Plain-clothes police pounced as the mafia don left his home in Fuengirola on Friday morning on his bike
Plain-clothes police pounced as the mafia don left his home in Fuengirola on Friday morning on his bike.
The Policia Nacional say the man is a member of the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta mafia gang who has been on the run since 2015.
It is alleged that the mafia boss has four international arrest warrants out for his arrest for drug trafficking, moneylending, corruption and forgery of documents.
He is believed to be the main organiser of shipments of cocaine from Columbia to Italy through his connections in South America.
He is referred to as the main point of contact for the various Calabrian mafia gangs that operate in the Southern province of Reggio-Calabria.
In particular, he had made contact with the notorious Morabito gang that enabled him to organise cocaine suppliers to smuggle the drugs into Italy in shipping containers and by air.
According to the Policia National, the operation to arrest him is linked to the seizure of 800 kilos of cocaine in Italy in recent months.
Investigators had first located the suspect in Barcelona but he was later confirmed to be living in Fuengirola where he was arrested after offering “great resistance”.
The Costa del Sol resort town is where Gerry ‘the Monk’ Hutch was arrested in a restaurant on August 12, 2021 by the Guardia Civil.
The crime lord was detained as he was about to order dinner at the Limoncello eaterie following a five-month manhunt involving Spain’s top anti-fugitive police unit.
Kinahan Cartel member Johnny Morrissey and his wife Nicola had also chosen to move to Fuengirola where they became “neighbours from hell” after swapping their €5m mansion for a downsized €300,000 hideaway apartment.
The couple scaled back to a modest rented €1,200-a-month top-floor flat in Fuengirola after US authorities publicly named Morrissey as a key member of the Kinahan Cartel.
Neighbours revealed how they quickly got on the wrong side of other expats and locals after moving in.
One local said: “They had dogs, including an Alsatian, and they used to hose down the poop the animals did on the outside corridor leading up to their front door so it ran off the edge and onto the properties below.
“It was totally unacceptable behaviour. They quickly got a reputation as the neighbours from hell.”
Morrissey was about to be ordered to take down a camera over the front door of the three-bed penthouse flat when he was arrested.
The community managers had been asked to tell the former Cork restaurant owner it was illegal to have the camera pointing out onto the street, and other areas used by his neighbours.
The camera meant he could tell who was outside the main entrance to the gated block, if anyone tried to get into the enclosed area.
But it failed to alert him to the well-planned police operation – because he was fast asleep when they moved in.
Officers from an elite Spanish Civil Guard unit – the GAR – gained entry to his apartment.
They had keys to the entrance gate to the block and are understood to have reached the third floor where Morrissey lived from a basement garage.
They smashed down a gate and the front door to his flat before surrounding him in his bed at gunpoint.
The speed and efficiency of the police operation meant some residents at the apartment block were still unaware yesterday of the arrests.
The management company had been asked for keys to the entrance gate three days before the detentions, but police had not given them any details about why they needed them.
One local said: “I heard a huge bang which was probably the moment they stormed the flat but nothing after that and I went back to sleep. It was really early, around 6.40am.”
In April, Johnny Morrissey was one of seven people, including Christopher Kinahan Sr and his son Daniel, who were hit with sanctions by the US department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
The US authorities said: “John Morrissey has worked for the Kinahan Organised Crime Group (KOCG) for several years, including as an enforcer, and facilitates international drug shipments for the organisation from South America. John Morrissey is also involved in money laundering.”
La Guardia Civil, who led the operation against Morrissey through its elite UCO unit with support from An Garda Síochána, Britain’s National Crime Agency and the powerful US DEA law enforcement agency, say they believe he allegedly helped crime gangs launder more than €200m in the 18 months their investigation lasted.