The Kinahan Cartel has gained a foothold in Bandit Country in southern Armagh and is using it as a gateway to send drugs to Britain


THE Kinahan Cartel has a foothold in Bandit Country in southern Armagh and uses it as a gateway to send drugs to Britain.

Three known members of the criminal organization live in two separate villages in the region, renting houses from the local population.

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Mafia boss Daniel Kinahan

It is understood that they are liaising with a number of former Republicans involved in smuggling to get the new route off the ground.

Former IRA members in the locality are aware of what is going on but so far they have not become involved or have not tried to stop it.

The nearby town of Newry has been inundated with cocaine and heroin since Kinahan’s lieutenants moved north.

At least two people are known to have died of heroin overdoses in the past two years, the drug was hardly ever available in Newry until then.

PSNI and Gardai know who Kinahan members are and where they live

But so far, they have been powerless to stop them from switching products.

A source from Garda said: “The Kinahan have decided to use southern Armagh as a gateway to the UK.

“There are so many smuggling routes from the Republic to the north that it is almost impossible to stop them.

“They are dealing with former Republicans and known smugglers who know the back roads inside and out and have contacts everywhere.

“It is now a big problem for us and for the British.

“The cartel is also using remote landing points along the isolated west coast to ship coke from South America to Ireland.

“The UK is just a huge market for them and worth hundreds of millions.”

‘VERY POLITE’

The three northern gang members lay low and their heads bowed.

They are said to be all from the South but very polite.

Newry politicians are extremely concerned about the growing drug problem in the city and this has been brought up in meetings with the PSNI.

The Irish government has yet to give up hope of extraditing drug cartel boss Daniel Kinahan, 44, from Dubai where he lives to face serious criminal charges at his home for drug trafficking.

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