An alleged gangster suspected of flooding Britain with drugs and guns was arrested at his £10 million villa on the Costa del Sol today.
Armed police swooped on Christopher “Christy” Kinahan, 53, at his home in Estepona while, in simultaneous raids, 32 people were seized across Europe — at least three of whom were in London.
Kinahan is thought to have been behind a British horse-racing con in 2004, over which top jockey Kieren Fallon and others were eventually acquitted at the Old Bailey.
Also arrested was drug smuggler and career criminal John Cunningham, who was convicted of kidnapping Guinness millionairess Jennifer Guinness in 1986. Kinahan’s two sons, Christopher Junior and Daniel, were also seized.
Some 230 officers raided homes across Britain, including in Oxford, Reading and London. There were arrests in Greenford, and a 43-year-old man was held in Wandsworth. Twenty people were seized in Spain. Residential and business premises were also searched in Ireland, Belgium, Cyprus and Brazil. Officers from the Garda National Drugs Unit are questioning one man at a police station in Dublin.
The operation involved 750 police from three countries and was the biggest deployment of officers by the Serious Organised Crime Agency.
Investigators said the crime network was suspected of trafficking huge quantities of drugs and firearms and of laundering hundreds of millions of pounds in criminal profits. Soca said they were still seeking further suspects in Britain, Spain and Ireland.
Soca’s executive director Trevor Pearce said: “Today’s arrests will have dealt a major blow to an organised criminal business suspected of supplying drugs and guns to gangs in cities across the UK and Europe. We also believe this network has been offering a global investment service, ploughing hundreds of millions of pounds of dirty cash into offshore accounts, companies and property on behalf of criminals.”