Gardaí have warned the bosses of the Kinahan crime cartel that they are intent on arresting them abroad and bringing them back home to face justice.
They reminded the Kinahan leaders that 20 years ago the chiefs of the Gilligan gang were arrested abroad, taken to Ireland and successfully prosecuted.
And the Special Crime Task Force, set up to target middle and lower-ranking gang members, may send operational gardaí abroad to assist in this effort.
However, a Garda chief leading the taskforce said its impact will be “dictated” by the resources available.
At a briefing yesterday, it emerged that 23 people have been arrested over the six Kinahan-Hutch feud murders in Ireland, and four had been charged.
“There’s no doubt about it, what’s happening in this country and its impact on these communities, particularly in the inner city communities in Dublin is being orchestrated from the south of Spain and Holland and indeed the UK,” said assistant commissioner John O’Mahoney, head of the crime and security section.
However, he said targeting these foreign-based bosses was nothing new to the force and reminded the Kinahan cartel that both the leader and right-hand man of the Gilligan gang were brought back home by the team investigating the murder of Veronica Guerin.
“Twenty years ago, John Gilligan was arrested in the UK, Brian Meehan was arrested in Amsterdam, both were brought home here, the legislation provided for them to be brought back and convicted for their crimes,” said Mr O’Mahoney.
“That’s something that we will do again. We will follow those people who are guilty of these crimes or indeed guilty of organised crime activities in this country to wherever it takes us and bring them back to justice here,” he said.
The leaders of the Kinahan cartel are largely based abroad, but sometimes return home.
Asked specifically would there be arrests abroad, Mr O’Mahoney said: “Let the investigations take their course and, if there is to be arrests, there will be arrests.”
He likened the Kinahan cartel to a “huge crime conglomerate” with links to Russian and French mafia. He said that operational gardaí had gone abroad before and that if that was required it would happen.
Deputy commissioner John Twomey said there had been 23 arrests in the six murder investigations.
He said that almost 100 searches had been conducted, 18 guns seized, 7,000 lines of inquiry conducted, 2,600 statements taken, and 2,000 high-visibility checkpoints conducted.
He said the gardaí were “determined that good will win over evil” and the perpetrators brought to justice.
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