One of Europe's biggest drug traffickers has been arrested in Spain's Costa del Sol. The drug kingpin is Irishman Christy Kinahan.
An operation involving the Irish, British, Spanish police and Interpol detained over 30 people across Europe last week. Such is Kinahan's influence on Ireland's drug trade that the police believe that there may be a massive drug shortage in Ireland in the coming months.
Police fear unprecedented gangland violence as Irish drug gangs engage in a bloody power struggle.
It is believed that Kinahan neutralized practically all his competition in Ireland and had offered drug gangs cheaper drugs if they worked together and stopped tit for tat gangland murders.
The police began their operation in 2008 after police seized cannabis worth $14 million in a house beside an isolated bog in Kildare.
Kinahan had set up several bogus companies that specialized in "importing" foodstuffs.
Using a small army of trucks, the "food companies" distributed millions of dollars worth of drugs to Ireland's drugs gangs.
Spanish police have arrested several solicitors that helped launder Kinahan's drug money.
Brazilian police have seized Kinahan's property portfolio, which they believe is worth over $700million.
The Irish drugs gang came to the attention of police after some of its members was spotted driving sports cars in Spain worth over $1million.
Kinahan's associates will be now trying to identify informers and will make every effort to prove to others that they did not cooperate with the police.
Kinahan specialized in money laundering and police suspect that much of Kinahan's assets are investments belonging to other drug gangs.
Gang leaders may turn to violence as they try to recoup their losses.
Kinahan moved to Spain in 2001 after serving a stint in prison for handling stolen travelers checks. He immediately formed close ties with major international drug cartels in Spain and began his drug trafficking operation.
The drugs were hidden in trucks and shipped to Ireland via Britain.
Last Tuesday 700 police officers in Ireland, Spain, and the UK arrested 32 people in coordinated raids across Europe. Police have seized assets in Dubai, Brazil, South Africa, Spain, Belgium, Ireland and the UK.
The assets included six large leisure complexes in Brazil.
Over 60 properties have been seized in the operation and police believe a network of 30 “front” companies was used to traffic the drugs around Europe.
Best of Ireland
Win a trip for two to Ireland via Cork Airport and WOW Air!