herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Moment 'Mago' kill plot suspect is busted

Gardai lead the man (white T-shirt) out of Dublin Airport following his arrest
Gardai lead the man (white T-shirt) out of Dublin Airport following his arrest

This is the dramatic moment a 36-year-old criminal was arrested at Dublin Airport by officers investigating a sinister plot to murder a senior member of the Hutch mob.

The Clondalkin criminal remained in garda custody last night at Irishtown Garda Station, where he was being quizzed about a conspiracy to murder Kinahan cartel target James 'Mago' Gately.

His arrest has provided confirmation that the ruthless west Dublin drugs gang that he is suspected of leading has been working hand-in-hand with the Kinahan cartel.

The Clondalkin gangster, who has barely any previous criminal convictions, is suspected of playing a major role in the sinister plot to murder Gately, which is separate to the attempted murder on 'Mago' in north Dublin in May.

The burly alleged gang boss was arrested by almost a dozen gardai at 7.15pm on Sunday, after entering the arrivals hall of the airport when he got off a flight from Malta.

It is understood the father-of-three was returning from a lavish holiday with his wife on the Mediterranean island when armed gardai pounced.

The Herald can reveal that the major Clondalkin criminal was previously quizzed by gardai investigating the brutal gangland murder of innocent man Dean Johnson (21).

Sources have stated that his west Dublin home is decked out with a state-of-the-art CCTV system and he rarely leaves the property without wearing a hidden bulletproof vest.

Target

"This individual has been a long-term target for the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) for many years, as well as the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB)," a senior source said last night.

The CAB has carried out a number of raids against the mobster's gang in the past year.

James ‘Mago’ Gately survived an attempt on his life in May
James ‘Mago’ Gately survived an attempt on his life in May

It is understood that the criminal has been able to explain away some of his wealth by a major claim he gained in the civil courts when he was a youngster.

It has also emerged that he has significant involvement with a top soccer team based in west Dublin.

The 36-year-old is believed to have become increasingly paranoid after the gruesome murder of his best pal Jason 'Jay' Carroll (39) in 2013.

Today is the anniversary of Carroll's unsolved murder.

"It was after Carroll was murdered that this individual became so paranoid. That's when he got the bulletproof vest and CCTV," a source said.

Carroll was an extremely close friend of Daniel Kinahan - the son of Christy Kinahan, the leader of Ireland's biggest and most dangerous drugs syndicate, which has led the feud that has claimed 12 lives so far.

Carroll was described as a gangland "fixer and facilitator" who looked after vast amounts of cash for the Kinahan mob.

The cartel has been flooding Ireland with drugs from Spain and the Netherlands for years.

Gardai believe that the man arrested on Sunday evening has taken over from Carroll within the cartel's operations.

The Dublin Airport arrest happened as part of a lengthy surveillance operation by the DOCB, which established that the suspect spends many months each year outside of Ireland, especially on Spain's Costa del Sol.

Murder

Sources say that detectives believe that he was involved in the "logistics" of the planned murder of James 'Mago' Gately last April.

Senior sources said last night that the airport arrest is part of a separate investigation from the probe into the attempted murder of 'Mago' Gately in May.

A Co Meath-based man has been arrested in relation to that botched hit but no one has been charged.

Last night's arrest is linked to a separate investigation, in which three other suspects have previously been arrested.

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