Airport arrest is latest blow to Kinahan cartel

Gardaí have scored another success against the Kinahan crime cartel after they arrested a suspected hit squad member after he landed off a flight at Dublin Airport.

The man, from Clondalkin, west Dublin, was met by detectives from the Drugs and Organised Crime (DOCB) Bureau in the arrivals hall after flying in with his family from Malta.

He was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder and can be held under gangland legislation for a maximum period of seven days, on application to the courts.

The 36-year-old is suspected by the DOCB of being part of a Kinahan hit team that was plotting to murder a senior member of the rival Hutch group.

This attempt was thwarted by gardaí who also arrested a number of other men.

The suspected target, James ‘Mago’ Gately, was subsequently shot in a separate attack last May, but survived.

The Kinahan-Hutch feud has claimed up to 12 lives since September 2015, 10 of them thought to be at the hands of Kinahan associates.

Gardaí estimate they have prevented 30 murders so far this year.

Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll said this month that in some cases a suspect was caught with a gun in his hand and wearing a balaclava. He said the DOCB has seized three assault rifles and two submachine guns in 2017, along with six semi-automatic pistols and two shotguns.

The man arrested at Dublin Airport on Sunday night was with family members when he entered the arrival hall. The DOCB had received information about his travel plans and were ready for him. He was taken to Irishtown Garda Station and questioned under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007.

This allows for up to seven days’ detention, firstly based on the authorisation of senior officers and then on application to the courts.

Detectives will be in contact with the Director of Public Prosecutions as to whether or not he should be charged or released pending a file to the DPP.

The arrest is the latest in a series of successes against the Kinahan cartel.


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