Brian Grendon gang has taken drugs crown from Kinahan cartel, say gardai
14 Sep 2020

Gardai believe the Kinahan crime cartel no longer controls the drugs trade in Ireland and has now been replaced with a gang led by Brian Grendon, a convicted heroin dealer from west Dublin, whose organisation is generating up to €5m a week.

Grendon is presently the focus of Operation Compact, an offensive by the Criminal Assets Bureau and the garda’s Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau into the sale and supply of heroin and cocaine. His gang is also the subject of money-laundering inquiries.

Intelligence assessments of the Kinahan cartel’s activities suggest it has now divested itself of involvement in the sale of drugs and contraband at street level.

Daniel Kinahan, who oversees the day-to-day running of the cartel founded by his father Christy, is said to regard Ireland as a country where it is almost impossible to operate as a result of garda activity.

The cartel became the focus of a serious inquiry after it began feuding with a gang led by the Dublin criminal Gerard Hutch, which resulted in the murder of up to 18 people, including cases of mistaken identity. The feud started after gunmen attempted to murder Kinahan when he attended a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel in February 2016.

To date, gardai have secured convictions against 44 gang members who are collectively serving 443 years in prison. Seven people have been convicted for murder.

The cartel is still wholesaling contraband to Irish gangs on request, but no longer views Ireland as strategically or financially important to its existence. It is thought to have assets worth up to €1bn in offshore accounts, property investments and front businesses.

By John Mooney, The Times, 13 September 2020

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