herald

Sunday 9 December 2018

It's third time unlucky as bungling hitman quizzed over foiled Hutch attack

Armed gardai swooped on the two men on Saturday
Armed gardai swooped on the two men on Saturday

A bungling Dublin criminal was quizzed for a third time over a foiled gangland hit after being arrested over the weekend.

On Saturday, two men were arrested by heavily armed gardai in the Dublin 3 area over fears that they were on their way to carry out a hit linked to the ongoing feud.

Foiled

The pair were detained in separate locations shortly after 4.30pm in the Dublin 3 area.

A revolver was found on the 30-year-old man as he cycled along East Wall Road, while the 27-year-old was arrested in a car on nearby Clonmore Road.

The Herald can reveal that the younger criminal, who was last night released without charge and a file sent to the DPP, has now been arrested three times in relation to botched gangland hits.

Both men were previously arrested and jailed almost a decade ago over a foiled shooting, while the 27-year-old was also arrested previously over a failed attempt on a Hutch family member in the south-east of the country.

A source last night told the Herald that gardai are still attempting to determine who the target of Saturday's planned hit was, and that officers swooped on the pair over fears of an imminent threat to life.

"The exact target has not yet been established, but a number of Hutch family members and associates live in the immediate area and could have been potentially victims," the source said.

The 30-year-old man was last night charged in relation to the seizure of the loaded revolver and will appear in the Criminal Courts of Justice this morning.

Both men who were arrested are believed to have close ties to the notorious Kinahan cartel.

A garda spokeswoman said that Saturday's arrests were part of an "ongoing investigation into organised crime and threats to life in the Dublin region".

The operation was led by detectives from the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB), who were assisted by officers from the Special Crime Task Force and the Garda Crime and Security section.

Caught

"It looks like [an assassination attempt]. They were travelling when gardai stopped them and one of them was carrying a loaded gun," a source said.

It was just the latest incident in a long line of botched murder attempts between the two warring factions.

In March, gardai foiled an attempt on the life of Jonathan Hutch, a nephew of 'The Monk', in Wexford when officers swooped moments before it was due to be carried out.

Two men were arrested.

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