'He gave me kill order' - Net closes on Kinahan
Gardai are closing in on drugs boss Daniel Kinahan after receiving information on his direct involvement in a murder plot against a member of the Hutch gang, the Herald can reveal.
In a sensational blow against the billion-euro drugs gang, detectives now believe they have enough evidence to charge the cartel boss with a serious offence that could see him jailed for life.
The significant development comes after it emerged that an informant told gardai that Kinahan had ordered him to take out a leading member of the Hutch gang.
Sources say the individual, who is facing serious charges, has told of Kinahan's direct involvement in the kill plot.
Gardai believe this is hard proof of the cartel chief's central role in the ongoing Hutch-Kinahan feud, which has so far claimed 11 lives.
The Herald has learned that the 39-year-old Dubliner is now too terrified to come back to the capital because he fears being arrested and charged.
"This is a major body blow not only to the organisation he leads but to Daniel himself," a source said.
"He is in serious trouble, and he knows it."
Kinahan has no convictions either in Ireland or in Spain and has managed to stay one stop ahead of the authorities - until now.
There can be no doubt the tide has turned in the fight against the Kinahans and this is another massive blow, following on from a series of gardai successes.
- The arrest and charge of a man accused of conspiracy to murder Dublin man James Gately.
- €38m of cartel cannabis seized at Dublin Port.
- The seizure of 15 rifles, pistols and machine guns, as well as 1,000 rounds of ammunition.
- Several of the cartel's key hitmen being either locked up or having fled abroad.
The head of the cartel's billion euro drugs empire, Kinahan spends much of his time directing operations from his base on Spain's Costa del Sol.
It is understood the recent successful garda operations have made him increasingly paranoid that there is a "rat" in his gang, who he is determined to root out.
However, his main concern is now to keep his head down after gardai received this latest information, which has put him directly in the spotlight as the man pulling the strings in the cartel's deadly campaign to take out the Hutch gang.
The gardai operations against the gang include a swoop last month, when a man was remanded in custody after being charged with conspiracy to murder a Dublin man.
He is accused of conspiring with others not before the courts to murder Mr Gately in Northern Ireland between April 3 and April 4. The offence is under Section 71 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006.
In January, paranoia within the murderous crime outfit was said to be at "unprecedented levels" after €37m of drugs, 15 weapons and more than €400,000 in cash and from bank accounts were seized in a number of days.
One suspect was arrested after a top-secret raid, in which gardai recovered almost €300,000 of cash in vacuum-packed bags in the attic of his house.
They also discovered more than €100,000 in a bank account linked to him.
These developments closely followed the recovery of 15 heavy-duty firearms at Greenogue Business Park in west Dublin.
Days later, €3m of suspected heroin and cocaine were recovered during an operation in Co Kildare.
The most recent blow against the cartel came last Thursday, when two men were arrested and €300,000 of "hard cash" was seized, along with money-counting machines, after a raid on a property in Beacon South Quarter.
Detectives believe they uncovered a "cash-counting house" the cartel had utilised for several months. Gardai think the money was due to be sent to "headquarters in Spain".
Sources revealed how the arrested men were "very low level" members of the Kinahan crime cartel and were chosen because of their low profile.
"These lads are nobodies. No form for crime. The Kinahans are using any lads they can get their hands on to do their dirty work," a source said.