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Dublin: 18°C Wednesday 22 September 2021

Irish gangs' cocaine supply decimated as notorious Chilean gangster 'El Rico' arrested

The arrest will have far reaching consequences for Irish drug gangs.

El Rico being arrested in Chile.
El Rico being arrested in Chile.
Image: YouTube/SoyChile

A CARTEL LEADER in Chile has been arrested leaving Irish drug gangs without their main supplier.

The man, nicknamed El Rico, was detained in Chile last week. Sources have told TheJournal.ie that approximately 60% of Ireland’s cocaine currently comes through El Rico and his distributors.

Police in the South American country have also seized a number of encrypted electronic devices. The phones will confirm who he has been working with in Europe, including in Ireland.

Detectives in Dublin are aware of El Rico’s arrest and have asked that any information garnered from the Chilean investigation regarding Irish interests be passed on.

The result of the arrest means that the Kinahan cartel will now have to find a new supplier as soon as possible. A number of large seizures by garda units have left Ireland with an impending cocaine shortage.

This is an issue for gardaí. Sources have said that when shortages of drugs hit cities, they create a potential for tension between gangs. Those with a decent supply are now expected to target areas which they know have nothing left to sell. Moving into another gang’s territory is “inviting a war”, according to one source.

The arrest of El Rico will send shockwaves through drug trafficking rings across the world. The phones which have been seized implicate dozens of mid-to-high level distributors in South America. Chile is now “too hot” to get drugs, according to underworld sources familiar with the dynamics of trafficking.

The drug gangs, both in Ireland and on the continent, are now attempting to find new distribution networks to move their product. El Rico is suspected of moving drugs into Holland, Spain, Germany, Ireland, the UK. He is also implicated with the Russian mob.

It is now suspected that the Kinahan cartel will now lean heavier on a supplier they have in northern Colombia. Informed sources told TheJournal.ie that the cartel has been sourcing cocaine from that country – albeit on a smaller scale to what they would have been shipping from Chile.

Read: Man involved in murder of Eddie Hutch wanted dead by both Kinahans and Hutches >

Read: Russian gang suspected of assassination attempt on Kinahan leader in Portugal >

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