POLICE IN SPAIN have detained a man in relation to the killing of Gary Hutch in September 2015, gardaí have confirmed.
The arrest comes after a number of raids targeting the Kinahan gang were carried out by authorities in both Ireland and Spain this morning.
Gardaí declined to confirm the age or nationality of the man who was arrested. Speaking to reporters in Dublin today, Detective Superintendent Tony Howard described the arrest as ‘significant’, adding that he is due before a judge ‘at some stage’.
He also said the man who was arrested is one of the “key players” in their investigation.
Earlier, gardaí executed a number of search warrants at various locations in Dublin city and county in an intelligence-led operation targeting serious organised crime.
“Today was about gathering the evidence, it was about disrupting and dismantling these organised crime groups,” Howard said.
They seized computers, phones, €23,000 in cash and false identification. Howard said officers also retrieved several items of financial documentation in relation to banks outside the jurisdiction.
There was also important evidence gathered during similar searches in Malaga, Spain. Sources say a gym was among the premises raided in Spain this morning.
Gardaí from the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau, accompanied by staff from the Criminal Assets Bureau, began the Dublin operation at about 6.30am today.
A number of members of Spain’s La Guardia Civil were also present at the dawn raids.
“The main focus of the operation this morning was to tackle organised crime here in Dublin, but we are very grateful to our colleagues in the La Guardia Civil, who we have spoken to on a number of occasions over last few weeks,” Howard told reporters.
He said these operations take a lot of time and planning and that has been going on over the last number of weeks “away from the glare of the cameras”.
“One of the issues we’re looking at is a number of criminals from here in Ireland who have been operating both here in Ireland but mostly domiciled in Spain. We’ve been looking at issues around money laundering and the transfer of cash. ”
Howard said arrests in Ireland are expected “in the near future” and said the evidence gathered today would assist in securing charges against those involved.
The Tánaiste has welcomed today’s operations, commenting that organised crime operates with “little regard for international borders”.
Frances Fitzgerald said it was vital that governments and law enforcement agencies work in close cooperation to combat the gangs involved.
“The operations taking place today are another manifestation of that commitment, and a demonstration of our determination to do everything in our power to defeat these evil gangs.”
“I am determined that Irish criminals will not escape justice by fleeing the jurisdiction, or by seeking to conduct their noxious activities from elsewhere. There will be no let-up in the pressure we are bringing to bear on these people,” she added.
With reporting by Orla Ryan.