Kinahan link as four Irishmen arrested in Spain over €3.4m drugs haul

Spanish police found herbal cannabis hidden among crates of lettuce near Malaga


Gardai believe four Irishmen arrested in Spain after drugs valued at €3.4 million were seized were working for an off-shoot of the Kinahan gang.

Detectives in Dublin and Spanish investigators are working on the theory the drugs seized near Malaga were owned by a middle-aged Dubliner with close links to the Kinahan cartel.

However, they suspect the Dubliner has effectively been running his own independent drug smuggling operation and was intending to transport the seized consignment of cannabis herb to Dublin.

The drugs were seized last Sunday week in Spain, though news of the operation has been confirmed only now.

The haul was intercepted and five arrests made after a lengthy operation involving the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau working with Spain’s Policia Nacional and Guardia Civil.

The drugs were found north west of Malaga among pallets of lettuce in a truck bound for Ireland.

The four Irishman arrested are part of a south Dublin crime gang working under the Kinahan gang member and enforcer.

The arrested Irishmen are aged 56, 45, 35 and 33 years. A 27-year-old Romanian was also detained with them.

While the arrests occurred 12 days ago, the men remain in custody and have appeared before the courts as the criminal investigation continues.

Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll who runs the Garda’s Special Crime Operations said the arrests had come about as a result of right international law enforcement cooperation.

“We are very grateful to the Spanish law enforcement authorities for their ongoing and very productive cooperation with the Garda Síochána in tackling organised crime groups operating in both Spain and Ireland,” he said.

“This Operation has dealt another significant blow to the capacity of the organised crime groups involved to continue their trade in controlled substances.”