A Kinahan cartel hitman known as “The Butcher” strolls through the capital before prowling around Hutch family homes.
Just hours before on April 3, 2017, Estonian Imre Arakas landed in Dublin after being contracted by the evil mob to take out one of their prime targets James “Mago” Gately, who was hiding out in Newry.
But unknown to him, every step of the would-be assassin – who was posing as a backpacker – would be traced by gardai from the National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau.
The gun-for-hire had flown in from Alicante in Spain and took a bus into O’Connell Street and bought a wig.
He was spotted on CCTV in an image obtained by RTE’s Prime Time.
The photo will form part of their Security Correspondent Barry Cummins’ special report on the ongoing police work to bring down the Kinahan cartel, which is to air tonight.
Arakas was later seen in Dublin north inner city near Hutch family homes, including that of Patsy Hutch who was later targeted in a foiled hit plan in 2018.
He was collected at Barry’s Hotel in Dublin city centre by cartel yob Stephen Fowler in a van branded “Blakestown Tyres”.
Fowler – whose son Eric was later shot dead three days before Christmas in 2018 – then drove the thug to his home at Blakestown Cottages in Clonsilla, west Dublin.
There, he was to stay under the radar before making a trip up north to kill Gately.
Once coached by Daniel Kinahan for a boxing event, he was among those at the top of the cartel’s list as he was regarded as a Hutch associate.
Arakas was one of the cell put together by the gang as part of the plan to kill Gately which had been hatched months before.
The plot saw trackers placed on cars belonging to the target and others, including his sister, in March 2017.
But gardai pounced quickly, obtaining a search warrant of Fowler’s home and arresting him and hitman Arakas, who was to get a “five-figure” sum for the hit.
In other images obtained by Prime Time, one shows the Blackberry phone on which Arakas was receiving instructions in encrypted messages.
One message he had sent about the planned hit on Gately was “just one shot to the head”. The device deleted messages itself but not before a quick thinking detective took pictures of the conversations.
Arakas was in contact with three others, one of whom gardai believe was Daniel Kinahan. He has been named in the High Court in Dublin as managing and controlling the operations of the cartel.
Another picture shows the backpack Arakas had brought with him and its contents.
The following month, Gately survived being shot five times by Caolan Smyth, 30, also hired by the Kinahans, on the Clonshaugh Road in North Dublin. Gately only survived because he was wearing a bulletproof vest. Arakas was later caged for his role, given six years behind bars.
Earlier this month Fowler, 62, was jailed for six years and nine months for his “logistical” support to the mob.
In September, senior cartel member Peter Keating, 40, also known as Peadar, was caged for his role d