Kinahan gang leader arrested in Spain on firearms offences, National Crime Agency says

Liam Byrne arrest Credit: PA Media

A man described by the National Crime Agency (NCA) as a trusted member of the Kinahan organised crime gang has been arrested in Spain on firearms offences.

Liam Byrne, 42, from Dublin, was arrested on Sunday in the Alcudia area of Mallorca while eating in a restaurant with family members.

His brother David was shot dead at the Regency Hotel in Dublin seven years ago.

Liam Byrne had flown into Palma Airport from Dubai on May 26. He was arrested in Mallorca on foot of a UK extradition warrant.

An NCA statement said: “Two men wanted by the NCA on suspicion of firearms offences have been arrested in Spain.

“Liam Byrne, from Dublin, who is thought to be one of the most trusted members of the Kinahan organised crime group, was arrested on Sunday in Mallorca.”

The NCA also said another suspected member of the Kinahan crime group, Jack Kavanagh, 22, from Tamworth, Staffordshire, was arrested by the Spanish National Police last Tuesday at Malaga Airport while transiting from Dubai to Turkey.

Irish police have described the arrest of Byrne as a “particularly significant development” in attempts to dismantle the Kinahan organised crime group.

The arrests follow an NCA intelligence-led investigation, supported by the Spanish National Police and Garda officers in Ireland.

The NCA obtained Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TACA) warrants after EncroChat messages showed they were believed to be involved in the supply and acquisition of firearms.

The two men are in custody while extradition proceedings continue.

Kay Mellor, regional head of investigations at the National Crime Agency, said: “This investigation is part of the NCA’s ongoing work targeting the Kinahan crime group.

“We have an excellent relationship with the Spanish National Police and will continue to work closely with our international partners to ensure those who think they can stay under the radar have no place to hide.”

Garda assistant commissioner Justin Kelly said: “The arrest of Liam Byrne is a particularly significant development in the efforts of international law enforcement to dismantle the operations of the Kinahan organised crime group.

“These arrests are a demonstration of An Garda Siochana’s continued co-operation with our colleagues in the National Crime Agency.”

Daniel Kinahan has been named in the Irish courts as the head of one of Europe’s most prominent drug gangs.

Liam Byrne’s brother David died after being shot six times at a crowded boxing weigh-in event at Dublin’s Regency Hotel on February 5 2016, in one of the first deadly attacks of the Hutch-Kinahan gangland feud.

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