The alarming extent to which Irish drugs godfathers have links to suppliers across the world has been revealed with the murder of narcotics trafficker Richard Keogh, a 30-year-old Dublin man who was gunned down in Spain's Costa Del Sol. Spanish police, who found the car used by the killer and parts of the murder weapon, said Keogh, originally from Cabra, Co. Dublin, was shot seven times after leaving a meeting in a bar with a South American drug dealer. The dealer, believed to be from Venezuela, was interviewed by the police about Keogh's last movements. He was then detained on foot of an outstanding warrant for drugs charges. Keogh, a father of four and a known gangland figure in Ireland before he fled to Spain after a previous murder attempt, was shot dead outside a hotel and casino at the popular resort of Benalmadena. Gardai (Irish police) said he was a significant player in the drugs trade in Ireland for at least six years. Detectives suspect that over the past year he was sourcing large quantities of cocaine from international gangs in Spain for export to Ireland. It was unclear whether he was killed as part of a dispute with international dealers, or if he was targeted by an Irish drugs gang with whom he was in dispute before he fled with his wife and children a year ago. The family moved abroad after Keogh was shot and wounded outside his house in Duleek, Co. Meath, in November 2007. The suspected gunman in that attempted murder is from Belfast and is a dissident Republican. Keogh was under investigation by the Irish Criminal Assets Bureau, whose officers have the power to seize and confiscate funds and property they believe to be the proceeds of crime. Over the past year Keogh was also under the spotlight in an international police investigation into drug trafficking. He was an associate of Dublin gangland boss Martin "Marlo" Hyland, who was murdered by a couple of his own gang members two years ago. Keogh was the latest in a number of Irish criminals who fled to Spain to escape the attention of either the Gardai or rival gangs, and then got out of their depth in the drugs trade on the Costa del Sol and fell victim to international traffickers.

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