Moment armed gardai swoop on hit team to foil sixth murder bid
A 34-year-old career criminal who was arrested allegedly on his way to shoot one of the capital's main gang targets was previously cleared of murder charges following a dramatic trial.
The revelation comes as sources last night said that gardai were probing whether the latest hit on Michael Frazer (38) was ordered from inside Mountjoy Prison by one of his most bitter enemies.
Monday night's dramatic arrest operation in Ballyfermot was the sixth time that Drimnagh man Frazer has escaped a gang murder attempt.
Another prominent theory being investigated by gardai is that Frazer was targeted because people known to him are muscling in dealing drugs on Kinahan cartel 'turf' in the Crumlin and south inner city areas of the capital.
Our dramatic photos show armed gardai swooping on the suspects in the planned raid.
The arrested 34-year-old Ballyfermot criminal and a 38-year-old pal of his from Neilstown in west Dublin were being questioned by detectives at Crumlin Garda Station last night.
They were arrested by heavily armed members of the Emergency Response Unit in a white van at around 8pm on Monday on the Kylemore Road.
A loaded 9mm handgun and a canister of petrol was discovered in the van, which was registered under a bogus company name and made to look like a works vehicle. The suspects were wearing gloves and camouflage clothing and are understood to have had a change of clothes in the van.
Sources say that the arrests were part of a major surveillance operation by the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, which had been ongoing for a number of days.
It is understood that elite detectives had been tracking the van in the capital for a number of days before they pounced.
Gardai also seized a second vehicle, which had been equipped with false number plates that is suspected of being used as a getaway car.
Senior sources have confirmed that gardai are in "no doubt" that the intended target was Frazer and that the two arrested men were to be paid for the murder by senior figures within the Kinahan cartel.
It is understood the suspected getaway car was found near where Frazer has been residing in the Crumlin area in recent weeks.
Apart from being cleared by a jury of stabbing a man to death in west Dublin over 12 years ago, the arrested 34-year-old survived a gun attack in January 2011 as part of a major disagreement among criminals in the Ballyfermot area.
He was not injured in that incident after a number of shots were fired into the house that he was in.
The 38-year-old Neilstown criminal who was arrested in the van with him on Monday is known to gardai for a variety of offences including serious drug crime and thefts.
The west Dublin duo are being held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.
Monday night's incident is the sixth time that Frazer has cheated death since March 2014, when he was shot twice by notorious Clondalkin gangster James 'Nellie' Walsh.
It is understood that, more than three years ago, Frazer became a prime target of a man known to him, who is now in Mountjoy Prison on remand for murder charges.
It was claimed that Frazer had been accused of having an affair with a woman linked to this notorious criminal, who is heavily involved with the Kinahan cartel and who then decided to order Frazer's murder.
Close associates of the jailed crimelord have been arrested in relation to a number of the other attempted murders on Frazer between July 2014 and January 2015, but were never charged in relation to the botched incidents.