Inside police wiretap showing level of paranoia and distrust between drug kingpins in crisis-hit Kinahan cartel
- 8:00, 18 Apr 2022
EXPLOSIVE wiretaps showing the level of paranoia within the leadership of the crisis-hit Kinahan cartel are today revealed for the first time.
The telephone calls – secretly recorded by the UK’s National Crime Agency – reveal the distrust between drugs kingpin James Mulvey, 46, and mob boss Daniel Kinahan’s right-hand man Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh, 54.
- Mulvey – named as a “key player” in the cartel during last Tuesday’s historic announcement of the $5million reward for Daniel Kinahan’s arrest – made the calls in the aftermath of the murder of his cousin Gerard ‘Hatchet’ Kavanagh, 44, at a pub in southern Spain on September 6, 2014.
One theory is that the gang enforcer was murdered by his associates for lining his own pockets from drugs shipments.
Shocking CCTV images obtained by us also shows the moment Hatchet was gunned down.
During one call, Mulvey – currently serving a 32-year sentence for masterminding €82million worth of drugs shipments – accused ‘Bomber’ of sanctioning the hit on their senior cartel associate.
READ MORE ON THE KINAHAN CARTEL
Mulvey – who referred to ‘Bomber’ as ‘Speccy’ – said: “A million percent he set it up. He f****** knew full well where Gerard was – he’s a lying c***.
“The way he text me there. I’ve known him since I was twenty.
“He was explaining he didn’t know where he (Gerard) was but he knew full well where he was. He’s just doing a shake round.”
In another recorded call, Mulvey added: “Thomas is going to get a lot of flak over this isn’t he?
“Don’t tell me three attempts on him and Thomas doesn’t know who it was. I can’t believe that.
“He knows everyone – they are that f****** big. Someone must have known he was down there. Someone close.
“It’s going to cause problems. Someone set him up – he was set up big time.
“He very rarely went down there. Easy target there, isn’t he?
“At the end of the day, Thomas will have to watch his own back as well.
“Thomas could have stopped it. Told everyone, listen, leave the c***.
“He’s let them give the green light. It’s nothing to do with me.
“He’s that powerful – I can’t believe he never knew. They must have known who was after him.”
But in another secretly recorded call, Mulvey showed no compassion for his cousin when he said: “I don’t give a f***, robbed me of £750k.
“He got his comeuppance. “I’m not being funny. He’s done no favours for me.
“He called me a f****** rat. He caused me trouble.
“He robbed me as far as I’m concerned. Karma comes around. “He took sides with other people calling me a rat.
“All I did was stand up for him and f* what you call it he robbed me.
“I’m not going to slag the bloke. I’m sorry to hear he’s gone.”
Mulvey also said: “He never phoned me once. ‘These people are calling you a f****** rat.
“You’re family, let’s sit down and get sorted.’ “Fair play Speccy did but he f**** never.”
In another call, Mulvey spoke to his associates about “four bosses” when he first joined the gang.
The bosses were Mulvey, Hatchet, Bomber and a mystery man who had been killed.
Investigators never established who the fourth boss was.
The NCA also obtained surveillance evidence and covert audio of Mulvey’s associates meeting with Thomas Kavanagh in “suspicious circumstances”.
Investigators believe the meeting was related to Mulvey’s attempts to prove he wasn’t an informer.
During last Tuesday’s extraordinary press conference, in which economic sanctions were made against Daniel Kinahan, 44, his brother Christoper, 41, and dad Christy, 65, reference was also made to ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh.
NCA Deputy Director of Investigations Matt Horne said: “Last month, Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh, who ran the Kinahan criminal operations in the UK, was jailed for 21 years.
“It doesn’t matter how long it takes, we will ensure those who are responsible for flooding the streets with drugs and firearms, laundering the proceeds of crime, ordering murders and inflicting violence are held to account for their actions.”
As Kavanagh begins the first month of the 21-year sentence he received for masterminding €36m worth of drugs into the UK, we can also reveal how he was named on the drug trafficking indictments linked to Mulvey.
Although Bomber was interviewed under caution about Mulvey’s drug smuggling enterprise between 2006 and 2007, there wasn’t enough evidence to charge him.
His gang were only caught when 20kg of cocaine, 364kg of cannabis and 10kg of cutting agent found hidden in metal rollers destined for the UK were seized in Belgium.
Investigators later established 14 identical trips had been made.
One NCA officer told us: “At trial, Gerard Kavanagh and Thomas Kavanagh were named on the drug trafficking indictments along with Mulvey.
“Thomas Kavanagh was interviewed under caution over these accusations.
“The drugs Mulvey was convicted of importing all went to Dublin.
“Our case was that Mulvey was a senior member of an organised crime group with strong links to Gerard and Thomas Kavanagh and organised criminality in southern Ireland.”
Speaking at last Tuesday’s historic announcement, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris warned the cartel’s days are numbered.
He said: “They can run, but they can’t hide from justice for ever.
“From today, they will be running low on money and friends.
“I am confident, particularly with the strength of purpose demonstrated by all the partners today, that those senior members of the Kinahan gang will be brought to justice sooner rather than later.”