Kinahan cartel are suspected of ordering the hit on slain gangster Gary Hutch
THE RUTHLESS Kinahan cartel are suspected of ordering the hit on their once-loyal lieutenant, slain gangster Gary Hutch, after he became embroiled in a cash dispute with the mob.
Today the Herald can reveal the extent to which Spanish authorities believe he had risen through the ranks of the feared cartel before a massive falling out that left Hutch in the cold and fearing for his life.
Hutch’s gruesome end beside a swimming pool in a Costa del Sol apartments complex came four years after a report by Spanish authorities, seen by the Herald, detailed his integral role in the gang.
The dossier was prepared as part of their successful extradition of Hutch’s best pal ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson from Ireland to Spain in November 2011.
It included information on:
l How it believed Hutch was “just one step below” Daniel Kinahan, son of crime boss Christy Kinahan in the cartel’s ranks.
l How police suspected that Hutch travelled with Thompson to Portugal and the Netherlands to organise a shipment of drugs.
l And how police also suspected the pair of procuring weapons for the cartel.
Gary Hutch’s body is removed in a body bag from the scene in Marbella
Hutch’s family had been “living in dread” after they were approached in Dublin recently by a thug demanding a six-figure sum that he claimed Hutch owed and made a sinister threat to his life.
Their worst fears were realised when he was gunned down in a hail of bullets on Thursday morning.
Detectives are now investigating reports that Hutch was shot dead on the orders of the Kinahan drugs-trafficking cartel.
One prominent theory being followed up is that Hutch’s row with the gang centred on €2m worth of cocaine – destined for the British market – that went missing last year.
His murder has led to fears of a “gangland bloodbath” on the streets of Dublin, with close associates said to be furious about this week’s poolside assassination. Fears of a revenge attack have led to an increase in armed garda patrols in both the north and south inner cities of the capital in case of a deadly face-off.
Sources say Hutch remained a highly trusted member of the Kinahan cartel until less than a year ago when a major falling out left him aware that he was a marked man.
It is understood his murder has piled pressure on the exiled Thompson.
There are major concerns that he will be next on the grim hit list that has seen three Dublin criminals –who were all senior players in the Kinahan mob – shot dead in the last 13 months.
Gerard ‘Hatchet’ Kavanagh was shot on the Costa del Sol last year, with his brother Paul gunned down in Drumcondra six months later.
Sources believe all this in-fighting would have been “unimaginable” back in 2010 when the Spanish police began preparing their dossier on the activities of Hutch and Thompson as part of the international Operation Shovel investigation into the Kinahan empire.
“As a result of investigations carried out in Spain and collaboration between Ireland and the UK it is known that Freddie has been under investigation for narcotic-related offences in both countries,’’ the document reads.
At that time both Hutch and Thompson were senior members of the cartel, according to the investigation.
“Thompson together with Gary Hutch are the men who are closest to Daniel Joseph Kinahan, as can be inferred from telephone tapping and surveillance operations,” it claims.
It continues by stating that Hutch and Thompson “are his trusted right-hand men” and carry out jobs directly related to the organisation’s criminal activities.
“Freddie and Gary are just one step below Daniel, are very close, and share an equal status,” it says. “They sometimes give orders to each other without being able to determine who is higher up in the organisation. They are equals, good friends and share a flat.”
The dossier states that on November 24, 2009, Hutch and Thompson “travelled to the south of Portugal with Gary Hutch, allegedly to organise a shipment of drugs”.
On May 15, 2010 they travelled with “other members of the alleged criminal organisation to Amsterdam, apparently for the same reason”.
Spanish police also suspected that both Hutch and Thompson were involved in procuring weapons for the cartel.
“One of Freddie’s jobs is to obtain weapons for the rest of the organisation, as is evident from the conversation he held with Gary Hutch.
“Like Gary, Freddie’s duties also include acting as a bodyguard, chauffeur, etc.
“Attention should be drawn to the conversation held on the 1/12/2009 at 16.25 in which it is possible to infer that Freddie had got hold of a weapon that was not as big as expected – Freddie says it probably shoots a bullet and that is it.
“Gary then, as a security measure, immediately puts an end to the conversation. This shows that they know each other well.
“It has been deduced from investigations and surveillance activities that they had lived together in a flat in Nueva Andalucia.”
It reveals that Spanish authorities noted that a car normally driven by Gary Hutch was driven by another key Kinahan gang member at Malaga Airport on May 7, 2010, which reveals the level of surveillance that police had Hutch under at that time.
Ultimately, Hutch,Thompson and Daniel and Christy Kinahan were never convicted of any criminal offence in Spain.
There can be little doubt that if the Spanish authorities had been able to press charges against Gary Hutch, the notorious north inner city criminal would be alive today.
He would have been in a tough Costa jail on Thursday rather than at the apartment block where he met his grim end.
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