A CLOSE pal of Kinahan cartel killer Jonathan Keogh has been lifted in Spain as part of a money laundering probe.
Feared Gerard Mackin, 39, was arrested by the Policia Federal in southern Spain earlier this week.
Mackin, originally from Belfast, was lifted after a European Arrest Warrant was issued in the last month.
The warrant was issued after the Director of Public Prosecutions ruled there was enough evidence to charge him over a suspected money laundering scam.
It’s understood the charge relates to an alleged money laundering network – worth thousands – being run in Co Limerick in 2019.
Mackin – who was also close to cartel hitman Eamon Cumberton – was previously arrested about the investigation but was later released.
Following his release, it’s understood he moved to southern Spain and spent most of the last two years there.
He will be held in custody in Spain before appearing in court.
It was not immediately clear this morning if he had already appeared at an extradition hearing at Spain’s Audiencia Nacional court in Madrid in person or via video link.
The centralised court deals with all extraditions, with initial hearings taking place behind closed doors so those arrested can state whether they agree to be flown back to the countries where they are wanted or plan to oppose their forced return.
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Before his arrest in Spain, he would have been a major target for Gardai across the country.
Another of his close associates included Caolan Smyth, who’s now serving a 20-year sentence for the attempted murder of James ‘Mago’ Gately.
It’s understood he’s expected to fight his extradition to Ireland.
One source said: “This is quite a significant arrest because Mackin is known to law enforcement agencies across Europe.
“He was very close to Jonathan Keogh and also had links to other members of the Kinahan cartel over the years.
“He is thought to have remained loyal to his friends in the Kinahan cartel.”
Mackin’s arrest isn’t linked to the arrest of Kinahan banker Johnny Morrissey last week.
Last week, gangland fixer Morrissey 62, was arrested in Spain on suspicion of laundering over €200million over the last 18 months.
The high-profile arrest has lead to paranoia sweeping through the ranks of Ireland’s most dangerous drugs and crime mob.
We revealed how the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau — along with their international partners — have identified other companies that Morrissey is suspected of establishing to wash dirty money.
Investigators remain hopeful of identifying records of his transactions with cartel associates, major crime gangs and bogus shell companies he established before his arrest.