Inside Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch’s arrest as Spanish cops swooped while he ordered meal
14th August 2021
Gerry “The Monk” Hutch was just about to order a meal in a street restaurant when Spanish cops swooped.
At around 7pm on Thursday, the one-time crime lord left the building in which he was hiding, looking forward to dinner under the Costa Del Sol sunshine.
Ever cautious, the Monk looked around him and strolled to the nearby restaurant, unaware that his every move was being watched.
In fact every move he had made for the previous week had been monitored by the elite police unit of the Guardia Civil, called the Central Operational Unit (UCO).
The undercover officers had closed in on Hutch in the previous 24 hours and a decision was made to arrest him. The UCO specialise in snatching major criminals off the streets and taking on organised crime.
All the time, Hutch’s movements were being relayed back to the Serious and Organised Crime unit of the Garda back in Dublin.
Photos of Hutch, 58, walking around Fuengirola, visiting bars, restaurants and any possible acquaintances, were sent to the handpicked detectives in the Phoenix Park.
Detectives in both countries were edgy, not wanting Hutch to slip through the net like he did in April, when Spanish cops were just about to grab him.
Hutch had ordered a drink at an outdoors table not far from the restaurant door and had a menu in his hand in the sweltering Spanish sunshine, when a decision was made to grab him.
The gardai had done their homework, the European Arrest Warrant was ready. All the Spanish needed was for a judge to sign an order to allow cops to enter a property.
Even armed with a warrant to enter a specific building, the Spanish decided to arrest him on a street. Safer that way.
Furious calls between senior police in Dublin and Spain, and a judge’s chambers took place on Thursday afternoon. Only very few gardai or Spanish police were aware of the top-secret operation.© X80002 Gerry Hutch wears a disguise as he leaves after attending the funeral service for his brother Eddie Hutch
Shortly after 7pm, according to Spanish police sources, everything was in place. One Guardia Civil source said: ”We had a green light – the fugitive unit were told ‘go’.”
His ID once again checked, the armed UCO detectives emerged from the shadows and surrounded the tiny crook. He didn’t even have time to order his favourite meal.
The Monk’s five years on the run from the Kinahan cartel killing machine, and latterly from the Garda and every police force in Europe, had come to a quiet end.
One of Europol’s Most Wanted went quietly, knowing the game was up.
A source told the Mirror last night: “Gerry got a shock. He didn’t think he was under surveillance this time.
“In April, he got away with a day to spare, also in Fuengirola, when the Spanish were about to swoop.
“But there were to be no mistakes this time. The police observed him leaving the building where he had been hiding out and decided to act.
“Once the judge rubber-stamped the search warrant in case it was needed, they were good to go.”
The high profile arrest was the culmination of nine months of detective work by gardai from the Serious and Organised Crime unit in Dublin.
Hutch hadn’t been seen since February 2016 at the funeral of his brother Eddie, a victim of the bloody feud that cost 18 lives.
Gardai, always suspecting the Hutch organised crime group of masterminding the Regency Hotel gun attack that left Kinahan thug David Byrne dead, were after him for years.
Byrne, 34, was shot dead at the boxing weigh-in by a gang of armed men dressed as gardai. Daniel Kinahan, the head of the cartel, was the main target but he escaped. And the cartel went on a killing spree in revenge.
A file of the case was submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions who applied to the High Court for a European Arrest Warrant for Hutch.
Hutch is now in a police cell in Malaga under the direction of the Audiencia Nacional Court which has jurisdiction over international crimes.
Last night gardai were quietly celebrating the capture of the target who had eluded them for so long.
One senior source said: “This was a major operation to get Hutch. Months and months of long days and nights were put in to tracking him down.
“This was an intelligence led operation. The Spanish were ready to arrest him in April when gardai got the European Arrest Warrant, and had eyes on him in Fuengirola.
“But just as they were ready to move, Hutch disappeared, having somehow been forewarned.
“It was a setback, but the gardai took it on the chin, along with the Spanish, and tried again. This time even more resources were poured into catching him.
“And the painstaking detective work in both countries worked. Hutch had come back to his old stomping ground, and neither the gardai nor the Spanish could believe their luck.
“Gerry sat down at the outdoors restaurant, ordered his beer, looked at the menu and was about to eat – but this time his goose was cooked.”