POLICIA Nacional have revealed more details of the arrest of Irish drug smuggler John Gilligan that could possibly link him with a 24 year old murder mystery.

Gilligan, 68, was arrested last week in the town of Torrevieja, Costa Blanca, after a collaborative effort from Irish and Spanish Police dismantled a violent group of drug traffickers operating out of the area.

Four parcels of marijuana and 15,000 prescription pills were intercepted in the post heading for the UK, which led police to infiltrate the gang headed up by the veteran criminal. 

During the investigation, four properties linked with the gang were raided, with police seizing a further four kilograms of marijuana buds, weapons and 11,000 more pills ready for shipment.

In total, five men have been arrested between Torrevieja and Orihuela Costa.

“Those arrested were led by a known Irish criminal and were part of a group of violent drugs and arms traffickers and were specialists in shipping illegal merchandise to the UK and Ireland from Spain,” the Policia Nacional said.

Shockingly, a revolver type pistol was also discovered in the garden of one of the properties which could possibly link Gilligan to the murder of a journalist in Dublin back in 1996.

DISCOVERY: The Colt Python 9mm revolver found buried in the yard of Gilligan’s Alicante Villa

Veronica Guerin was gunned down by two armed men on a motorcycle after she began her own investigation into the wealth and lifestyle of Gilligan.

Although his gang was found responsible for the murder in 2001, Gilligan himself was aquitted due to unreliable evidence linking him to the case, despite ‘grave concerns’ from the judge on the case of his involvement.

“Never in the history of the state has one person been responsible for so much wretchedness to so many,” said Judge Diarmuid O’Donovan, prosecutor during Gilligan’s trial.   

The gun seized during last week’s raid was a Colt Python, the same make and model used in the killing, providing a possible further link between Gilligan and Guerin’s murder. 

Authorities are now working to determine whether the Colt discovered in the back yard of the Alicante Villa is the same as was used 24 years ago to gun down Guerin.

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