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Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Patrick Doyle was hit by Costa del Sol gang in Estepona

Spanish police are investigating possible links between a massive cocaine seizure on the Costa del Sol yesterday and the murder of Irish drug dealer Patrick Doyle.
Eight men, including one Irishman, were arrested following the seizure of 115kg of the drug close to where Doyle was shot dead on Monday in Estepona.
Spanish officials say the men in custody may have links to the murder.
They also believe the 27-year-old Dubliner was shot dead by rival drugs traffickers in Spain rather than as a result of an Irish gangland feud.
Meanwhile, an Irishman who was with Doyle at the time of his murder is understood to have come forward to the police
Police hunting Doyle's killers yesterday arrested seven men after seizing an €8m cocaine shipment in Estepona.

A spokesman said they were investigating if there was a link between the shooting and the seizure.
But senior Police officers believe the two are not connected.
Four of those arrested are British, two are Moroccans and the seventh suspect gave the name of an Irishman from Dublin's north inner city.
However, Police are awaiting further confirmation that the man is Irish.
Doyle had been active in drug trafficking in Spain for the past two years.
He disappeared in late 2005 after he became the prime suspect for the murder of Noel Roche, who was shot dead in a car in Clontarf as part of the Crumlin-Drimnagh feud.
The 27-year-old, from Portland Row, in the north city, is believed by gardai to have fled initially to Liverpool and then moved to Spain, where he set up a new base.
He was regularly visited there by other Irish criminals, including Gary Hutch, who was driving the BMW off-road vehicle when it came under fire from the occupants of a similar vehicle on the outskirts of Estepona, 10 miles from Marbella.
Hutch and Doyle were on their way to collect an English companion when they found their way blocked by the other BMW in a narrow street in the Cancelada district.
Both men tried to run after their windscreen was shattered by four shots and their vehicle crashed into a lamp post.
The gunmen singled out Doyle, who was their target, and he was shot twice in the head at close range.
Hutch escaped with minor injuries and he was interviewed by Spanish police yesterday.
Earlier reports that Freddie Thompson, who is under regular garda surveillance here, had been in the back seat of the vehicle have now been discounted.
Gardai and Spanish police are both satisfied that Doyle was the intended victim of the gun gang.
Senior officers in Dublin said last night there was no intelligence to indicate that the Doyle murder was linked to the gang feud here and they believed that Doyle, who was known as a "heavy" in the criminal underworld, had probably clashed with another trafficking group operating on the Costa del Sol.
The Roche shooting was thought to have been a retaliatory hit by one of the feuding gangs for the double murder of Darren Geoghegan and Gavin Byrne in Firhouse.
However, the consensus view now is that one gang was responsible for the two attacks and that Doyle was involved in both of them.
Gardai believe that Doyle's murder will be a major blow to his gang leader as he was regarded as the most ruthless member of the group.
His mistake, detectives think, is that he believed he could earn a "hard man" reputation in Spain but was regarded as a minor criminal figure by the international traffickers using the Costa del Sol as their base.
A similar mistake was made by two other Dublin criminals, Shane Coates and Stephen Sugg, who also clashed with drug lords in Spain and paid the ultimate price.
Their bodies were found in a concrete grave on the Costa Blanca, following a tip-off from the Gardai, in 2006.


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