Kinahan ‘gang boss’ is arrested in England
His son also held by gardaí and NCA in joint operation
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