British police charge suspected Kinahan associate with possession of a firearm

British police charge suspected Kinahan associate with possession of a firearm
Gardaí and the UK's National Crime Agency worked together in the operation. Picture: Twitter/ National Crime Agency

Update - 1pm: A 51-year-old man has been charged with possession of a firearm after he was arrested yesterday as part of a National Crime Agency investigation into the supply of drugs and firearms in Ireland and the UK.

Britain's National Crime Agency confirmed that Thomas Kavanagh, with an address in Tamworth, was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to import and supply drugs, firearms and ammunition, as well as money laundering.

Mr Kavanagh, who is believed to be a senior figure in the Dublin-based Kinahan crime cartel, was detained as he arrived at Birmingham Airport yesterday morning.

NCA officers, supported by colleagues from An Garda Síochána and Staffordshire Police, conducted a number of searches.

They recovered a combination torch and stun gun, which is illegal to own and possess in the UK.

Mr Kavanagh was remanded in custody overnight and will appear at North Staffordshire Magistrates court tomorrow.

A 20-year old man, who was arrested at the airport, has been released under investigation.

A third man, aged 19, was also arrested but has been released under investigation.

Update - 10.30am: British police questioning senior Kinahan figure after arrest

A 51-year-old man is still being questioned by British police as part of an investigation into the supply of drugs and firearms in Ireland and the UK.

The man, who is believed to be a senior figure in the Kinahan crime cartel, was arrested along with another 20-year-old man at Birmingham Airport yesterday morning.

The younger man, who is understood to be the elder man's son, has since been released on police bail.

The 51-year-old was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to import and supply drugs, firearms and ammunition, as well as money laundering offences.

The pair were arrested yesterday as part of an operation by Britain's National Crime Agency which was supported by the gardaí and other international policing partners.

Earlier: Senior Kinahan figure one of two men arrested in the UK

UK police are questioning two men as part of a joint operation into the supply of drugs and firearms in Ireland and the UK.

The operation, which is supported by the gardaí and other international policing partners, is said to be a major blow for organised crime gangs in Dublin.

One of the men is believed to be a senior figure in the Kinahan crime gang.

A number of searches were conducted at premises in the Staffordshire area following the arrest of the men on their arrival at Birmingham Airport yesterday morning.

The pair, aged 51 and 20, who both have an address in Staffordshire, are being questioned as part of a joint Irish/UK investigation into the activities of an organised crime network alleged to be involved in the supply of drugs and firearms in Ireland and the UK.

The 51-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to import and supply drugs, firearms and ammunition, as well as money laundering offences.

The 20-year-old was arrested on suspicion of money laundering offences.

The men are being questioned at a police station in Staffordshire.

A spokesperson for Britain's National Crime Agency said: “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 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.”

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