Thomas “Bomber” Kavanagh has been jailed for 21 years after importing cocaine and cannabis worth approximately £30million.
Kavanagh was the UK head of the Kinahan organised Irish crime group involving drug supply, firearms, money laundering and associated violence.
Two other defendants were also sentenced: Gary Vickery to 20 years, and Daniel Canning to 19 years and six months for offences of conspiring to import class A and B drugs and money laundering. Canning was also sentenced for possessing a firearm and 85 rounds of ammunition.
The international criminal network spanned continental Europe and the UK, with evidence of the group’s criminal activities taking place in Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Germany and Ireland.
The National Crime Agency started the investigation in 2016. In October 2017, customs officials at Dover seized a consignment of 15kg of cocaine and 200kg of cannabis concealed inside a large, six-tonne Tarmac removal machine. The shipment, which contained a tracking device, was due to be delivered at an industrial unit in Wolverhampton. The NCA investigation led to the identification of these three men and revealed that there had been a previous 22 importations before the shipment that was intercepted.
Sentencing took place at Ipswich Crown Court.
Riel Karmy-Jones QC and Max Baines were instructed by a specialist prosecutor with the International Justice and Organised Crime Division of the CPS, on behalf of the National Crime Agency.
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