Kinahan cartel gunmen working 'like terror cell' as gang leaders provide them with new hit list

A high-level meeting of the gang's top men and a selection of gunmen recently took place, where shooters were provided with a renewed list of targets.

Gunmen for the ruthless Kinahan cartel are now working like a terror cell, as foreign-based gang leaders distance themselves from a series of gruesome murders.

The Irish Mirror has discovered that a high-level meeting of the gang's top men and a selection of gunmen has recently taken place, where shooters were provided with a renewed list of targets.

And at the meeting, gunmen were informed not to contact the gang leaders after the list was handed to them.

In recent months, police forces across the world, led by the gardai , are closing in on the gang with successful operations against the cartel in Europe as well as at home in Ireland.

A source said: “The Kinahan organised crime group is under massive pressure – some of its suspected biggest hitters have been taken out of circulation by Garda operations.

“This is all intelligence-driven and ultimately the gang has looked at potential holes in their communications – they are not secure. So they have shut down any direct orders from the Kinahans and other high-level members.

“By giving these gunmen more autonomy the gang hopes it will not face a conspiracy charge but that will only stop their arrest in the immediate future.

“Police forces, at home and abroad, are using other methods to monitor them.”

In recent weeks gardai have continued to chase the gang’s money with raids against associates who have begun to show their wealth, allegedly, gathered from the proceeds of crime.

During a recent search in Dublin, CAB officers found a diamond testing kit.

They also seized €28,000 in cash and £700 sterling as well as an Audi A4, a BMW X5 and a Volkswagen Passat.

Officers also seized 20 high-end watches including Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Tag Heuer Carrera and Luminor.

Separately the Kinahan army of street thugs and low-level dealers now live in fear of being next on the list.

Gardai have smashed a number of areas in the gang’s lucrative drug-dealing activities in Ireland and in Europe. A source said: “This is an international affair now – a lot of the Irish operations are very high profile.

“They have attracted a large amount of headlines here but the reality is that a lot of work has been done abroad – especially in Holland and Spain.

“There are seven senior gang members facing charges of conspiracy to murder. A conspiracy charge is a real threat to these people if you can tie them to the shooter then that is the key.

“Technology is one way they are being monitored, but a lot of surveillance work and of course touts are all being utilised. The problem is this is worldwide and particularly Europe wide – there must be involvement of multiple police forces.”

So far 13 men have been shot dead in the Kinahan-Hutch feud – the most recent was Kane McCormack-Kirwan, 24, who was shot dead and dumped in a field in Co Meath on December 2.

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