sub-cells based on a hi­er­ar­chi­cal struc­ture and was pre­pared to use vi­o­lence up to and in­clud­ing mur­der to achieve its aims.

The judge em­pha­sised the “cyn­i­cism” of the Ki­na­han crim­i­nal or­gan­i­sa­tion, where “vul­ner­a­ble, des­per­ate and fool­ish” in­di­vid­u­als took risks for sur­pris­ingly mod­est re­turns and could be de­scribed as “dis­pens­able foot sol­diers”.

Pass­ing sen­tence on Burns, the judge said he had acted as a “con­duit” and was a su­per­vi­sor of the sub-cell who or­gan­ised lo­gis­tics, in­clud­ing phones, guns and cars and he got his di­rec­tions from the “higher ech­e­lons” of the Ki­na­han crime or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The judge sen­tenced him to nine years and nine months in prison with the fi­nal nine months sus­pended.

‘Dif­fer­ent cat­e­gory’

Pass­ing sen­tence on Cur­tis, the judge said the court ac­cepted that he be­longed in a dif­fer­ent cat­e­gory from Burns and although his as­sis­tance was lim­ited it was nonethe­less valu­able at the last stage in the plot. Cur­tis was in­volved in sub-cell meet­ings and in buy­ing phones and SIM cards to be used by the “hit team”.

The judge said that Cur­tis did not stand to gain from his in­volve­ment in the plan and the ¤500 owed to him for his role was “as good an il­lus­tra­tion as any in re­gards to the risk and re­ward” in­volved. He was the type of per­son who would be “preyed” upon by the crim­i­nal or­gan­i­sa­tion, he said. He was sen­tenced to six years in prison with the fi­nal year sus­pended.

Sen­tenc­ing O’Driscoll, the judge said he had agreed to per­form the lim­ited but vi­tal func­tion of “looker”, who would watch Mr Hutch’s house and sig­nal the hit team when he emerged so they could shoot him.

O’Driscoll was ex­actly the kind of vul­ner­a­ble per­son who was preyed on by the Ki­na­han or­gan­i­sa­tion in re­turn for neg­li­gi­ble re­wards, he noted. He was sen­tenced to six years in prison with the fi­nal year sus­pended.

Michael Burns, of no fixed abode, Ciarán O’Driscoll of Avon­dale House, Cum­ber­land Street, Dublin 1, and Stephen

Cur­tis of Bell­man’s Walk, Seville Place, Dublin 1, ad­mit­ted to hav­ing knowl­edge of the ex­is­tence of a crim­i­nal or­gan­i­sa­tion and par­tic­i­pat­ing in ac­tiv­i­ties in­tended to fa­cil­i­tate the com­mis­sion of a se­ri­ous of­fence by that crim­i­nal or­gan­i­sa­tion, or any of its mem­bers, namely the mur­der of Mr Hutch within the State be­tween Fe­bru­ary 1st and March 10th, 2018.

Pass­ing in­struc­tions

Burns had pleaded guilty to pass­ing in­struc­tions to one or more mem­bers of a crim­i­nal or­gan­i­sa­tion and of act­ing as a con­duit for com­mu­ni­ca­tions by pro­vid­ing phones. He has also ad­mit­ted trans­port­ing one or more mem­bers of a crim­i­nal or­gan­i­sa­tion, mov­ing one or more ve­hi­cles for sub­se­quent use by one or more mem­bers of a crim­i­nal or­gan­i­sa­tion and plan­ning or as­sist­ing in plan­ning the in­tended shoot­ing of Mr Hutch.

O’Driscoll had pleaded guilty to agree­ing to act as a look-out and to help­ing plan the in­tended shoot­ing. Cur­tis had ad­mit­ted

From left: Michael Burns (43) who was jailed for nine years; Stephen Cur­tis (32); and Ciarán O’Driscoll (25) who were both sen­tenced to five years in pri­sion at the Spe­cial Crim­i­nal Court

pro­vid­ing, or as­sist­ing in pro­vid­ing, one or more mo­bile phones for use by the crim­i­nal or­gan­i­sa­tion and pur­chas­ing or as­sist­ing in the pur­chase of one or more mo­bile phones, SIM cards and credit top-ups.

The non-jury court was pre­vi­ously told that large sums of money were made avail­able to mur­der peo­ple and those in­volved in the Ki­na­han car­tel were paid ¤20,000 for “set­ting peo­ple up for a hit”.

It also heard that audio sur­veil­lance of a con­ver­sa­tion be­tween a wo­man and one of the sus­pects in­volved in a plot to mur­der Mr Hutch picked up ref­er­ences to “they have so much money, they could buy half the Hutch lads” and “they’re get­ting ¤20,000 and all for set­ting some­body up, used to get that for do­ing the hit”.

‘‘

The non-jury court was pre­vi­ously told that large sums of money were made avail­able to mur­der peo­ple

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