herald

Friday 30 September 2016

Spanish crackdown on Kinahan mob as Byrne brother arrested

James Byrne (centre) is arrested at Dublin Airport
James Byrne (centre) is arrested at Dublin Airport

Police in Spain have launched a fresh crackdown on the Kinahan cartel and carried out arrests, raids and searches as fears of another gangland hit mount.

On Saturday, only a day after the funeral of Martin O'Rourke, the innocent man shot dead by a gunman targeting one of the Hutch gang, Spanish police set up armed checkpoints near Daniel Kinahan's villa on the Costa del Sol.

Pressure

They are reported to be monitoring various properties and made a number of arrests as authorities in both Spain and Ireland increase the pressure on gangland criminals. Attention has also been focused on airports.

It has emerged that a brother of David Byrne, the Kinahan lieutenant who was shot dead in the Regency Hotel attack on February 5, was arrested at Dublin Airport in recent days.

James Byrne, who is not involved in the crime war, was later released and flew to Malaga. He was previously seen by the Herald confronting armed officers as the Byrne family homes were raided by the Criminal Assets Bureau and gardai in the wake of the killing of Eddie Hutch Snr on February 8.

Gardai seized luxury cars worth more than €500,000 in last month's crackdown on mob assets, when 12 homes and six businesses were raided in a massive garda operation targeting the Kinahan cartel.

The raids took place at addresses in the Raleigh Square, Kildare Road and Windmill Road areas of Crumlin.

James Byrne threatened gardai and members of the media before the situation calmed down and officers allowed him leave.

Meanwhile, crime boss Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch is reported to have vowed to continue his war with the Kinahan cartel by declaring it will not be over until "the last man is standing".

Threat

He is said to have made the promise when gardai last month warned him that he was still under threat from the cartel.

The Monk has spent time in the UK and Spain since his brother, Eddie, was gunned down at his north inner city home.

A female relative of The Monk is said to have fled the country over fears she could be on the Kinahan hitlist.

The girlfriend of the intended target of the attack that killed innocent man Martin O'Rourke on April 14 is also believed to have left Ireland in fear.

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