herald

Friday 21 September 2018

Crime lord Christy Kinahan is spotted in Dubai Airport

Crime boss Christy Kinahan has been pictured at the arrivals hall of Dubai Airport.

He was spotted a number of weeks ago at the airport in the Middle East, where he has been living in recent years.

It comes as the Kinahan cartel has become embroiled in a South American court case involving Chilean drug lord Richard Eduardo Riquelme Vega - nicknamed 'El Rico'.

It has been alleged he ordered the murder of rival crime boss Samir Bouyakhrichan - nicknamed 'Scarface'. It is understood officers believe the murder of Bouyakhrichan cemented the relationship between the Kinahan cartel and Vega's Dutch-based gang.

Cocaine

Bouyakhrichan had been one of the biggest cocaine lords in Europe before his murder in 2014.

Investigations believe it was a Kinahan hitman who carried out the assassination. He was understood to be working with an associate of Vega named Naoufal Fassih.

Fassih was arrested by gardai in a Kinahan cartel safe house in Dublin last year.

He was discovered by officers carrying out a series of raids in the city. They contacted Europol and discovered he was one of the most wanted men in the Netherlands.

A plan was put into place to break him out of Mountjoy Prison, but this was thwarted after gardai received intelligence that Vega was putting together a team for the job.

Fassih was later transferred back to the Netherlands under armed guard and remains in a high-security prison awaiting trial. Warrants issued to the Chilean courts have sought Vega's extradition, claiming he ordered the murder of Bouyakhrichan.

Documents were lodged with the Supreme Court in Chile following a successful extradition request from Dutch authorities last week.

Law enforcement agencies believe Vega and Kinahan joined forces to take out rival gangs with links to South America to take over the drug market in the Netherlands, UK and Ireland.

The murder of Gary Hutch and the Hutch/Kinahan feud that ensued are understood to be directly related to the Kinahan/Vega alliance.

Vega has been taken into custody in Chile after he returned from a trip from Dubai.

The Kinahan/Vega pact is also believed to be linked to 16 murders in the Netherlands and four in Spain.

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