Dublin man searched for over € 27m drug smuggling operation arrested in Lanzarote


A MAN FROM DUBLIN who pleaded guilty for his part in a UK drug trafficking operation worth € 27 million has been arrested in Lanzarote.

The man, Gary Vickery, 38, from Dublin was arrested on the Spanish island by the Guardia Civil in cooperation with the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA).

An NCA statement said Vickery previously admitted to playing a leading role in the conspiracy to import Class A and B drugs and money laundering.

“In July 2021, he did not appear in court where he was to be remanded in custody, and at the end of July, an arrest warrant was issued against him. He later failed to attend court again at a new hearing in September 2021.

“He was arrested on October 20 in a bar in the town of Yaiza, south of Lanzarote, by Guardia Civil agents as part of a joint operation with the ANC.

Agents have proven Vickery’s involvement in large-scale drug shipments worth over £ 23million at market value in the UK, as well as cash movements, with two other men – Thomas Kavanagh, 53, from Tamworth and Daniel Canning, 42, from Dublin, “the statement said.

Thomas “Bomber” Kavanagh is an associate of the Kinahan Organized Crime Group and is currently in prison in the UK.

Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh in UK court.

Source: Alamy Stock Photo

“Kavanagh and Canning are both in custody awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to conspiring to import Class A and B drugs and money laundering. Canning also pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition, ”the NCA added.

Vickery is due to appear in Spanish court and extradition proceedings for his return to the UK are underway.

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NCA Deputy Director Matt Horne said: ‘Vickery has had ample opportunity to return to the UK after her guilty plea, but has not returned every time.

“We will ensure that those who cause harm to the UK through organized crime are held accountable, and this case demonstrates our tenacity.

“I would like to thank the NCA officers here in the UK and our international liaison team in Spain, who worked closely with colleagues from the Guardia Civil to locate Vickery.”

Sources said Vickery has been living in Lanzarote in the village of Macher in recent years.

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