AFTER five months in hiding, Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch was unceremoniously detained as he browsed a menu and prepared to order lunch in a restaurant in Fuengirola on Spain’s Costa del Sol.
He had been hiding out in a flat in the busy resort and rarely venturing after a European Arrest Warrant was issued in his name by authorities in Ireland.
The 58-year-old’s extradition was sought by gardaí investigating the 2016 murder of David Byrne, who was shot dead when a five-strong squad – including three men dressed as ERU members armed with AK47 rifles – stormed a boxing weigh-in at a Dublin hotel.
The supposed assassination target was Daniel Kinahan, who had organised the fight and who escaped through the window of the Regency Hotel.
The episode sparked a Hutch-Kinahan bloody feud that has resulted in at least 18 further reprisal killings.
But last week the police made a major breakthrough in the case, tracking down The Monk’s whereabouts by focusing on known associates in the hope that they would lead them to his bolthole.
Police narrowed down his whereabouts to the Fuengirola area but could not pinpoint his exact hiding place, the Guardia Civil said in a statement released on Tuesday.
Then finally they narrowed it down to a house in the centre of the town and placed it under surveillance.
Last Thursday (August 12) Hutch left his hiding place and walked through the busy streets to a local restaurant.
But unbeknownst to him, undercover police were following on foot.
“He was very focused on his safety, making numerous stops and speed changes”, the statement said.
Once seated at the table with a female companion, police moved in, including a member of An Garda Siochana Irish police force.
They handcuffed him and led him to the toilets of the restaurant where he was searched and his documents checked before being led away.
He is currently in jail pending extradition.