A man alleged in court as being a senior figure in the Republic of Ireland’s Kinahan organised crime gang has been arrested in Spain.
Liam Byrne, 42, from Dublin, was detained in Majorca on Sunday evening on suspicion of firearms offences after a warrant was issued by the UK.
The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said he was arrested while eating dinner with his family in a restaurant in Alcudia.
His brother David Byrne was shot was shot dead at a boxing event in Dublin in 2016 as part of a feud between the Kinahan and Hutch crime gangs.
In April 60-year-old Gerard Hutch was found not guilty of murdering David Byrne.
An Garda Síochána (the Irish police force) Commissioner Justin Kelly said the arrest of Liam Byrne was a “particularly significant development” in the international efforts “to dismantle the operations of the Kinahan organised crime group”.
Irish authorities had previously described him in court as being closely aligned to the Kinahan gang.
Another suspected member of the group, Jack Kavanagh, 22, from Staffordshire in England, was arrested by Spanish authorities at Malaga Airport last Tuesday.
He also faces firearms-related charges.
The arrests follow an NCA investigation with support from the Spanish National Police and An Garda Síochána.
The agency said it obtained the arrest warrants after it intercepted messages showing the pair were believed to have been involved in the supply and acquisition of firearms.
Kay Mellor of the NCA said: “This investigation is part of the NCA’s ongoing work targeting the Kinahan crime group.
“Liam Byrne and Jack Kavanagh have been evading justice for a number of years, but have now been arrested in relation to serious firearms offences.
“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.”
Liam Byrne and Jack Kavanagh are in the custody of Spanish authorities while extradition proceedings are taking place.
Source : BBC