Hutch gang cashes in on crypto craze – petty criminal spotted making lodgement for mob
Story by Ali Bracken • 50m ago
Alow-level criminal associate of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch was recently seen lodging cash into a cryptocurrency account on behalf of the Hutch Organised Crime Gang (OCG).
The Sunday Independentunderstands the petty criminal was captured on CCTV footage in the past few weeks lodging a sum of cash into a cryptocurrency ATM on behalf of the north Dublin inner city crime gang.
The low-level criminal has been seen in the company of the 60-year-old crime boss since he was found not guilty 13 days ago of the murder of Kinahan cartel lieutenant David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in 2016.
It is understood that at the beginning of this year, there were 32 cryptocurrency ATM machines in Ireland. However, more than a dozen of these are thought to be no longer operational.
Many of the ATM machines still in operation are being utilised by the Hutch OCG, the Kinahan cartel, and “all other crime gangs in Ireland involved in trying to wash money”.
People can lodge money into a cryptocurrency ATM account with cash, which can then be withdrawn in cryptocurrency in any jurisdiction and without a “paper trail”, according to a security source.
In addition, cryptocurrency is stored in wallets on people’s phones, meaning people accessing the currency do not need to enter a financial institution to have access to the currency.
It is understood that criminals closely aligned to the Hutch mob have been detected in Turkey on “several occasions” accessing cryptocurrency after it was lodged in cash sums into accounts in Ireland. It is the “major currency for Irish-based crime gangs right now”, according to a source.
They said the recent detection of the criminal linked to the Hutch mob lodging the cash is “indicative” of the mob’s prominence in the criminal underworld.
A separate source confirmed that The Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau is currently monitoring “up to 10 cryptocurrency ATMs nationwide over concerns around money laundering and cyber scams”.
A source explained: “From the Hutches to the Kinahans, any serious crime gang worth its salt is using these crypto ATMs to launder its cash right now.
“A lot of the foreign gangs involved in romance scams, and every type of fraud, they are all doing it. It is the only way to go.”
Meanwhile, officers attached to the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation are continuing to build a case against The Monk for being the alleged leader of the Hutch OCG.
Senior sources say they are “surprised” the veteran criminal has remained in the capital since his acquittal. He has been regularly seen around the city since.
On Wednesday he was seen walking down a busy street in the north inner city carrying shopping bags despite remaining under threat from the Kinahan cartel.
Gardaí suspect Hutch might opt to leave the country through Northern Ireland, but had “anticipated” this might have already happened.
Specialist garda units as well as officers from various parts of the Dublin Metropolitan Region have been monitoring the movements of Hutch, as well as key members of his gang. This is to ensure their own personal safety.
“Gerry probably feels like the safest man in Ireland right now and that’s probably why he is still here,” a source said.
“But there have been a series of garda operations putting pressure on both the Hutches and the Kinahans since Gerry Hutch walked free. We are not just a bodyguard service.”
On Wednesday, one of the suspected gunmen in the Regency attack had his home raided by gardaí. The target of the raid was a close associate of The Monk.
He has been blamed by his former associates in the Kinahan cartel for involvement in the Regency attack. The senior member of the Hutch OCG had his home targeted by armed gardaí in the north inner city.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, gardaí investigating the murder of the Monk’s older brother, Eddie ‘Neddy’ Hutch, arrested a man in his 40s as part of the inquiry.
The 59-year-old was shot dead outside his inner-city home three days after the Regency murder on February 5, 2016.
The suspect was released without charge yesterday and a file is being sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.