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 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.
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.
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