We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

File photo Alamy Stock Photo
kinahan cartel

Senior Kinahan organised crime figure Liam Byrne arrested by Spanish police in Majorca

Spanish police said that Liam Byrne had travelled to the island for a family reunion and was wanted by the UK for arms trafficking.

SPANISH POLICE HAVE arrested key Kinahan figure Liam Byrne in Majorca.

Police said that Byrne had travelled to the island from Dubai for a family reunion and that they executed a UK extradition warrant.

He was held yesterday in Majorca, a police insider said.

Another suspected member of the crime group, Jack Kavanagh, was arrested on 30 May, police said.

The Byrne Organised Crime Group rose to the top of Ireland’s underworld relying heavily on family connections as they became an integral part of the Kinahan Cartel.

The group led by Crumlin man Byrne, whose brother David was shot dead in the Regency Hotel attack, forged a close partnership with the Kinahan cartel which became a global player in organised crime over the past two decades.

A statement from Spain’s National Police said:

“Liam Byrne, 42, from Dublin, who is thought to be one of the most trusted members of the Kinahan organised crime group, was arrested on Sunday evening in the Alcudia area of Mallorca while eating in a restaurant with family members.”

“He had flown into Palma Airport from Dubai, UAE, on 26 May.

“Another suspected member of the crime group, Jack Kavanagh, 22, from Tamworth, Staffordshire, was arrested by officers from the Spanish National Police last Tuesday 30 May at Malaga Airport while transiting from Dubai to Turkey.”

The police allege that Byrne’s organisation had bought pistols and submachine guns in order to sell them to other criminal groups.

The investigation was led by the UK’s National Crime Agency and supported by the Spanish National Police and officers from An Garda Siochana.

“The fugitive fled to Dubai after the NCA investigation finished and enough evidence was accumulated against him, and there he continued enjoying a luxury lifestyle and leading the organisation from a distance,” Spanish police said.

“After a lengthy investigation, the NCA discovered the fugitive had recently travelled to Majorca to meet up secretly with his family, and British police contacted the Spanish National Police’s specialist fugitive unit to make inquiries on his whereabouts.

“Officers were able through inquiries to locate a vehicle he could be using.

“After focusing the search on that area, the fugitive was located and arrested,” the statement concluded.

Commenting on the arrests, Assistant Commissioner Justin Kelly who commands Organise and Serious Crime in An Garda Síochána said:

“The arrest of Liam Byrne is a particularly significant development in the efforts of international law enforcement to dismantle the operations of the Kinahan Organised Crime Group.

“These arrests are a demonstration of An Garda Siochana”s continued cooperation with our colleagues in the National Crime Agency”.

Kay Mellor, Regional Head of Investigations at the NCA said:

“This investigation is part of the NCA’s ongoing work targeting the Kinahan crime group. Liam Byrne and Jack Kavanagh have been evading justice for a number of years, but have now been arrested in relation to serious firearms offences.

“We have an excellent relationship with the Spanish National Police and will continue to work closely with our international partners to ensure those who think they can stay under the radar have no place to hide.” 

With reporting from Jamie McCarron

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.