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EXCLUSIVE: 'Supergrass' claim after Ireland drops extradition request for suspected drug dea

TOP SECRET: The hearing took place in private at Westminster Magistrates Court (IG)

IRELAND has dropped an extradition request to the UK for a suspected drug trafficker after it was shrouded in secrecy, prompting suggestions of a "supergrass deal." In a secret hearing in Chambers at Westminster Magistrates Court, the 29-year-old Irish man, whose name cannot be disclosed, was told the extradition request from his native country had been withdrawn. Referred to only as Mr AS in court papers, he was arrested by the National Crime Agency (NCA), often referred to as the UK's FBI, following a European Arrest Warrant from the Irish Republic. His UK address has also been withheld by the court. The man had been remanded on conditional bail, but this has now been cancelled.

MONITORED: Before the discharge the mad had to stay at an address known to the NCA (NCA)

Before the discharge, he was not allowed to leave or attempt to leave England or Wales and had to live and sleep each night at an address known to the NCA. He also had to report to police officers designated by the NCA each Monday and Friday and was not able to apply for or have in his possession any international travel documents. A £2,000 surety taken by the court will be returned to him. Criminals turn super grass when they agree to give evidence in court about other villains and they are usually taken into the witness protection scheme. It can also be when a suspect is convinced to become a major police informant to provide ongoing intelligence on other big fish crooks. A former senior detective said: "It is possible that the extradition request was discharged in this case because the suspect has agreed to give up everything he knows and the authorities believe they will get some big fishes as a result."

RAID: NCA officers at the home of Thomas Kavanagh in January (NCA)

Before the extradition request was discharged officers from the NCA arrested Irish national Thomas 'Bomber' Kavanagh, 51, in Tamworth, in Staffordshire. He was later charged with illegal possession of a stun gun. Kavanagh denied the charge and is due to stand trial in July. However, there is no information to suggest that was linked to the case of Mr AS. No further details of the case can be reported. The court has refused to say why the case was dealt with in secret. We contacted the Irish Garda (police) to ask why the request was withdrawn, but it has yet to respond.

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