Covid setback Sentencing of senior Kinahan Cartel mobster Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh, delayed
January 20 2021 02:17 PM
THE sentencing of senior Kinahan Cartel mobster Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh over a drugs trafficking and money laundering conspiracy has been delayed due to Covid-19.
The veteran criminal and two associates face lengthy jail terms after admitting to involvement in the criminal conspiracy in the UK following a four-year investigation.
Kavanagh (53) is expected to contest certain facts of the prosecution’s case against him which could impact on the severity of the sentence he receives.
This had been scheduled to take place at a so-called ‘Newton Hearing’ at Ipswich Crown Court on February 15 prior to the three men being sentenced.
However, the hearing date has now been vacated due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and a new court date has not yet been confirmed.
Kavanagh and two associates, Gary Vickery (37) from Tamworth in Birmingham and Daniel Canning (41) from Walkinstown in Dublin, have pleaded guilty to conspiring to import Class A and Class B drugs into the UK.
The three men have also admitted to money laundering charges while Canning pleaded guilty to additional charges of possessing a firearm and ammunition.
The men were arrested following a four-year investigation by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) in cooperation with the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (GNDOCB).
The inquiry also resulted in a major blow to Kavanagh’s crime network in October 2017 when the NCA seized around €5.5m worth of drugs and more than £225,000 (€252,000) in cash in raids across the Midlands and Dover.
Thomas Kavanagh is currently serving a three-year sentence for possession of a firearm after a modified pink stun gun was found in his “highly fortified” Tamworth mansion.
His jail sentence is expected to expire for this offence in March due to UK prisoner’s being entitled to standard remission of 50pc of their sentences, with the remainder to be served on licence.
However, the mobster faces the possibility of a further lengthy jail term over the drugs and money laundering charges.
Last July NCA Deputy Director of Investigations Matt Horne welcomed the guilty pleas of the three accused and said the organisation will be “relentless” in targeting criminal gangs.
“Today’s guilty pleas are the culmination of a four-year investigation into Thomas Kavanagh and his co-conspirators, who were part of a significant international crime network, capable of organising multi-million pound shipments of drugs,” Mr Horne said.
“We have worked throughout with our colleagues at An Garda Síochána, and I hope these convictions send out a strong message to others who may think themselves to be untouchable.
“We will be relentless in our pursuit of those involved in organised criminality,” he added.
‘Bomber’ Kavanagh has rarely returned to Dublin since leaving over a decade ago after being targeted by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).
However, he was spotted at the funeral of his brother-in-law David Byrne, who was shot dead in the Regency Hotel murder in February 2016.
Kavanagh was also previously named in the High Court as directing an organised crime network in Birmingham linked to the Kinahan cartel.
The statement was made in an affidavit by the CAB as part of their proceedings under Operation Lamp against the Byrne Organised Crime Group, the Dublin network of the cartel.
The Bureau targeted assets belonging to associates of Liam Byrne, the brother-in-law of Kavanagh, totalling €2.7m including properties, high-end vehicles, designer jewellery and bank accounts.