Man held in Spain over Gary Hutch murder due in court

Searches in Dublin see €23,000 cash, computers and false identification papers seized

A man “known to gardaí” has been arrested in Spain in connection with the murder of Gary Hutch on the Costa del Sol in September last year. The arrest is part of a joint Garda operation with Spain’s La Guardia Civil which has seen searches carried out in Dublin and Spain targeting gangland criminals. Video: La Guardia Civil

 

A man arrested in Spain in connection with the murder of Gary Hutch on the Costa del Sol last September is due to appear before the courts there as early as Thursday.

The arrest of the well-known Dublin gangland figure (34) was part of a joint Garda operation with Spain’s Guardia Civil.

It has seen searches carried out in Dublin and Spain targeting the international crime gang headed by Christy Kinahan.

A Bentley and a yacht were also seized during the operation in the Marbella area.

In an unprecedented move, Garda members were present and aided the operation in Spain and officers from the Guardia Civil participated in the Garda raids in south and west Dublin on Wednesday.

The day of action follows a year of violence in which the Kinahan gang has murdered nine people; seven of them in Ireland and two in Spain.

Most of the victims have been members of the Hutch family or linked to them. The Dublin-based family has been at odds with the Kinahan gang since before the murder of Gary Hutch (35) in Spain.

However, of the murders since Gary Hutch was shot, all but one have been carried out by the Kinahan gang.

The cartel has been undeterred in its attacks despite the ramping-up of the Garda’s investigations and additional armed checkpoints and patrols.

The Spanish and Irish authorities have come under pressure to be seen to be acting in close co-operation against the gang, which supplies drugs from Spain to smaller gangs across Ireland and the UK.

Det Supt Tony Howard of the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau said about 60 Garda members, and a small number of Spanish police, were involved in the Irish strand of Wednesday’s raids.

“The operation was mounted to tackle organised crime,” he said of targeting the Dublin-based members of the international Kinahan cartel and the gang’s operation in the Republic.

Money-laundering

“One of the issues we were looking at was a number of criminals from Ireland who have been operating in Ireland but are mostly domiciled in Spain. We were looking at issues around money-laundering and the transfer of cash.”

Gardaí seized €23,000 cash, computers, false identification papers and financial documents relating to foreign bank accounts during searches of six locations – three in Dublin 8, one in south Co Dublin, one in Clondalkin and one in Lucan.

These seizures are in addition to nearly €1 million in cash which has been seized in recent weeks.

On Wednesday in Spain, a gym used by some of the Kinahan gang was searched, with the police there cutting open a safe in which a large quantity of cash was found.

A firearm was also found as part of the Spanish operation. The man suspected of involvement in the murder of Gary Hutch was detained while on his way to board an aircraft in Spain. He is suspected of involvement in a number of shootings and has a string of convictions, including for assaulting gardaí.

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said she welcomed the co-operation between the police forces.

“I met earlier in the summer with my Spanish counterpart to reaffirm our shared commitment to working together to combat transnational organised crime,” she said.