Thursday, 27 May 2010

Update on Irish 'mafia' arrests on Costa

(Source: Christopher "Christy" Kinahan (photo), 53, is said to be the network’s boss. He was arrested on the coast at Estepona at the £10m villa he has lived in for the past few years. Kinahan is thought to have been behind a bet-to-lose horse-racing scam in the UK in 2004, in which top jockey Kieren Fallon and others were eventually acquitted when an Old Bailey trial collapsed people were arrested in total in the operation which also saw arrests in Dublin and London.More than 20 members of an international criminal organisation have been arrested today, Tuesday, on the Costa del Sol, and there were also dawn raids in London and Dublin. In total at least 32 have been arrested  in an  ongoing operation and more arrests have not been ruled out.>

Reports indicate that British gang were supplying firearms and drugs on the Costa del Sol where they had their base.
750 officers from the U.K., Ireland and Spain, took part in the swoops, the largest ever carried out by Britain’s SOCA, Serious Organised Crime Agency.The boss of the group has been named as 53 year old Christopher ‘Christy’ Kinahan, who was arrested at his luxury villa in Estepona. Reports indicate that he has lived there for some years and is the man behind a bet to lose horse racing scam in the UK in 2004. Jockey Kieren Fallon and others were acquitted at the Old Bailey when the trial there collapsed.Kinahan’s right hand man, John Cunningham, and Kinaham’s sons Christy Jr. and Daniel were also arrested. Cunningham was found guilty in 1986 of kidnapping Jennifer Guinness in Ireland.The gang is accused of being a major drugs supplier into the UK and the rest of Europe, and of supplying firearms to inner city gangs in the UK.There are also reports that the gang offered money laundering facilities to other criminal groups, with building projects involved in this.Several Spanish lawyers have also been arrested today in connection with the money laundering allegations. There are also reports of more searches in Marbella, Estepona and Fuengirola.
It’s thought that Spanish police had been watching the group for the past year, and that a code used by the criminals had been cracked. ‘Leaves’ were banknotes, ‘Computers’ were guns, ‘Waiters’ for weapons, and ‘Cars’ for drugs.
Spanish Interior Minister, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, speaking in Warsaw, said that an operation was underway against the Irish mafia on the Costa del Sol, and that Irish, British and Spanish police were taking part along with Europol. The Government’s Sub Delegate for Málaga, Hilario López Luna, also confirmed the police swoops by the Spanish UDYCO specialist units.

(Source: Agencies) An operation that began yesterday has resulted in the arrest of 31 members of an Irish mafia organisation, 17 of whom were detained in Estepona, Marbella, Fuengirola and Mijas. In total, searches were carried out in 122 houses, lawyers' offices and other private establishments. 500 police officers participated in the raid that was carried out simultaneously in Spain, Ireland and the United Kingdom, coordinated by Europol.
This group, whose connections extend to at least 20 countries worldwide, is considered one of the largest criminal organisations on an international scale, although predominantly in the British Isles. According to Europol, the group is suspected of being involved in more than 20 murders committed in various different countries. It was the investigation of one of these murders that gave birth to 'Operation Shovel', as the raid has been named. In February 2008 Paddy Doyle, a 28-year-old Irish citizen, who was known to the police for his involvement in organised crime, died from numerous gunshot wounds in an ambush attack in a housing estate in Estepona.
The murder was immediately thought to be a revenge killing between gangs of drug dealers. The investigation led the police to certain members of this mafia group, and eventually linked them with several murders committed in Spain, more precisely on the Costa del Sol, as well as Holland and Ireland, the Ministry of the Interior revealed yesterday.
The police are continuing to investigate whether the group was involved in other violent deaths of Irish citizens on the Costa del Sol. After Paddy Doyle's murder, three more victims of the same nationality have been killed in southern Spain. In August 2008 Peter M., 39 years old, was shot in a pub in Nueva Andalucía, Marbella. In February 2009, 30-year-old Richard K. was shot repeatedly as he left a bar in Benalmádena. Finally, in April of this year a body of an Irish man who had been reported missing was found in a waste pipe in Mijas. The corpse was so badly burnt that identification was only possible from the serial number of a prosthetic knee found at the scene.
Although the investigation began in 2008 as a result of a revenge killing, it has now been extended to include other illicit activities, such as drug trafficking, weapons and money laundering on a global scale.
Other international connections have been identified in Belgium, Holland, France, Cyprus, Greece, Latvia, Poland, Gibraltar, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Morocco, South Africa, China, Dubai, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, and the United States.
Since 2008, officers of UDEF (Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit) and the Costa del Sol Udyco have traced more than 200 trading companies that have been used to channel funds acquired by the group through illegal business deals.
According to the Ministry of the Interior, the majority of the money had been invested into the real estate industry on the Costa del Sol and various other locations worldwide. In Brazil this criminal network had six tourist complexes and luxury residences. "Thanks to the vast profits made from drug trafficking and the sale of arms, the network had tried to introduce themselves into the sectors of renewable energy, infrastructure, recycling, telecommunications and recreational activities", the Ministry revealed in a press release.
The police investigation has highlighted a particular Irish family as leader of the organisation. As well as maintaining control over the criminal underworld in Ireland, they also have connections with the ringleaders of equivalent groups in the UK. For several years they were even in control of drug trafficking in Holland and Spain, and exercised a great deal of authority over mafia members on the Costa del Sol.
Several members of the family have been settled on the Malaga coastline for some time, from which point they supposedly directed their operations. Among them is Christopher K., known as 'Christy', a 53-year-old considered by police to be the head of the network. He was arrested in Estepona yesterday, along with two of his sons.

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