A man who the National Crime Agency (NCA) identified as a dependable member of the Kinahan organized crime organization was detained in Spain on charges related to firearms.
Liam Byrne, 42, of Dublin, was detained on Sunday while dining with family in a restaurant in the Alcudia region of Mallorca.
Seven years ago, David, his brother, was fatally shot at Dublin’s Regency Hotel.
On May 26, Liam Byrne arrived at Palma Airport via a flight from Dubai. A UK extradition warrant led to his detention in Mallorca.
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 Spanish National Police detained Jack Kavanagh, 22, of Tamworth, Staffordshire, last Tuesday at Malaga Airport while he was traveling from Dubai to Turkey, according to the NCA. Kavanagh is another alleged member of the Kinahan crime ring.
The arrest of Byrne has been hailed by Irish police as a “particularly significant development” in the fight against the Kinahan organized crime organisation.
The arrests come as a result of an operation spearheaded by NCA intelligence and assisted by Spanish National Police and Irish Garda detectives.
EncroChat communications revealed individuals who were thought to be involved in the supply and acquisition of weapons, and the NCA acquired Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TACA) warrants as a result.
While the extradition process is ongoing, the two guys are in detention.
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.”
One of the most well-known drug gangs in Europe is said to be led by Daniel Kinahan, who has been identified in the Irish courts.
In one of the first fatal strikes of the Hutch-Kinahan gangland conflict, Liam Byrne’s brother David was shot six times during a packed boxing weigh-in event at Dublin’s Regency Hotel on February 5, 2016.