Irish Times 28/05/10
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TWO LEADING Dublin gangland figures have emerged as suspects in the investigation in Spain into the drugs and money laundering cartel headed by Irishman Christy Kinahan.
The pair have been named in court documents in Spain as part of a wider list of suspects in the Kinahan investigation.
The men, who are both in their late 20s, are leading members of two of Dublin’s main armed robbery and drugs gangs.
The presence of the men’s names on the official list of suspects represents the first firm link between Kinahan’s international gang and organised crime groups in Ireland.
One of the suspects now being sought in Spain is a member of a well-known crime family from Dublin’s north inner city. The man is the chief suspect for the murder of Derek Duffy in Finglas, Dublin, in September 2007, and has been questioned about that killing. Mr Duffy was shot five times as he sat in his car, and an attempt was made to set the car on fire with his remains inside.
The north inner city man now sought in Spain is also a suspect for the €7.6 million tiger robbery at the Bank of Ireland in College Green, Dublin, in February 2009, when a bank worker’s family was held at gunpoint.
He has served a number of prison sentences. It is not clear whether he is living in Spain or Ireland at present, but he has split his time between both jurisdictions.
The second young Irish gangland figure now being sought by the Spanish team investigating the Kinahan gang is the leader of one of two gangs involved in a feud in Dublin’s Crumlin and Drimnagh suburbs. That feud has cost the lives of at least 14 people in the past 10 years.
The Crumlin-Drimnagh gang leader is believed to be living in Spain at present. He has been linked to drug dealing and gun and pipe bomb attacks here. Assets in Spain of both of the Dublin gangland figures now sought, believed to be bank accounts, have been frozen.
Kinahan (53), from Dublin’s south inner city, remained in custody in Spain last night after his arrest there along with 21 other suspects on Tuesday morning.
His southern Spain-based gang is believed to have supplied vast quantities of cocaine and cannabis to gangs in Ireland and Britain for almost a decade.
Kinahan’s close associate, the convicted armed robber and Jennifer Guinness kidnapper John Cunningham (58), also remains in custody in Spain.
The man arrested in Dublin on Tuesday as part of the international operation against the Kinahan gang has been released on bail after appearing before the courts on drug charges.
Like the north inner city criminal now wanted in Spain, the man arrested here on Tuesday was also arrested last year in connection with the Bank of Ireland €7.6 million tiger robbery.
The 11 suspects linked to the Kinahan gang who were arrested in Britain on Tuesday have been released pending further inquiries.
Investigations are continuing in Ireland, Britain, Spain, Brazil, Dubai, South Africa, Cyprus and Belgium into the assets portfolio amassed by the Kinahan gang. Property valued at €500 million has been traced in Brazil, and 60 properties in Spain, valued at €150 million, have been frozen.
The international search operation on Tuesday, which involved 700 police officers, yielded two guns – in Britain and in Spain – as well as €100,000 in cash and a small quantity of cocaine here.
A large number of fake and blank passports were found in Spain. Documentation related to property purchases was seized in Britain, Spain and Ireland. There were more than 50 searches at residential addresses and at accountants and solicitors’s offices here.