Saturday, 30 August 2008
John `The Coach' Traynor (52)
Traynor strenuously denies allegations that he set up crime reporter Veronica Guerin for her murder.Garda and criminal sources allege that Traynor travels regularly between southern Spain, Amsterdam and Brussels to organise large-scale cannabis deals. Traynor, a former fraudster and associate of `The General', Martin Cahill, is believed to have made and spent a fortune from his involvement in the hash trade between 1994 and October 1996. In a phone interview with this reporter he denied that he had any part in Guerin's death.
Peter Mitchell (33)
Mitchell, from Dublin's north inner city, was alleged during two trials to be a member of the biggest cannabis gang that operated in Ireland in the mid-1990s.
Now based in Fuengirola, Spain, Mitchell is wanted by Gardai in connection with his alleged role in the gang. Mitchell and Traynor are believed to be in regular contact.
George `The Penguin' Mitchell (51)
Ballyfermot-born armed robber-turned-cannabis and ecstasy dealer Mitchell is unlikely ever to return home, as the Gardaí, the British police and the IRA are all keen to speak to him if he returns from Amsterdam, where he allegedly continues to run his hash business.Mitchell, a suspected member of the £30 million Beit art robbery gang led by Martin Cahill in the 1980s, served 18 months in jail since he left Ireland in 1996 after being caught during a robbery of computers in Holland. He is reportedly worth €15.3 million. Mitchell was accused in his absence in a court in London of being the organiser of a botched gangland hit on gangster Tony Brindle, a rival of the infamous Daly crime clan. Sources close to Mitchell have denied he was involved.
Tommy Savage (51)
Savage phoned Garda detectives from Amsterdam four years ago and said he had no part in the shooting dead of ex-INLA man Paddy `Teasy Weasy' McDonald in 1992.
However, because of newspaper reports about his alleged cannabis dealing, he has not returned because he says he would not get a fair trial.Savage, a former member of the Official IRA -- the old paramilitary wing of the Workers' Party -- was sentenced to nine years in Portlaoise for armed robbery in the 1970s. A number of his former colleagues have suffered violent deaths. In 1983 Danny McKeown was shot dead outside a Dublin dole office. Later that year Gerry Hourigan was killed in Ballymun. Michael Crinnion was murdered in Cork in 1995. Savage is believed to be close to George Mitchell.
Mick `The Corporal' Weldon (48)
Gardai have sought Weldon since 1993, when he fled the country as detectives prepared to bring him before the Special Criminal Court. He was found by Gardai with a gun allegedly in his possession.Weldon reportedly has his own plane and pilot's licence, and frequently flies to Colombia and Surinam. It is claimed by Garda sources that the former Irish Army corporal from Swords is one of the biggest cannabis barons in Europe.One criminal who knows Weldon insisted: "Mick is just like one of the lads who does a bit of this and that -- he's not an international gangster."Weldon's whereabouts are uncertain. He was last sighted in the Costa del Sol.
Ward was named during a trial two years ago as being a member of the same cannabis gang as Peter Mitchell. Ward, from Walkinstown, Dublin, has been missing since October 1996. Gardai believe he may be in the Costa del Sol, but criminal sources claim he is living in southern England.
Jim "Just call me the Shamrock Pimpernel" McCann is wanted all over the world for a variety of crimes, and is regarded as a colourful figure in the underworld.
The reformed cannabis smuggler Howard Marks wrote in his autobiography that McCann mixed with unsuspecting IRA men and Hollywood actors like James Coburn during his heyday in the 1980s.McCann, originally from Belfast, in 1971 became the first man in decades to escape from Crumlin Road jail, where he was on remand for petrol-bombing Queen's University.
In the intervening period he linked up with international cannabis dealer Marks, while still trading on his reputation as a revolutionary. In 1977 he was arrested in France for extradition to Germany for allegedly bombing a British Army base in Moenchengladbach. A subsequent case failed, thanks largely to protests by French political radicals. Next he turned up in Naas, when Gardai caught him with nearly £100,000 worth of cannabis. When arrested, he would only say: "My name is Mr Nobody. My address is The World."McCann was later freed by the Garda on a technicality. He was last seen in Argentina.