Ki­na­han ‘gang boss’ is ar­rested in Eng­land

His son also held by gar­daí and NCA in joint op­er­a­tion

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - NEWS - By Deb­bie McCann CRIME COR­RE­SPON­DENT deb­[email protected]­sun­

A MA­JOR fig­ure in the Ki­na­han or­gan­ised crime gang was ar­rested in Eng­land yes­ter­day in a joint op­er­a­tion be­tween gar­daí and the UK’s Na­tional Crime Agency.

The 51-year-old – who is re­garded by the Crim­i­nal As­sets Bureau as hav­ing a ‘di­rect role in di­rect­ing’ the Ki­na­han car­tel, and who gar­daí con­sider to be the Num­ber Two leader – was ar­rested as he flew into Birm­ing­ham Air­port yes­ter­day morn­ing.

The man’s son was also taken into cus­tody. The two were de­tained as part of a joint op­er­a­tion into the sup­ply of drugs and firearms in Ire­land and the UK.

De­tec­tives from the Garda Na­tional Drugs and Or­gan­ised Crime Bureau, which has been tar­get­ing the Ki­na­han gang, have been work­ing closely with the Na­tional Crime Agency (NCA) in Eng­land. A num­ber of gar­daí are cur­rently in the UK and were part of the search team that raided the se­nior gang­ster’s home.

The Na­tional Crime Agency said the older man was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of con­spir­ing to im­port and sup­ply drugs, firearms and am­mu­ni­tion, as well as money laun­der­ing of­fences. His son was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of money laun­der­ing of­fences.

An NCA spokesper­son said: ‘NCA of­fi­cers, sup­ported by col­leagues from Stafford­shire Po­lice, are also search­ing a prop­erty in the Tam­worth area and a busi­ness premises in Birm­ing­ham.

‘The ar­rest and searches are part of an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the ac­tiv­i­ties of an or­gan­ised crime net­work al­leged to be in­volved in the sup­ply of drugs and firearms.

‘The in­ves­ti­ga­tion is be­ing sup­ported in Ire­land by An Garda Síochána and other in­ter­na­tional part­ners.’ The MoS un­der­stands the men were ques­tioned at a po­lice sta­tion in Stafford­shire, cen­tral Eng­land, be­fore be­ing re­leased on sta­tion bail last night.

Last night, as­sis­tant com­mis­sioner John O’Driscoll, who is in charge of spe­cial crime op­er­a­tions, said gar­daí have started the year in a man­ner it wants to con­tinue. He added that the Na­tional Crime Agency is one of An Garda Síochána’s ‘most im­por­tant al­lies’.

‘For the pur­pose of tack­ling or­gan­ised crime groups, An Garda Síochána has com­menced the new year in the man­ner in which it in­tends to pro­ceed in 2019, by en­gag­ing in the most im­pact­ful pos­si­ble co-op­er­a­tion with law en­force­ment author­i­ties, at an in­ter­na­tional level,’ the se­nior garda said.

‘In this re­gard the UK Na­tional Crime Agency is one of our most im­por­tant al­lies, with whom we share a com­mon de­sire to put or­gan­ised crime groups who op­er­ate within the com­mon travel area out of busi­ness.

‘An Garda Síochána will not make any com­ment re­gard­ing any par­tic­u­lar op­er­a­tion which is cur­rently on­go­ing.’

The ma­jor gang­land fig­ure is seen by gar­daí as be­ing ‘one step above’ that of Liam Byrne, who is at the ‘very top tier’ of or­gan­ised crime in Ire­land. Byrne’s brother David was shot dead in the cap­i­tal’s Re­gency Ho­tel in 2016.

The man was a pre­vi­ous tar­get of CAB where a prop­erty and Suzuki four-wheel drive were seized.

He also has 16 pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions here, which in­clude con­vic­tions for as­sault, threats to kill, pos­ses­sion of firearms, as­saults on mem­bers of the gar­daí and pub­lic or­der.

The man fled Ire­land in 2008 as a di­rect re­sult of CAB’s ac­tions and is now based in Birm­ing­ham.

Raided the se­nior gang­ster’s home

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