herald

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Gang feud woman linked to Spain hit

The body of Gerard 'Hatchet' Kavanagh, who was part of the mob run by Christy Kinahan, is taken away
The body of Gerard 'Hatchet' Kavanagh, who was part of the mob run by Christy Kinahan, is taken away

GARDAI are investigating whether a female associate of Dublin gangster Christopher 'Git' Russell ordered the hit on Gerard 'Hatchet' Kavanagh.

Kavanagh (44) was riddled with nine bullets at Harmon's Irish Bar in Elviria, a 20-minute drive east of Marbella in Spain, on Saturday.

Investigating officers are exploring the theory that a close female associate of Russell may have ordered the hit, after her car was vandalised as part of an ongoing tit-for-tat dispute over money.

A senior source told the Herald: "Kavanagh and his cronies have been involved in a number of incidents which this woman has been targeted over the past 15 months. This has to be looked at."

Betrayed

A well-known criminal, who is a friend of Kavanagh, was over the weekend checking pubs in Crumlin to try to find the woman.

Another theory on the motive for the murder is that a contract may have been taken out on Kavanagh's life by a Russian gang in a disagreement over a drugs shipment.

Kavanagh was a member of the notorious organised crime mob run by Christy Kinahan, which is involved in drug-debt collection and international drug dealing.

Kinahan's gang has been in a long-running dispute with Russell, who they claim owes a drug debt thought to be around €1.5m.

A number of attacks have occurred in locations in Drimnagh as part of the simmering dispute between Russell and his Kinahan enemies, which included Kavanagh and his sidekick Paul Rice.

Sources have said that Rice was left "wracked with grief" and "crying all day" after his friend's violent murder over the weekend.

He spent the evening consoling Kavanagh's mother and is expected to travel to Spain today to help organise the repatriation of his body.

Gardai have been placed on high alert about the possibility of retaliation for the hit.

In July the High Court ruled that 'Git' Russell's house was acquired mostly with the proceeds of crime.

Police investigating the murder believe it was meticulously planned by professional killers, who may have travelled from Ireland to carry out the hit.

It also has emerged that Kavanagh may have been betrayed by a close associate who had been drinking with him earlier and fled out the back of the pub.

Two Dublin men had scoped out the pub for a number of days before the shooting and they left Spain on the day that it was carried out.

Two masked gunmen burst into Harmon's Irish Bar just before 4pm Irish time on Saturday.

The assassins opened fire on Kavanagh with a machine pistol while he tried to flee.

When he fell to the floor, one of the gunmen fired a bullet into his head, rolled him over and checked to make sure he was dead.

Police later found a burnt-out BMW X3 nearby, which is thought to have been used as a getaway car.

A local source said: "The gunmen were wearing balaclavas and were dressed from head to toe in black. It had all the hallmarks of a professional hit.

"It looks like they picked a time when they knew the bar wasn't going to be busy.

"It is believed the victim was trying to flee when he was shot because many of the nine bullets he took hit him in the back."

hnews@herald.ie

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