'Significant amount of evidence' recovered in co-ordinated dawn raids in Spain and Ireland

'Significant amount of evidence' recovered in co-ordinated dawn raids in Spain and Ireland
Garda and Guardia Civil officers in Dublin. Picture: Garda Press Office

Gardaí and officers from Spain's Guardia Civil carried out co-ordinated dawn raids in both countries as part of an international investigation into the Kinahan crime cartel, a press briefing in Dublin was told today.

Garda Detective Superintendent Tony Howard said that police arrested a man in connection with a murder that sparked a bloody gangland war that has spilled over on to the streets of Dublin and Spanish sun resorts.

The man is being questioned about the murder of Gary Hutch in September last year on the Costa del Sol.

"They carried out a number of searches and one person has been arrested in relation to the homicide of Gary Hutch in Spain in 2015," he said.

Gardaí have posted pictures on their Facebook page in connection with the operation, showing a luxury yacht being searched while a man is detained at a marina, as well as a black Bentley car.

To see this post on Facebook, click here.

Members of the Guardia Civil were also in Dublin to take part in co-ordinated raids of six premises in the Tallaght, Clondalkin and south inner city areas.

Mr Howard said "a lot of evidence" was gathered during the searches, involving up to 60 officers.

"We have seized computers, phones, cash - approximately €23,000 in cash which was hidden at a location in one of the search sites," he said.

Pic: Solarpix
Pic: Solarpix

"We have also seized false identification papers and we have seized financial documentation in relation to banks outside this jurisdiction."

He said he expected more arrests to follow.

"Today was about gathering evidence and disrupting and dismantling these organised crime groups," he added.

"It was about gathering evidence so we can go to the director of public prosecutions to seek a charge of possibly directing organised crime, but certainly facilitating organised crime in these jurisdictions.

"I do know a significant amount of evidence has been retrieved in Spain."

Pic: Solarpix
Pic: Solarpix

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald welcomed the "excellent co-operation" between Irish and Spanish authorities.

"Gardaí have an unrelenting, a very serious and ongoing persistent focus, on interrupting the criminal activities and this cycle of revenge and retaliation that we see with these gangs," she said.

She added: “The intensity of this cooperation can now be seen.

“An Garda Síochána will continue to take whatever measures are open to them to counteract the deadly activities of gangs, and I know that the Commissioner and her colleagues are fully committed to maintaining and indeed augmenting the already excellent cooperation between our two countries, and with the law enforcement agencies of other countries whose communities have been damaged by these gangs and their heinous activities.”

'Significant amount of evidence' recovered in co-ordinated dawn raids in Spain and Ireland

Trevor O'Neill, an Irish father of three shot dead while on holiday with his family in Majorca last month, was believed to be the latest mistaken target of the feud.

In April, innocent bystander Martin O'Rourke died after being gunned down in Dublin's north inner city during an assassination attempt of another figure connected to the fall-out.

Gardaí said in June that the unprecedented spate of underworld-ordered killings was being directed from Spain, the Netherlands and the UK.

A special crime taskforce has been set up into the blood-letting but the Garda has admitted the international dimension is a challenge for their investigations.

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