A MEMBER of the notorious Kinahan cartel caused trouble at a bar in Mallorca just one day before his subsequent arrest on the Spanish island.
The owner of Irish bar O’Malley revealed that the individual, believed to be Liam Byrne, was part of a group that refused to pay their bill.
The 20-strong mob, who had been drinking heavily, became unruly and refused to settle their bill when the bar owner presented it.
“The group didn’t want to pay. I threatened to call the police and he did pay,” the owner told the Sunday World.
“There was about 20 of them and they tried to cause trouble. When I mentioned the police, they went quiet.”
“I didn’t know who he was and in fact I’m glad I didn’t know. Here in Spain he is just another tourist.”
Byrne, 42, was detained the following day at a restaurant in the Alcudia area while having a meal with family members.
Spanish authorities swooped after Byrne had entered Palma in Mallorca from the United Arab Emirate using a false passport.
They were acting on a warrant related to gun-running charges in the UK linked to the ‘Encrochat hack’, which gave European police forces access to the online chats of various organised crime groups across Europe.
The UK National Crime Agency (NCA) discovered that Byrne had recently travelled to Mallorca to secretly reunite with relatives who were on the island.
They contacted their Spanish counterparts who managed to locate a car that he used, and from that they traced his whereabouts and arrested him at the restaurant.
Byrne had previously fled arrest in Britain in early 2022 when several of his colleagues were rounded up by police.
The NCA said Byrne led an arms-trafficking organisation as part of the Kinahan Clan that bought pistols and submachine guns that were then sold to other groups.
Many of the firearms were purchased with systems that left no fingerprint markings which meant weapons used in crimes were much harder for the UK police to identify.
Byrne set up home in Dubai where the Policia Nacional said he was able to maintain his ‘high standard of living’ while continuing to contribute to the activities of the criminal organisation.
Byrne has had previous convictions for armed robbery and assault- both when he was a teenager.
A Policia Nacional spokesperson said: “Capturing this fugitive was a top priority for the United Kingdom as he belonged to the Kinahan gang.”
The normal procedure for a fugitive wanted by another country on an arrest warrant is to be transferred to the custody of the National Court in Madrid that will then preside over an extradition hearing.
- Key member of Kinahan Gang wanted by UK police is arrested on Spain’s Mallorca
- Four thieves accused of stealing from seven perfumeries arrested in Mallorca