Kinahan gang leader Byrne in court over firearm charges

A Dublin man named as a senior member of the Kinahan crime cartel has appeared before a London court charged with 12 firearms offences.

Liam Byrne, 42, was extradited from Spain to face the charges following his arrest by the British National Crime Agency.

Mr Byrne appeared before the Central Criminal Court in the Old Bailey by video link from Belmarsh Prison, charged in connection with a plot to set up the discovery of an arms find.

Three other men, Dubliner Thomas Kavanagh, 42, along with Daniel McLoughlin, 36, and Shaun Kent, 37, from Liverpool, have already appeared charged in connection with the offences.

The charges concern setting up an arms find so that Kavanagh could get a reduced prison sentence in exchange for telling police about it.

Kavanagh, with an address in Tamworth, Staffordshire, has been named as head of the cartel’s operation in Britain and is serving a 21 year sentence on drugs charges.

Mr Byrne is charged along with Kavanagh with conspiring to illegally possess prohibited firearms and ammunition between 28 April and 29 May 2020.

Both men are further charged with conspiring with Jack Kavanagh and Peter Keating to illegally possess prohibited firearms and ammunition between 9 January and 3 June.

Mr Kavanagh, who is also charged with perverting the course of justice, has yet to enter a plea.

Mr Kent and Mr McLoughlin have already entered not guilty pleas to similar firearms offences while Mr Kent has denied conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Judge Sarah Whitehouse remanded all four men in custody to appear again on 1 March.

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