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Friday 2 December 2016

Christy Kinahan gang enforcer joins rival criminals

Paul Rice
Christy Kinahan

A former top enforcer for the Christy Kinahan crime syndicate has joined a Scottish gang who are in dispute with Ireland's biggest drugs-running cartel.

Gardai are monitoring the next move by Tallaght thug Paul Rice (45) after "information indicates" that Rice is no longer working for Kinahan.

"Rice seems to have built up a relationship with a Scottish crew who are active on the 'Costa del Crime' and have been in dispute with the Kinahans," a source said last night.

Rice's split from Kinahan's gang was motivated by the shooting dead of his best friend Gerard 'Hatchet' Kavanagh in Spain last year - Kinahan's mob are the prime suspects for the gun attack.

Paul Kavanagh, a younger brother of Hatchet, was shot dead last month.

Both brothers are believed to have been shot dead on the orders of the Kinahan trafficking syndicate.

Dozens of armed gardai were involved in a major operation against Rice only weeks after he carried the coffin of 'Hatchet' Kavanagh, who was shot dead in Spain last September.

Tensions were high during the raid at Rice's Tallaght home, but he was not arrested in the operation last October 9 when the Emergency Response Unit was backed up by the Criminal Assets Bureau.

Rice is one of Ireland's most feared criminals.

His most serious conviction came when he was jailed for 10 years in July 1995 after pleading guilty to the robbery of a bank during which shots were fired.

He escaped on horseback after the hold-up and a security guard was beaten with a lump hammer.

Rice was arrested by gardai investigating a kidnap and torture incident at a house in Lucan in October 2010.

He was also questioned in 2013 about the gruesome gangland murder of a man whose body was found in the Dublin Mountains.

And he was questioned about a botched hit on car dealer Michael Frazer in the car park of a pub in Firhouse, south Dublin, last August.

For a number of years Rice had been acting as a money collector for the Kinahan international crime syndicate.

Rice and his crew previously told slain Real IRA gang boss Alan Ryan to "f*** off" when the RIRA came looking for protection money in 2011, just months before Ryan was murdered by a different criminal gang.

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