KINAHAN BOSS HELD IN UK RAID

Gardai join cops to smash sus­pected guns and drugs plot at air­port

Irish Sunday Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - BY COR­MAC BYRNE and NIALL O’CON­NOR

GARDAI and UK cops smashed a sus­pected plot to flood Ire­land with guns and drugs – and lifted the Kinahan car­tel’s No2.

The 51-year-old was ar­rested in the joint swoop at Birm­ing­ham Air­port along with a man aged 20. A source said: “He is a se­nior mem­ber

of the Kinahan car­tel. He is their main lo­gis­tics man, like a chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer in a com­pany.

“He was lifted shortly af­ter 9am on Satur­day. The joint op­er­a­tion be­tween Ir­ish and UK au­thor­i­ties has proved very suc­cess­ful.

“The sus­pect is No2 in the Kinahan gang. He has been liv­ing in the UK for the past 10 years ever since the CAB tar­geted him.

“But he has spent that time trav­el­ling to Spain and the Mid­dle East where the Ki­na­hans are hid­ing out.

“The sus­pect has con­vic­tions for as­sault, threats to kill, pos­ses­sion of firearms and as­saults on gardai.”

The UK’S Na­tional Crime Agency said the pair were held as part of a probe into the sup­ply of drugs and guns into Ire­land and Bri­tain.

A spokesman added: “A 51-year-old man was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of con­spir­ing to im­port and sup­ply drugs, firearms and am­mu­ni­tion, as well as money laun­der­ing of­fences on ar­rival at Birm­ing­ham Air­port this morn­ing.

“At the same lo­ca­tion a sec­ond man, aged 20, was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of money laun­der­ing of­fences. “NCA of­fi­cers, sup­ported by col­leagues from Stafford­shire Po­lice, are also search­ing a prop­erty in the Tam­worth area and a busi­ness premises in Birm­ing­ham.” The Garda Drugs and Or­gan­ised Crime Bureau and the Crim­i­nal As­sets Bureau were in­volved in the swoop and trav­elled to the UK.

The two sus­pects were quizzed at a Stafford­shire po­lice sta­tion yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

The Ir­ish Sun­day Mir­ror has learned the older man has been re­leased on sta­tion bail, pend­ing ex­am­i­na­tion of doc­u­ments and com­put­ers. As­sis­tant Garda Com­mis­sioner John O’driscoll said he would not com­ment on any par­tic­u­lar op­er­a­tion. But he added: “For the pur­pose of tack­ling or­gan­ised crime groups An Garda Siochana has com­menced the new year in the man­ner in which it in­tends to pro­ceed

He is their main lo­gis­tics man, like a chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer in the com­pany SOURCE ON SUS­PECT AR­RESTED IN SWOOP YES­TER­DAY

in 2019, by en­gag­ing in the most im­pact­ful pos­si­ble co-op­er­a­tion with law en­force­ment au­thor­i­ties, at an in­ter­na­tional level.”

UNITED Op­er­a­tion yes­ter­day

JOIN­ING FORCES Prop­erty raid in Tam­worth yes­ter­day

KING­PIN Christy Kinahan

OP­ER­A­TION NCA and gardai at house

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