AN Irish gangster known as the Dapper Don who is the major supplier of cocaine to Scotland has taken sides in the decades-long Glasgow turf war which has seen a series of fatal shootings and knife attacks.

Christy Kinahan, nicknamed for his suave good looks and scrupulous turnout as well as his crime credentials, has allied with the Lyons family in their battle with the rival Daniels mob in Glasgow. In May, in the latest incident in this ongoing conflict, Steven ‘Bonzo’ Daniel was ambushed in his car on a slip road to the M8 and savagely assaulted with knifes and machetes – his injuries were so severe that it was initially thought he had been shot.

The Don is head of the family’s international cocaine operation estimated to generate returns in excess of £500 million from marketing the drug here and throughout Europe. He is a convicted dealer who relocated to Porto Banus on Spain’s Costa Del Crime more than 15 years ago after being released from prison.

The connection is believed to have been made in Spain when 27-year-old Steven Lyons fled there in 2006 after being shot in a bloodbath attack by the Daniels gang at his uncle David’s Applerow Motors station in Lambhill, Glasgow. He was shot in the back and the leg, his cousin Michael was killed, while associate Robert ‘Piggy’ Pickett, a notorious hood from Paisley’s Ferguslie Park, was also badly wounded.

Kinahan is believed to have sheltered, in Spain, William Paterson, one of the killers of notorious Daniels hitman Kevin ‘The Gerbil’ Carroll. Paterson eventually returned voluntarily after almost four years and was convicted and sentenced to a minimum of 22 years.

One of the Scotland’s most wanted men, Derek ‘Deco’ Ferguson – aka the “half a lug thug” as part of his right ear is missing – is believed to be on the Kinahan payroll in Spain. Ferguson, a Lyons associate, is wanted in connection with the fatal gangland shooting of Bishopbriggs barman Tam Cameron on a bright summer’s day in 2007 at the Auchinairn Tavern.

Kinahan and his lieutenants are already involved in their own battle in his native Dublin with the rival Hutch clan. Last February six gunmen disguised as a police SWAT team and a woman stormed the Regency hotel at a fight weigh-in and with AK-47 assault rifles killed Kinahan operative David Byrne and wounded two others. Kinahan son and heir Daniel, the target of the attack, escaped by diving through a window.

Three days later 59-your-old Eddie Hutch was shot dead at his Dublin home in a revenge attack. In all 12 people have been shot dead in this feud – two in Spain – with 10 of the victims Hutch associates.

The weigh-in was for a fight card promoted by MGM, the gym in Spain run by Daniel Kinahan. It is twinned with the Glasgow gym and promotions company of the same name. Both were forced to change their name to MTK after the Las Vega casino company MGM Grand threatened legal action. There is no suggestion that MTK or any of its principals is involved in crime.

Scottish police are now concerned that the Irish feud could add fuel to the Glasgow range war between the two clans.

The roots of the Lyons and Daniel feud are believed to stem from a drug consignment the Lyons hijacked from the Daniels in 2001. It was exacerbated when Daniels enforcer Carroll, desecrated the grave of Garry Lyons, son of crew leader Eddie Snr, who had died of leukaemia in 1991

Carroll ran a team of thugs who staged ‘alien abductions’ of rival dealers, many of whom worked for the Lyons. They were so called because victims, usually found wandering in a state of semi-undress, would claim they could not remember anything afterwards.

He was shot dead in a supermarket car park by Paterson on Friday 13, January 2010.

For years the Lyons enjoyed not just immunity, but tangible establishment approval and support. In 1992 Eddie Snr, already well known to police, was given disused Chirnsyde School in the Milton for a ‘community project’. Three years later, while he was actually developing his crime empire in the gang hut, he was given public funding.

HeraldScotland | Crime & Courts

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