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Face of man hunted by Spanish police as drugs gang's driver

THIS is the man who Spanish police say acted as a driver for the Christy Kinahan multi-mullion euro drugs organisation.

Ross Browning (27) from north inner city Dublin is mentioned in the European arrest warrant that was used by gardai to arrest gang boss 'Fat' Freddie Thompson last Friday.

Convicted armed robber Browning, of Hardwicke Street, is alleged to have collected a major Irish criminal from Malaga Airport in May, 2010 in a car which was also regularly used by crime boss Gary Hutch (30).

Browning was one of around 30 people arrested by police investigating Christy Kinahan's massive drug organisation in an international police investigation codenamed Operation Shovel in May of last year.

He was released without charge after being questioned by Spanish police.

In March, 2002, Browning was given an 18-month suspended jail sentence for carrying out an armed robbery with two of his associates and for dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm.

A year earlier Browning was involved in a robbery in which over €17,000 was stolen from a Securicor van driver.

The Securicor driver was leaving McDonald's, in Parnell Street, Dublin after collecting the money when he was approached by Browning, who waved an imitation gun at him and demanded that he hand over the cash bag.



Spain

It is understood that Browning left Ireland for Spain some years later.

Meanwhile 'Fat' Freddie remains in a segregation unit of Cloverhill Prison today after his dramatic arrest and appearance before the High Court on Friday afternoon.

He is being kept in a special protection area because of fears that he could be targeted by criminal rivals in the jail.

The notorious gangster is due before the High Court on Wednesday where he is expected to apply for bail. Gardai are expected to object to this application.

Thompson fled the flat he lived in with Gary Hutch in Nueva Andalucia, Spain, after the May 2010 launch of Operation Shovel -- the Irish-led international crackdown on Christy Kinahan, who is now in jail in Belgium, and his global empire.

A European Arrest Warrant has also been issued for Thompson's close pal Gary Hutch, but gardai have not been able to locate him as he is understood to be abroad.

The Herald has previously revealed that Thompson's arrest warrant contains explosive details about a phone call tapped by Spanish police in December, 2009, between 'Fat' Freddie and Hutch in which the two criminals discuss firearms.

The warrant also alleged that 'Fat' Freddie and Hutch travelled together to Portugal in November, 2009 and Amsterdam in May, 2010, to organise drug shipments.

The warrant also states that Hutch and Thompson lived together in Spain and were "right hand men" of Daniel Kinahan -- the son of Ireland's richest drugs trafficker Christy Kinahan.

Spanish authorities allege that Thompson and Hutch operated as bodyguards and chauffeurs for the Christy Kinahan drugs organisation.

kfoy@herald.ie