A CROOK with links to the notorious Irish Kinahan crime gang has been jailed for 21 years.

Thomas Kavanagh, part of the infamous Byrne organised crime group, is said to have organised a major cannabis and cocaine smuggling network on the Costa del Sol. 

Kavanagh was, according to Spanish police, in the same league as Irish mobster Daniel Kinahan.

According to The National Crime Agency Kavanagh and his gang imported drugs with a street value of more than €35 million into the UK.

Thomas Kavanagh Court Case
Irish businessman Thomas Kavanagh (left), 2019. Photo: Cordon Press

Judge Martyn Levett, sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court, described the gang’s actions as being of a ‘commercial scale’ saying: “I have no doubt that the successful importations would have continued were it not for the authorities intercepting a shipment at Dover in 2017.”

Kavanagh, 54, originally from Dublin but who lived in Tamworth, Staffordshire, previously admitted to money laundering and importing class A and B drugs.

Prosecutors described him as the head of the operation.

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