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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 21 March, 2018

Kinahan cartel suffers another blow after international police arrest fourth Irishman in three months

Gardai have been working with Dutch police, Interpol, Europol and US agencies in relation to the movements of the Dublin-based cartel.


GARDAÍ BELIEVE THAT the Kinahan cartel in its current form is coming to an end following yet another high-level arrest of an Irishman in Amsterdam.

The man was arrested last  month when he produced false documentation at a police checkpoint.

The man is alleged to be a serious player within the cartel. He had been arrested in Amsterdam before and had served time in a Dutch prison for weapons offences.

The arrest of the man, which was first reported by the Irish Sun earlier this week, is more evidence that the Kinahan cartel is crumbling, according to well-placed sources.

Gardaí have been working with Dutch police, Interpol, Europol and US agencies in relation to the movements of the Dublin-based cartel.

The Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, based out of Dublin Castle, has received a significant amount of new intelligence in recent months which has aided it in the pursuit of key figures within the drug gang.

Dutch police confirmed to  that the detained man will remain in custody until a court appearance. He has not yet been charged.

Informed sources told this publication that it is “only a matter of time” before the cartel in its current form is dismantled.

For the last 18 months, informers have seen high-level cartel members either flee the country or be arrested on serious offences.

The first of a number of significant international arrests within the Kinahan cartel occurred late last year and as officers continued to receive significant and in-depth intelligence, more were made.

In November, a member of the cartel was arrested in Spain in relation to the seizure of 1.2 tonnes of cocaine. The man was detained during follow-up investigations in the days after national police uncovered more than €35 million worth of cocaine on 10 November.

The seizure, which is being referred to as one of the biggest on Spanish soil, was made after undercover national police followed a British lorry driver to an area near San Sebastien in the north-west of the country.

Police then brought in a digger to move the earth which led them to large water containers buried underground. The drugs were hidden within them.

More recently than that, two Irish men were arrested in the Amstelveen area of north Amsterdam last month. It has since emerged that the arrests were made as a result of information extracted from phones used by a Chilean drug lord who is now in custody.

The two were detained in an Amsterdam suburb in connection with a €220,000 cash seizure.

The pair are relatively low-level players in the Irish drug trade, but have links to a higher-profile criminal who is currently in prison.

The news of the arrests and the cash seizure was first reported by the Herald newspaper last month.

The intelligence gathered by the US’s Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA) from phones belonging to Chilean drug lord El Rico allowed police to make the arrests. Pertinent information extracted from the phones is being relayed to police forces all over the world – including gardaí.

The Dutch police said the Irish authorities tipped them off to the whereabouts of the two men.

Any arrest arising from the cooperation between a number of international police agencies is considered important as it shows that the intelligence received by the groups is proving accurate.

Last year, a number of European Arrest Warrants (EAWs) were issued for senior members of the Kinahan cartel’s leadership.

At least two men, who have been running the cartel’s drug and gun enterprise, have been named on the legal documents and are wanted here for questioning in relation to seven murders and significant drug seizures.

UK police are also helping gardaí track down a number of other senior figures who have fled Ireland in recent months.

Read: Christy Kinahan Snr tracked to Switzerland as gardaí, CAB and Interpol work to tackle drug cartel >

Read: Data retrieved from Chilean drug lord’s phones led to arrest of Irish men in Amsterdam >

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