Ir­ish gang fig­ure to ap­pear in British court after ar­rest over guns, drugs

Dubliner is due to ap­pear be­fore the courts to­day on charge re­lat­ing to a banned stun Ir­ish­man gun linked to Ki­na­han crime car­tel was one of three ar­rested at Birm­ing­ham Air­port

The Irish Times - - Home News - CONOR LALLY Se­cu­rity and Crime Ed­i­tor

An Ir­ish­man linked to the Ki­na­han crime car­tel has been charged with a firearms of­fence by British po­lice.

Dubliner Thomas Ka­vanagh (51) is due to ap­pear be­fore the courts in Bri­tain to­day to an­swer the charge which re­lates to a stun gun banned un­der firearms leg­is­la­tion.

He was one of three men de­tained in Birm­ing­ham on Satur­day as part of a joint op­er­a­tion be­tween the UK’s Na­tional Crime Agency and An Garda Síochána.

Mem­bers of the Garda were on the ground in Bri­tain dur­ing the op­er­a­tion, which in­volved a num­ber of searches as well as the ar­rests of the three men.

While garda mem­bers have no po­lice pow­ers out­side the Repub­lic, they can travel to other ju­ris­dic­tions and of­fer ad­vice to the lo­cal po­lice.

Ka­vanagh’s brother in law was David Byrne, the 34-year-old man shot dead in an at­tack in the Re­gency Ho­tel, Dublin, three years ago.

As­so­ci­ate

One of the other men ar­rested on Satur­day with him at Birm­ing­ham Air­port was a 20-year-old that Ka­vanagh is a close as­so­ci­ate of.

That younger man has since been re­leased by po­lice in Stafford­shire on bail after be­ing ques­tioned about al­leged money laun­der­ing.

The third man de­tained, a 19-year-old, has also been re­leased. In­quiries into his role, if any, in the al­leged gun and drug crime un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion is con­tin­u­ing.

Yes­ter­day the Na­tional Crime Agency re­leased a state­ment say­ing Ka­vanagh, who has been liv­ing in Bri­tain of late, had been charged with pos­ses­sion of a firearm.

The state­ment added he had been de­tained on Satur­day as part of its in­ves­ti­ga­tions into “the sup­ply of drugs and firearms” in Ire­land and the UK.

“Thomas Ka­vanagh, of Tam­worth, was de­tained as he ar­rived at Birm­ing­ham Air­port, and ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of con­spir­ing to im­port and sup­ply drugs, firearms and am­mu­ni­tion, as well as money laun­der­ing,” the NCA state­ment said.

Searches

“NCA of­fi­cers, sup­ported by col­leagues from An Garda Síochána and Stafford­shire Po­lice, con­ducted a num­ber of searches and re­cov­ered a com­bi­na­tion torch and stun gun – which is il­le­gal to own and pos­sess in the UK.

Re­manded

‘‘ Thomas Ka­vanagh was de­tained as he ar­rived at Birm­ing­ham Air­port

“Ka­vanagh was re­manded in cus­tody overnight and will ap­pear at North Stafford­shire Mag­is­trates court to­day.

“A 20-year-old man, who was ar­rested along­side Ka­vanagh at Birm­ing­ham Air­port has been re­leased un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“A third man, aged 19, was also ar­rested and re­leased un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

Ka­vanagh is mar­ried to the sis­ter of de­ceased David Byrne, though she has no in­volve­ment in crime.

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