15/03/2016 Spotlight


Hard-hitting investigations. After a spate of gangland killings in Dublin, Jennifer O'Leary investigates links between the Irish criminal underworld and dissident republicans.

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A murderous feud that has left Dublin on high alert. A war between


two rival factions that has seen bloodshed on the streets of Dublin


to the Costa del Sol. One thing you notice is the degree of how


aggressive they are, and the violence, they just settled their


scores with killing someone. On one side, drugs cartel run from Spain by


an Irish family called the Kinahans, a cartel whose inner workings have


remained a mystery until now. Tonight, Spotlight exclusively


reveals police files that chart the astonishing wealth and global scope


of the Kinahan drugs trafficking operation. This is incredible. This


says that at one point the cartel decided to buy their own container


ship. And for the first time at a meeting with me in Spain,


representatives of the Kinahan gang is you a public statement about the


ongoing gang war. I have just returned from a meeting with an


intermediary on the half of the Kinahans. It is the first time they


have spoken to anyone, albeit through a third party, since the


recent shootings. Last month, this hotel in Dublin was


the scene of one of the most audacious murder attempts in Irish


criminal history. At a weighing in for a boxing match with families in


attendance, six gunmen entered the building, four of them dressed as a


guard of firearms unit. But they were not police, they were here to


kill. GUNFIRE.


What just happened? I don't know. The hotel where four gunman shot


three men, killing one of them, remains sealed off today as the


Garda investigation continued. This is Phil Sutcliffe, a boxing


trainer here in Dublin's south city. His son was one of the boxes taking


part in the weighing in. We know that there was some crackling, and


people running, and my son went out of the door. Spotlight has


exclusively obtained a sound recording which captures the shock


of those trapped inside the hotel. The man you are about to hear hid


behind the reception desk just as the shooting began.


People are lying on their bellies, frightened. Tables were turned over,


kids screaming. I just focused on my son and out of the door, and he


happened to run straight into them. Iran's out after him to get him


back, and Iranian to them as well. Between the door and the lobby, Phil


came face-to-face with a gunman who pointed an AK-47 assault rifle


straight at him. But the gunman was dressed as a police officer from the


Garda's tactical support unit, complete with helmet and uniform. It


was pointed at me through the glass of the door. I opened one of the


doors, and he was there, like you are there now. What went through


your head? I have seen Garda, and I put my hands up. I said, my son is


out there, and I'm going out to get him. And they went in and I went


out, and that is when I saw them diving on the ground.


Lying dead in the lobby was David Burke, he was 34 and a well-known


criminal from Dublin. Can you recall the composure of the shooters? Did


they seem calm? Pretty calm. Were you surprised at that?


Professionals, very calm. They knew what they were doing, so... Were


they taking their time, going around? They were in and out and


gone. In and out and gone. The gunman had left a trail of


carnage in their wake. Three men injured, two seriously, and David


burned dead. But the main target of the attack had escaped. This is


Daniel Kinahan. To understand what really happened at the Regecy Hotel


last month, and why it said shock waves through the criminal


underworld in Ireland and right across Europe, you need to


understand the histories of the two criminal factions involved. They are


two families who now appear to be in a state of all-out war. The


Kinahans, and the Hutches. Daniel Kinahan is widely reported to be the


man who now runs a worldwide drugs cartel


man who now runs a worldwide drugs on the Costa del Sol. The


man who now runs a worldwide drugs organisation was originally set up


by his father, Christopher Kinahan, or Christy


by his father, Christopher Kinahan, for Spain in 2001, and established a


global empire for Spain in 2001, and established a


importation and distribution of drugs. It is an empire that


importation and distribution of reported to be worth over 1 billion


euros. Christy Kinahan senior has reported to be worth over 1 billion


surpassed all levels of wealth and criminality that have previously


emerged from this country. He is a man that is organising


drug-trafficking shipments right across Europe. The Kinahan family


associate in Ireland, and have a associate in Ireland, and have a


list of loyal lieutenants who travel back and forth regularly between


Dublin and Marbella. back and forth regularly between


is a boxing fan, and is closely associated with the gym in my Beyer


called MGM. -- in Marbella. associated with the gym in my Beyer


travelled to see fighters from the associated with the gym in my Beyer


gym due to boxer to fight in Dublin, and that is why he was at the


weighing in. So, who was it that tried to kill him? The initial clues


point to some level of involvement from dissident republicans. The


first and biggest clue for the authorities comes from this


photograph. It was taken just after the shooting, and it shows two men


fleeing the scene carrying weapons. One of them had been dressed as a


woman. The other way as a peaked cap. Neither is wearing a mask. For


an operation that seems to have been carried out with ruthless


professionalism, it seems to be a remarkable oversight. The Fota --


photograph was taken by a journalist from the Sunday world newspaper.


Nicola Tallant as an investigative journalist with the Sunday world


newspaper. Initially the photographer himself thought that he


had taken a photograph of a gunman running from the scene with a woman


fleeing beside him. But on close inspection when we blew the picture


up, you could clearly see that it wasn't a woman fleeing, it was


another gunman dressed in drag, such a clear image, and I suppose it did


take is a while to realise that this was the most significant piece of


evidence that has ever been gathered at a gangland crime scene, and there


are repercussions for that. Some of those repercussions have included


death threats for the Sunday world journalists. Its significance was


seen across the world, but here in Europe, journalists are being


threatened by an organised crime gang, it is like something from


Mexico. At the Sunday world had to pixelate the photos when the guard I


threatened to injure the paper, saying that revealing the gunman's


identities would hinder the investigation. Nevertheless,


insecurity, legal and journalistic circles, the identity of the man in


the peaked is widely known. My understanding is he is a man from


the north of Ireland who has paramilitary history. He has been


involved in a number of paramilitary groups and has been expelled from


some of them. Clearly he is a hit man far higher. Spotlight uncovered


this picture which, until recently, was on the web page of a fitness


centre in County Tyrone. We have disguised as identity, but it


appears to be the same man. He's a dissident republican who in the past


has been charged with firearms offences with regard to attacks on


drug dealers. Spotlight understands that he has now fled to England. The


weapons used in the attack also indicated that the attackers had


dissident republican connections. My understanding is that these are


Kalashnikov assault rifles that were previously owned by the provisional


IRA and fell into the hands of this group. Spotlight understands that


the IRA investigated the hotel shooting and the weapons -- how the


weapons, once part of their arsenal, were used in the attack. These


weapons were loaned to the group and they have carried out the raid, the


military assault, at the Regency. Days after the shooting, the BBC


received a statement which claims the Dublin keening Philly, --


claimed the Dublin killing Philly Continuity IRA, but the next day


they issued a statement denying involvement in the shooting and


playing it on criminals -- blaming it on criminals. I went to visit as


Dalton from Republican Sinn Fein, political organisation widely


considered to be the political wing of the Continuity IRA. What was your


reaction when you heard the Continuity IRA had been involved in


some capacity in the shooting? My immediate reaction was that this is


bogus, it didn't have any credibility, and indeed that was the


sense that I was getting from any of the media people who were in contact


with me. But it does seem that there is some sort of split within the


Continuity IRA? Yes, to my knowledge, and within Republican


Sinn Fein there was a section, another pupil dismissed for


connections with criminality back in 2010. Within Sinn Fein or the


Continuity IRA? The Continuity IRA. So it appears there is some


involvement from Rogner public elements, possibly a splinter group


from the Continuity IRA. But the assumption by many people who know


this story is that those dissident republican elements were acting on


behalf of a well-known Dublin criminal. George hutch, also known


as the Monk. Gerard Hutch is criminal career


started here in North inner-city Dublin. Brian Sherry is a retired


Garda detective who during his time as a young officer on Dublin 's


northside came to known Gerard Hutch well. He was part of what was known


locally Indian city of Dublin as Bugsy Malone. They were a small


criminal gang that used to run riot, shoplifting and pickpocketing. But


in the late 80s, he progressed to much more serious crime. Gerard


Hutch did not deal in or take drugs, claiming that they were destroying


his community. Because of his clean living, he became known as the Monk


and that is how he got his nickname. His crime of choice was robbery and


in the 1980s and his name was associated with two of the biggest


cash robberies in the history of the Irish state. He was suspected of


being behind the robbery of ?1.7 million from Securicor transit van


in North Dublin in 1987. And then in 1995, he was the prime suspect for


the Brinks Allied depot robbery in Closhaugh in North Dublin in which


robbers escaped with ?3 million. I arrested Gerard at his home and


brought him down to the station and we questioned him there for quite a


number of days. There was no sufficient evidence with which to


pursue a charge against him in the courts. But he was not the only


suspect in the huge robberies. Garda intelligence suggested they had been


carried out with help from members of the provisional IRA and that the


proceeds had been split between his gang and Republicans. It is believed


by the gardai that Gerard was involved in these robberies with


people that were involved in the IRA at that tickle a time. Gerard Hutch


was never convicted of either robbery but the allegations alone


gained him notoriety. The Monk became a household name. In 2008, he


even went on national television. He was asked once again if he carried


out the two robberies but said he had become rich by getting money


from an insurance claim and then investing it in property. One minute


you are a guy who has no money who has grown up in poverty. You get a


compensation claim and now you are a multimillionaire. And


coincidentally, around the same time, two of the biggest armed


robberies in the history of the state are carried out. And you are


linked to both of them. Yeah. That is it. Do you really expect people


to believe that? I don't believe what they -- care what they believe


to be honest but what do I say? If everybody believes I did it, hands


up I did not do it. That is all I can say. By the time of his TV


interview in 2008, Gerard Hutch could be described as a celebrity


criminal but it seemed that he was also a retired one. In 2000, Gerard


Hutch played in the region of ?1 million to the criminal assets


bureau in the Republic despite never having been convicted of the major


robberies. He then appeared to focus on his property empires. Gerard


Hutch may have thought he had finally found the quiet life but all


of that was about to change in a big way. This is Gary Hutch, Gerard


Hutch is their view. And the central reason for this gangland war. Like


his notorious uncle, Gary Hutch started a life of crime as a


teenager. In 2001, he was jailed for robbing a jeweller 's shop. After he


got out of prison, he drifted into the drugs trade, an area of crime


that his uncle had famously stayed away from. He amassed a string of


convictions and gained a reputation as a ruthless and violent gangster.


But above all, Gary Hutch was ambitious. And for an ambitious


Irish gangster in the early to thousands, there was only one place


to go and one gang to work for. Sometime in the middle of the last


decade, Gary Hutch decided that he would go and work for the Kinahan


family in Spain. He started off working as a bodyguard for Daniel


Kinahan. He became a link between two powerful factions, the Hutches


and the Kinahans but it would all go very, very wrong.


Marbella, Spain. It is not just holiday-makers who find the Costa


Del Sol congenial. This part of Spain earned the nickname Costa Del


crime in the late 1970s after the collapse of an extradition treaty


between the UK and Spain. The loophole was closed in 1985 but by


then, dozens of reddish criminals on the run had moved here. Irish crime


figures relocated here following the introduction of the criminal assets


bureau. But moving wealth beyond the reach of the authorities is not the


only attraction. The Costa Del Sol is a hub for the international


narcotics trade. Morocco, which is visible across this stretch of sea,


is the gateway for the North African cannabis market and the language


here and the cultural links to the cocaine producing regions of South


America makes seven Spain the ideal base for importing and distributing


product. Local journalist Berta Gonzalez de


Vega says that individuals who moved here are rarely asked about the


source of their wealth. It is not a very close community. They don't


care. You can start playing golf in a clubhouse and you have your group


of friends but you do not really ask what do you do besides playing golf


with me. Drug dealers, they want to live well, they do not want to live


in a horrible place but they lead to beautiful lives here. They do not


get asked about their business, they can have children horse jumping,


playing golf, boxing. The Kinahan crime gang took up residence here


almost 15 years ago. The operation was started by Christy Kinahan. Like


his counterpart Gerry Hutch, Rusty Kinahan grew up in inner-city Dublin


although he was from the south side of the city. He was convicted of


drugs offences in the late 1990s and went to Mountjoy Prison in Dublin.


He utilised his time in prison to actually better himself and wanted


to learn and go online and do educational courses and became quite


fluent in different languages. Few would have thought it then but


Christy Kinahan was laying the foundations for an empire. Fluent in


Spanish and Dutch, he was released from prison in 2001 and made his way


to Spain. Then he made connections with Irish and UK criminals and


started importing and distributing drugs. His business grew and grew.


He was seen as the person to go to. He would set up the connections and


the distribution and that was his forte. That is how he became so huge


in that both business. Some believe Christy Kinahan has made hundreds of


millions of pounds from the importation and distribution of


heroin, cocaine and cannabis. That was always a matter of speculation


until the Spanish led police operation uncovered the scale of the


Kinahan cartel. In June 2008, the European police umbrella group


Europe all held a meeting of police forces from all over Europe. They


decided to investigate the Kinahans. The investigation would be codenamed


Operation Shovel. It became a wide-ranging and forensic


investigation but the Itzhak details have never been made public. Until


now. During our visit to Spain, we managed to obtain a leaked copy of


the Spanish police files on Operation Shovel. Spotlight has


exclusively obtained details of the police investigation into


Christopher Kinahan and what is described as the Kinahan


organisation. The investigation centres on allegations of drug


trafficking, gun trafficking and money-laundering and the details in


this case are astounding. The investigation led by Spanish


authorities also incorporated specialist police teams in Belgium,


Ireland and the UK. The files reveal some fascinating details about how


the cartel worked from the inside. In Spain, Christy Kinahan was living


and outwardly modest life. He shunned the sprawling villas,


nestled in the hills. Home instead was an apartment in this beach-side


combat. A secure gated community for a man whose spotlight can reveal was


fully aware that his business was of interest to the police. In 2009, the


organised crime and drugs unit of the Spanish police sought and were


granted judicial permission to wiretap the phones of a number of


individuals associated with the Kinahan cartel. That included


Christopher Kinahan, the director of the cartel. His elbows son Daniel


and Gary Hutch. The wiretaps reveal the lengths the gang went to in


order to keep it business private. They used phones that with advanced


encryption. Each handset cost in the region of ?2000. Even these phones


were frequency destroyed and Sim cards change greatly. The police


files reveal that annual Kinahan live the life of high security and


stream caution. Everywhere he went he was always accompanied by


security guards. He was rarely photographed and never shared


personal information online. The Spanish surveillance teams had their


work cut out. Nevertheless they penetrated the cartel through a


series of wiretaps and what they discovered was astonishing. The


wiretaps revealed investments and business dealings stretching beyond


Europe to South America, South Africa, as well as the Cayman


Islands and Dubai. The police intelligence files show that


convicted Dublin criminal Freddie Thompson pictured here at the


funeral of the Hotel shooting victim was in charge of obtaining guns for


other members of the cartel, including Gary Hutch. The following


comes directly from the transcripts of those wiretaps.


The Kinahan spared no expense in training their lieutenants. The


wiretaps reveal how men are -- members of the Kinahan cartel


including Gary Hutch received training in special weapons and


tactics at a private military contractors facility in Austria.


This was a global cartel, prepared to defend itself with extreme


violence. And contained within these documents are incredible details


about the scale of ambition the gang had and the financial resources


available to it. Remember the cartel was shipping drugs around the world,


using shipping companies to unwittingly smuggled their


merchandise. So why not simply cut out the middleman and buy your own


transport? This is incredible. This says that at one point the cartel


decided to buy their own container ship.


Another security weakness for drug traffickers is the inspections


carried out at ports and marinas in Europe. The police files reveal how


at one point, Christy Kinahan suggested that the gangs simply by


their own marina. The wiretaps revealed the gang discussing how


their container ship would be used to report what they refer to as


sugar from South America. Here, Christy Kinahan talks to an


associate about bringing Ian another commodity from Asia, what they refer


to as rice. S it was an operation on a vast


scale. For several years, it must've seemed


like the perfect moneymaking criminal operation. Breathtaking in


its scope and size. And fire time, the Kinahans' greatest achievement


was to conduct business the kind of violence that would draw too much


attention. But in 2008, all of that changed. That year, a gang member,


Paddy Doyle, was suggested by the cartel of crossing them. The


decision was taken to kill him. He was being driven around Marbella by


his friend Gary Hutch when a gunman pulled up and shot it multiple


times. Gary Hutch escaped unharmed but had witnesses to -- witnessed at


close hand the consequences of betraying the cartel. What the


Kinahans didn't know was that by now, officers from Operation Shovel


were investigating their financial affairs and transactions. In 2009,


Belgian police were alerted to the suspicious transfer of funds into a


Belgian bank account. The money came from a Cyprus -based company linked


to Christy Kinahan. He had purchased three properties in Belgium, one of


them Spotlight understands was a small commercial building at the


behest of his wife, who wish to open the shop. On the basis of these


transactions, the Belgian police managed to convicted Christy Kinahan


of money-laundering, but by now, he was back in Spain.


The 25th of May 20 ten. The day the police decided to move against the


Kinahans. Europol had deployed three Mobile offices in Spain, the UK and


Ireland for the coordinated day of action against the cartel. Christy


Kinahan was wearing his boxer shorts when handcuffed by Spanish police


after they raided his Marbella apartment. At the end of that day,


they had in all been some 47 searches, total of 38 arrests across


Spain, the UK, Ireland and Bulgaria, 60 properties and 25 cars had been


seized, and 180 bank accounts frozen. When you look through the


files from Operation Shovel, the detail is astounding. There are


lists of bank accounts, companies said to be fronts the laundering


drug money, transcripts of wiretaps. It is all here. We've had these


files were less than two weeks. The Spanish authorities have had them


for six years. Six years in which there hasn't been a single


prosecution for drug trafficking, six years in which there have been


plenty of bodies on the streets of Dublin and Spain. In 2014, a Dublin


man, linked to the Kinahan cartel, was shot dead. Gerard Kavanagh was


sitting in that Irish bar. He was said to have just ordered a drink,


and a gunman burst in. Eyewitnesses claimed that he tried to flee, but


it was too late. Cracks were appearing in the


organisation. Gangsters who had once been loyal were going out on their


own, trying to set up their own operations. They were picked off one


by one, and the public started to notice. Marbella lawyer Antonio


Flores says that the Irish gang-related violence was causing


alarm. One thing you notice is the degree of how aggressive they are,


the violin. Traditionally, we have not had so many killings here in the


past as we are having now. Now just seems to be that, whenever there is


a dispute between gangs, then they just settle their scores with


killing someone. Now it was Gary Hutch's turn. Once trusted henchmen


of Daniel Kinahan's, he now fell under suspicion as a police


informant. Overnight, he became a marked man, with a price on his


head, Gary Hutch fled to Dublin. And it seems that he was saved by his


name. Even the Kinahans would think twice about killing a Hutch.


Instead, the two families negotiated. There was some sort of


truth organise whereby there was compensation paid of 200,000 euros


to the Kinahans to allow them to save face, and both sides walked


away from this. But then Gary Hutch made the biggest miscalculation of


his life. He decided to return to Spain, apparently to set up his own


empire. He must have felt that his name made him untouchable. It


didn't. In September last year, the Kinahan gang caught up with him.


Gary Hutch had just returned home after a morning jog when he was


confronted by a masked gunman. He tried to escape, and ended up


running out here, only to be chased around the swimming pool by the


gunman. He had survived two previous attempt on his life.


But he didn't survive this one. And it didn't stop there. Gerry Hutch,


the patriarch of the Hutch plan, was on holiday in Lanzarote when two


gunman entered a bar to kill him minutes after he had left. The


Kinahan cartel had just declared war. It is thought that last month's


Regecy Hotel attack was direct revenge for Gary Hutch's gas, and in


particular, attempts to kill his uncle, the Monk. But just days


later, the Kinahans seemingly struck back. Gerard Hutch's brother, Eddie


Hutch, an innocent man, was shot dead. Many believe Edward hutch was


an easy target, murdered because of his surname. A gang of at least four


men, locals say, shot him dead in the hallway of his apartment. I


wanted to speak with Daniel Kinahan, the man now said to run the cartel.


I'm on my way to MGM gym in Marbella. It is a location via


Daniel Kinahan is said to spend a lot of time when he's in Spain.


Are reporting a programme for the BBC, I was looking to speak to


Daniel Kinahan he's here. Daniel Kinahan isn't here today. The


receptionist on the desk claims he doesn't even speak English, and he


claims as well not to know Daniel Kinahan. It's quite easy in there


today, but clearly they don't want to speak to the press. I contacted


various people who I knew to be associates of Daniel Kinahan. I was


told he didn't want to talk. Then, on my last evening in Spain, I got a


call. And intermediaries for the Kinahan family said he wanted to


meet me in a bar in Marbella with no cameras. I went to meet him, and


what appeared to be several other gang members.


I've just returned from a meeting with an intermediary on the half of


the Kinahans. It's the first time they have spoken to anyone, albeit


through a third-party, the recent shootings. The source spoke


exclusively to Spotlight, and said that negotiations are currently in


process between the two rival factions. The source is especially


close to Daniel Kinahan, and described him as being as strong as


not. The source said that the whole situation is regrettable, and the


regret manifests from the fact that the Monk decided that a family event


was the right place to make his mark. The source also said that


going forward, the Kinahans can guarantee balance and fairness in


what already is a difficult situation. Clearly these remarks are


ambiguous. They could be interpreted as conciliatory or in a more


threatening way. Because Daniel Kinahan wouldn't meet with us, we


were not in a position to question him further as we would have done in


an interview. This is as much as the intermediary was prepared to say.


The big question is, given the scale of Operation Shovel, and the


existence of this information, that we now have an opposition while


almost 80 years on, as no one had been charged. -- almost eight years


on. Spotlight understands that in Spain, charges of drug and gun


trafficking for the Kynaston is -- Kinahans are unlikely.


Money-laundering remains the only offence they will be charged with.


Basically, Spain's criminal system is only fit for chicken thieves,


that was what the judge said. That summarises the criminal judicially.


Why is it so ineffective and so inefficient in dealing with cases?


The National Crime Agency told Spotlight that it does not routinely


confirm or deny the existence of investigations. In the Republic, the


Garda say that Operation Shovel investigation is ongoing. Michael


O'Sullivan is head of the Garda drugs and organised crime bureau. In


the last 12 months, millions of euros worth of drugs have been


seized from the cartel. Given the extent of Operation Shovel, why has


no one been charged? This is quite a long campaign against a number of


cartels, and it is another move by the police and law enforcement


agencies in respect of a criminal group, so it is impossible to say,


one job, nobody was arrested, and therefore it is a failure. It's not


over. It's never over. You like this week, the Gardy have raided numerous


properties in what they say is an ongoing investigation into drugs


gangs. It seems that the recent killings may have reignited the


remains of Operation Shovel, and that once again, the Kinahan cartel


is under pressure. What is clear now is that their organisation is more


than just a gang. It's an empire, with roots and assets across the


world. And one that may never be fully unravelled.


After a spate of gangland killings in Dublin, Jennifer O'Leary investigates links between the criminal underworld and dissident republicans - and reveals Spanish police files that show the inner workings of an Irish drugs cartel.

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