herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

Kinahan gun-runner hiding out in Spain after 'hitman kit' find

Cartel boss Daniel Kinahan (right) with gangland associate ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson
Cartel boss Daniel Kinahan (right) with gangland associate ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson

A key member of the Kinahan cartel who is suspected of supplying weapons for an attempted hit in Dublin this month is currently hiding out in Spain, the Herald can reveal.

Sources said last night the 40-year-old is suspected of being "in control" of an "assassination kit" that was discovered in a car on the capital's northside almost a fortnight ago.

It is understood that the gangster - who is originally from the capital's north inner city - is hiding out in a safe house in Spain where he is involved in the day-to-day operations of the cartel run by Daniel Kinahan.

He is known to be a key target of the rival Hutch gang.

It is believed he has been using international contacts to get firearms into Ireland.

Seizure

Considered one of the most trusted members of the cartel, he was previously arrested by officers investigating the gangland murder of crimelord Eamon Dunne in April 2010, which was sanctioned by the gang.

He is linked to a number of safe houses in Ireland but when he is here the 40-year-old normally stays between addresses in Meath, Wicklow and the north inner city.

Two other men from the north inner city, aged in their late 20s and early 30s, were arrested, questioned and released last week about the seizure, which is still being investigated.

Officers attached to Finglas Garda Station recovered a stolen Nissan Pulsar on August 6 in Casement Park in Finglas and discovered two handguns, ammunition, and a canister of fuel in the vehicle.

The two men who were arrested are closely linked to a jailed hitman who has been connected to a number of feud-related murders.

The hitman has come to the attention of gardai over the last number of years for crimes including drug-related offences and assaulting gardai.

Meanwhile, the Herald can also reveal that one of the cartel's main targets and a former "key lieutenant" of the Hutch mob is considering fleeing the country after coming under severe pressure from both factions in the capital's deadly feud.

The once-feared criminal has "fallen out of favour" with his former allies. He is said to be so desperate for cash that he has been arrested for shoplifting.

"He is feeling the pressure from both sides of the feud, and even his own family have disowned him, so he feels fleeing the country might be his best option," a source said.

"This guy was once involved in some major robberies, but the fact that he's been caught for minor theft offences indicates that he isn't involved in the high-level crimes that other associates of the gang have been involved in."

The criminal, aged in his early 30s, has previously been convicted of firearm-related offences and threatening gardai.

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