Sunday, 24 February 2008

Gang boss under threat after row

Sunday Tribune

Mick McCaffrey, Security Editor
THE drugs gang controlled by the notorious criminal 'Fat' Freddie Thompson is on the verge of imploding after the gang boss gave a severe beating to one of his most trusted lieutenants.

Following the murder of his second-in-command Paddy Doyle in Spain three weeks ago, Thompson organised a meeting of five of his gang members in Dublin last Monday night. During the get-together a row developed between 27-year-old Thompson and a 23-year-old from the north-inner city over the future direction that the gang should take.

Thompson, along with another gang member, brutally beat their friend, leaving him bloodied and bruised in the hotel toilet.

The victim was so disoriented that he stripped down to his underwear and stumbled into the street where he managed to hail a taxi.

After receiving a phonecall he kicked out the window of the vehicle and began shouting abuse. The worried taxi driver drove to nearby Fitzgibbon Street garda station and the passenger was arrested. The man, who is the prime suspect in at least one gangland murder, was interviewed by detectives and it is anticipated that charges for criminal damage will follow.

The following day he contacted Thompson and told the gang boss that he would murder him. Gardai are taking the threat seriously and say there is no doubt that the beaten gangster has the capacity to kill.

Thompson is regarded as a "dead man walking" in gangland circles and has already been warned by gardai that there are at least two contracts out on his life.

Detectives believe that a gang from Crumlin who have been in dispute with Thompson since 2001 will attempt to capitalise on the current unrest and murder him.
February 24, 2008

Friday, 15 February 2008

Gangster's bullet-proof BMW seized after chase

Gangster's bullet-proof BMW seized after chase

By Barry Duggan

Friday February 15 2008

GARDAI have seized a bullet-proof BMW worth €100,000 belonging to a leading member of one of the country's most dangerous criminal gangs after a high-speed car chase.

The driver of the car, who is a close relation to the vehicle's owner, was arrested following the pursuit after he failed to stop the high-performance vehicle at a garda checkpoint in Limerick city.

Officers also recovered a bullet-proof vest in the vehicle. The arrested man is likely to face charges in connection with the incident.

The top-of-the-range black BMW, which was fitted with bullet-proof glass at a cost of €100,000 to the owner, belongs to a leading member of the Dundon-McCarthy gang.

The car owner, who is behind bars, and the arrested driver remain a target for gangs based in the St Mary's Park area of the city.

The vehicle remains impounded following the high speed chase on Tuesday.

The driver of the vehicle who is in his early 20s is well known to Limerick gardai investigating ongoing criminal and gangland activity in the city.

He has just returned to Limerick from Spain where he was in the company of murdered Dublin criminal Paddy Doyle until days before he was shot dead. Doyle was shot dead in the Costa del Sol last week.

The Limerick man who returned to the city a fortnight ago has served three years for drug dealing has openly threatened to kill opposing members in Limerick city's ongoing feud. He was released from prison last November.

- Barry Duggan

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Doyle killed after warning from Turkish drug dealers

Sunday Tribune

He was a hard man in Crumlin and a hitman in Dublin . . . but he was way out of his depth in Spain
Mick McCaffrey, Security Editor
EARLY last October, gardai received an intelligence report from Spanish police about a dispute that had arisen between two Irish citizens and a Turkish crime syndicate on the Costa del Sol. The Guardia Civil had learned that two men named Frederick Thompson and Patrick Doyle had been warned that they would be murdered if they did not pay outstanding bills for a number of sizeable heroin shipments.

Thompson is said to have given two fingers to the bearer of the message, while Doyle laughed and said that he would personally kill anyone who threatened him.

Last Monday, Doyle was sitting in the passenger seat of his BMW X5 jeep in Estepona when he was ambushed by a number of gunmen who fired over two dozen shots from a machine pistol.

The 27-year-old managed to get out of the jeep and tried to run away but one of the gunmen, who wore no mask, calmly walked up to him and shot him twice in the head. Doyle was shot a total of 12 times.

Paddy Doyle is the latest Irish gangster to have died in Spain under the false belief that his fearsome reputation in this country would be enough to protect him when doing business with international drug traffickers.

A clear picture is only now beginning to emerge about the reasons for Doyle's clinical and coldblooded murder.

Freddie Thompson is one of the country's biggest criminals and is the leader of a Drimnaghbased drugs gang that has been involved in a bloody feud with a rival gang from Crumlin. At least 11 people have lost their lives since 2001 as a result of the feud.

Paddy Doyle was Thompson's hitman and enforcer-in-chief and was responsible for organising shipments of heroin and cocaine from Spain.

Doyle and Thompson were introduced to a Turkish family in London and for the past three years, the Turks have been supplying the Thompson gang with massive amounts of cheap heroin which is imported from Afghanistan.

Over the last 18 months, gardai have had considerable success in intercepting drugs shipments belonging to Thompson. The gang has lost millions of euro worth of revenue as a result of the seizures. Because of their financial straits, Thompson and Doyle had been reluctant to pay the Turks in Spain. This caused serious tensions to develop.

The Turks warned the two men that there would be repercussions if the bill was not settled and they were preparing to pay when a further shipment was seized near the Dublin docklands late last year.

The two Irish criminals then decided to hold off on paying until they could generate much-needed funds. Less than two weeks ago, Doyle was given a final warning, but he ignored it and met what was an inevitable fate.

THE murder of Patrick Doyle had no Irish involvement whatsoever, but it has the potential to be hugely significant in shaping the future gangland landscape here.

Doyle was probably the most violent and feared criminal operating in the capital and his presence was enough to deter the rival Crumlin gang from attempting to carry out attacks on Thompson gang members.

Gardai say that the Crumlin gang, which is led by a man serving a lengthy jail sentence, was so afraid that Doyle would come back to Dublin and hunt individual members down that it has effectively been on ceasefire.

With Doyle's demise, detectives now fear that this gang will attempt to reassert itself. This inevitably will result in the death toll rising further. Tensions in Crumlin and Drimnagh are already high after the attempted murder of 'The Viper' Martin Foley. One small incident might be enough to kick off a series of tit-for-tat killings.

Paddy Doyle had been based in Marbella since November 2005, when he fled Ireland after allegedly carrying out three murders in just two days.

His exile was not by choice. The convicted drug dealer made an amateur error after one of the killings and was facing immediate arrest if spotted by gardai.

Detectives say that on 15 November 2005, Doyle received a call on his mobile phone informing him that a member of the rival Crumlin gang was attending a Phil Collins concert at the Point theatre.

Along with another member of the Thompson gang, he picked up a Glock pistol and followed 27year-old Noel Roche to Clontarf and shot him dead outside The Yacht pub.

He then drove the getaway car to a nearby estate and set it alight, but fled before making sure that the car exploded. It didn't, and traces of Doyle's DNA were recovered. He boarded a flight to Alicante days later and had lived in Marbella since.

Two days before the Noel Roche murder, Doyle was said to have got into the back seat of a car at a housing estate in Firhouse for a meeting with two fellow Thompson gang members.

Darren Geoghegan and Gavin Byrne believed they were there to discuss an impending drugs delivery, but Doyle produced a 9mm pistol and shot both men in the back of the head.

They died before they realised that anything was amiss. The pair were murdered as a result of internal gang tensions over the control of drugs money. Doyle was also the prime suspect in the July 2002 murder of Timothy Rattigan in Crumlin. Eighteen-year-old Rattigan was a member of the rival Crumlin gang and was shot outside his home.

Doyle was well known to gardai and had amassed 42 convictions for a wide variety of offences including drug dealing, serious assault, theft and road traffic offences. He was regarded as a psychopath who took pleasure in inflicting violence. He beat a man to within inches of his life in a pub in Capel Street four years ago.

FREDDIE Thompson's role in last week's events has yet to be completely ascertained.

It was initially reported that Thompson and another criminal, Gary Hutch, were with Doyle in the jeep and managed to run away uninjured.

Hutch, who is a nephew of 'The Monk' Gerry Hutch, drove the vehicle and fled the scene while his friend was murdered. He later presented himself to Spanish police.

Freddie Thompson was definitely not in the jeep, although he was in Estepona and visited the scene less than an hour after the murder. He has since gone to ground, but has been in touch with members of his gang in Dublin.

Several sources have suggested to gardai that Thompson might have set up the murder because Doyle was getting too big, but this is not being treated too seriously. A senior garda source investigating the shooting of Martin Foley two weeks ago says that one of the lines of inquiry was to determine whether Paddy Doyle was in the country when the shooting happened. It is known that Doyle had returned to Ireland on several occasions over the last 28 months and was known to wear disguises including wigs. It is not thought that he was in Ireland when Foley was shot and seriously wounded although another member of the Thompson gang is the chief suspect.

Sources say there are "loads" of people ready and willing to replace Paddy Doyle as the Thompson gang's fixer on the Costa del Sol, but none of his potential successors has the same menace as the dead man. In any event, international drug gangs will be reluctant to do business with Thompson again because of his reputation for not paying his bills.

THE Costa del Sol is favoured by Irish gangsters and drug dealers because it is a mecca for international drug traffickers who use it as a base to import heroin, cocaine and cannabis from Morocco, Colombia and Afghanistan.

The Costa is like a European headquarters for distribution, with literally dozens of drug cartels doing business with each other there.

Tens of millions of euro worth of transactions are carried out each week.

The Spanish police and government have often been accused of taking a relaxed approach to the organised criminality in the region.

Dozens of Irish underworld figures call the 'Costa del Crime' home and Paddy Doyle is not the first to have crossed the wrong people there.

The bodies of the notorious Westies leaders Shane Coates and Steven Sugg were found in a concrete grave in Alicante in July 2006 after they fell out with a violent drugs gang. Drug dealers Sean Dunne and John McKeown are also missing presumed dead in Alicante.

One Dublin detective who has known both Doyle and Freddie Thompson since they were teenagers said: "The two lads were out of their depth in Spain dealing with a massive Turkish drugs syndicate with big links to Afghanistan.

Doyle was a hard man in Crumlin and half of the city was scared stiff of him, but he was a nobody in Spain up against the likes of the Russian mafia.

The problem was that he thought he was a big player, but he wasn't. He saw the Westies murdered in the same area because they were acting the hard men, so you'd think he would have learnt something. Freddie Thompson has gone to ground in Spain and he must fear that he is next.

That's what we think anyway. We have already told him that his life is in danger in Ireland and Spain is hardly a safe haven for him now either."
February 10, 2008

Russians kill Dublin drugs lord in Spain

Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
The Observer, Sunday 10 February 2008
Russian mafia hitmen shot dead Dublin gangland member Paddy Doyle on the Costa del Sol, senior gardai claimed this weekend
Doyle, the survivor of a vicious criminal turf war in south Dublin which has claimed at least 10 lives, was gunned down in Estepona last Monday. Veteran detectives with the Garda Siochana's 'Operation Anvil', the drive against Dublin's crime gangs, said the 27-year-old had beaten up a close relative of a Russian mafia leader based on the southern Spanish coastline.
'From what our Spanish colleagues have told us, this was a professional Russian hit. There were 13 shots and we don't think they wasted a bullet. It has a military-trained assassin written all over it, possibly ex-special forces,' a senior detective told The Observer. 'The intelligence coming back from the Costa del Sol is that Paddy Doyle crossed the Russian mafia, which is something you do there at your peril.'
The officer said shortly after Christmas Doyle got involved in a brawl with a young Russian man whom he severely beat up. Unknown to Doyle, the man was related to a senior Russian mafia figure. True to form, on a warm afternoon in one of Spain's most popular destinations for tourists and holiday-home owners, vengeance was exacted in a ruthless fashion.
Doyle, a career criminal, had been the chief suspect in two murders carried out in his native city in 2002 and 2005. He had eluded the gardai and went on the run via Liverpool, Manchester and eventually the favoured destination for many of Ireland's crime lords, Spain's Costa del Sol. From there he helped run a drugs empire smuggling vast amounts of cocaine from Spain into Ireland.
But around 2pm last Monday, Doyle finally met his match. He was travelling in the front passenger seat of a BMW 4X4 driven by one Gary Hutch. As Hutch drove the car towards La Cancelada outside Estepona they were ambushed. According to eyewitnesses two men from a green car opened fire, smashing the windscreen and hitting the passenger door. Hutch crashed the car and he and Doyle ran for cover.
What happened next demonstrated a clinical, military-style ruthlessness on behalf of the attackers. One of the gunmen singled out Doyle and shot him at least twice in the head. At least 13 bullets were fired at Doyle who died at the scene. A terrified Hutch, meanwhile, crouched in terror and waited until the gunmen had left before presenting himself at a local police station.
Reports back in Ireland tried to link Doyle's murder to the feud between two criminal gangs that have been at war in the Crumlin-Drimnagh districts of south Dublin since 2001. However, a senior Garda officer and veteran of the force's 'Operation Anvil' revealed the real identity of Doyle's assassins - the Russian mafia.
Less than 24 hours after Doyle's murder, cocaine valued at about €9.2million was seized by Spanish police in Estepona close to the shooting. Doyle was on his way to meet a British criminal when his car was ambushed and this triggered speculation that his death was linked to the drugs haul, in which an Irishman was one of eight arrested.
But back in Dublin the officer with intimate knowledge of Doyle and his gang insisted there was a more prosaic reason for his demise.
'Doyle was typical of the third generation of gangland "soldier" from Dublin. He was aggressive, showy and started fights at a whim. He and his ilk are unlike the older Irish criminal types on the Costa who live a very quiet life and just get on with their business. Our intelligence suggests Doyle simply crossed the people you don't cross on the Costa, the Russians.'