Garda’s top anti-gangland officer said he believed there had been “significant disruption” to the Kinahan criminal cartel through a series of convictions.
Deputy Commissioner (AC) for Serious and Organized Crime John O’Driscoll said the guard was “clearly on track to achieve our goal of totally dismantling” the cartel.
“A stage of dismantling is a disruption and, certainly, there is a significant disruption,” he said in a new interview with The Irish Examiner.
“When you grab money and drugs, it introduces enormous uncertainty into an organized criminal group. There must be internal investigations to find out how we are doing so well?
“There is some uncertainty who they are dealing with and they cannot know where we are going to come from next.”
He added: “We are clearly on the right track to achieve our goal of totally dismantling. “
However, he added, “You have a number of problems doing this,” explaining that despite Guardai’s success, the organized crime group can grow.
“You also have the issue of the ones you took out going back into the fold and we’re very aware that it’s great to be five and over, and that addresses an issue at one point, but in January 2019, if someone is five years old, they have to go out, ”he said.
He also said other existing feuds in Drogheda, Coolock or Blanchardstown “require constant monitoring” as they resume or new feuds erupt.
“It requires constant monitoring,” he said. “You saw in Limerick, the resources that Gardaí put there, you had the ERU monitoring the streets.
“And the exercise the other week in Limerick, which was nationally supported, you are constantly monitoring Limerick to make sure it doesn’t come back to where it was in the past.
“You saw in Drogheda that there was a significant presence while it was boiling, a lot of resources were invested, but you cannot afford to keep them there.”
Last month Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch was arrested while sitting at a restaurant in the Malaga region of Spain following a lengthy surveillance operation by Spanish police.
“After the Regency (filming in a hotel) we knew it would take time and it turned out to be,” AC O’Driscoll said. “Here we are five years later, now we are billing people.”
He said it took several years to gather information and send the file to the DPP.
The police chief said: “The files are so large, it takes a considerable amount of time for the DPP, then they go to the Special Criminal Court.
“If Gerry Hutch returned home today with an extradition warrant, I suspect he wouldn’t have a trial for two years, maybe less.
“We are still building cases and the convictions did not start in earnest until a few years later.
“Gerry Hutch is arrested, he has an extradition warrant – it’s only because we intend to lay a criminal charge. He might turn out to be innocent at the end of this process, that doesn’t mean he’s guilty of what we can allege.
“I am being very careful when talking about a simple arrest,” he said. “This is just an accusation. We charge him, but he may be cleared.
Asked about the wider impact of the arrest on Kinahan cartel leaders, including Daniel Kinahan, locked up in Dubai, AC O’Driscoll said, “I can’t speak to any specific investigation.
“Unfortunately, until we are able to state, to say where we are in relation to specific individuals, I can’t say anything.
“There may well be other people that we are suing in court, but we cannot go – other than saying ‘yes if they are members of these organized criminal groups you can take it. we target them ‘. We are continually collecting evidence to eliminate other people. ”
But he added, “All of these arrests are having an impact,” referring to the Kinahan crowd. “The allegation [against Hutch] concerns the Regency. It’s a whole different game to prove, as one might suggest, [someone is] at the head of an organized criminal group (OCG). ”
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