Kinahan cartel has foothold in bandit country, South Armagh and use it as gateway to send drugs into Britain
- John Keirans
- 15:17, 29 Oct 2021
- Updated: 15:17, 29 Oct 2021
THE Kinahan cartel has a foothold in bandit country, south Armagh and are using it as a gateway to send drugs into Britain.
Three known members of the crime organisation are living in two separate villages in the area, renting houses from local people.
It is understood they are liaising with a number of former Republicans involved in smuggling to get the new route off the ground.
Former IRA members in the locality are aware of what is going on but so far have not got involved or tried to stop it.
The nearby town of Newry is awash with both cocaine and heroin since the Kinahan lieutenants moved north.
At least two people are known to have died from heroin overdoses in the past two years, the drug was hardly ever available in Newry up until then.
Both the PSNI and the Gardai are aware of who the Kinahan members are and where they are living
A Garda source said: “The Kinahans have decided to use south Armagh as the gateway to the UK.
“There are that many smuggling routes from the Republic into the north it is almost impossible to stop them.
“They are dealing with former Republicans and known smugglers who know the backroads inside out and have contacts everywhere.
“This is now a big problem for both ourselves and the Brits.
“The cartel is also using remote landing spots along the isolated west coast to bring coke from South America to Ireland .
“The UK is just a massive market for them and worth hundreds of millions.”
The three gang members in the north are keeping a low profile and their heads down.
They are said to be all from the South but very polite.
Politicians in Newry are extremely worried about the growing drug problem in the city and it has been raised at meetings with the PSNI.
The Irish Government has still not given up hope of getting the drug cartel boss Daniel Kinahan, 44, extradited from Dubai where he is living to face serious criminal charges at home for drug trafficking.