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Thomas Kavanagh bid for EncroChat firearms conspiracy charges to be thrown out

Thomas "Bomber" Kavanagh (above) will seek to have firearms and perverting the course of justice charges thrown out, a court heard today.

Kavanagh, 55, appeared today at the Old Bailey by video link from maximum security HMP Belmarsh, but made no pleas to the offences, after the court heard he is preparing an application to strike out the charges.

A magistrates' Court hearing heard last month that the charges against him are conspiracy to possess firearms without a certificate, possessing ammunition without a certificate, possession of a "fire bull" firearm – a weapon which can fire repeatedly without any pressure being added to the trigger, possession of a "dumdum bullet", which explodes on impact, and conspiring to pervert the course of justice, in connection with an alleged plot to get him a lower sentence for an earlier drugs conspiracy.

Kavanagh was arrested along with Shaun Kent, 37, and Daniel McLoughlin, 36, as part of an investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA) into the use of encrypted EncroChat phones.

Appearing via video-link from HMP Altcourse in Liverpool today, McLoughlin denied conspiracy to possess a firearm without a certificate, conspiracy to possess ammunition without a certificate, conspiracy to possess a prohibited weapon and conspiracy to possession prohibited ammunition.

Kent, who appeared from HMP Forest Bank, Kent, via video link, denied two counts of conspiracy to possess a firearm without a certificate, two counts of conspiracy to possession ammunition without a certificate, two counts of conspiracy to possess a prohibited weapon, two counts of conspiracy to possess prohibited ammunition and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice in connection with the same alleged conspiracy as Kavanagh.

Prosecutors claimed that Kavanagh gave information to NCA officers on the location of 11 firearms, that were found in Ireland two years ago, in order to get a reduced sentence.

The court heard today that McLoughlin was involved in a conspiracy to obtain firearms and ammunition with Liam Byrne (being arrested in Spain below) and others unknown, while Kent was alleged to have been involved in a conspiracy with Byrne, Kavanagh's son Jack Kavanagh, Peadar Keating (above) and others unknown.

They are all alleged to be part of the Kinahan Cartel which originated in the Republic of Ireland.

A trial tat is estimated will last between four to six weeks was set for September 2 2024 at the same court.

A further case management hearing will take place in January 2024.

All three defendants were remanded in custody.

Byrne and Kavanagh junior are currently in Spain where they are fighting extradition to face similar charges in the same investigation.


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