It is the captured fugitive Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch arriving at Malaga airport with his wife, weeks before a European arrest warrant was issued against him.
In the CCTV image, the 58-year-old criminal is heavily disguised, sporting long hair and a beard under a black Covid mask.
He walks alongside his wife, Patricia, who wears a golden jacket, near the airport terminal after disembarking from a flight from Lanzarote last March.
The grainy image is the last ever captured of the Dubliner before a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) was issued against him in April following the deadly attack on the Regency Hotel.
The February 2016 murder of David Byrne at the hotel has escalated the Hutch-Kinahan feud, which has left 18 people dead since the murder by Hutch’s nephew Gary in 2015.
Spanish police revealed yesterday that they were waiting to pounce at Malaga airport after gardaí made Hutch a wanted man, and they discovered he had booked a return flight to Lanzarote days later.
But he never showed up, after receiving suspicious information, triggering a four-month investigation to find him. This culminated in Hutch’s arrest on August 12 at a restaurant near his hideout in the resort town of Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
The first time Spanish police saw Hutch in person was on the balcony of his downtown apartment, two days before his arrest..
The leader of the team tasked with capturing him told yesterday how he caused his own fall by stepping out onto his balcony as his officers guarded the area.
Spanish police confirmed exactly where their target was, triggering the operation two days later which led to his arrest after the apartment was placed under 24/7 surveillance.
The chief lieutenant of the working group on fugitives of the Guardia Civil said: “We received a visit from Garda liaison officers a month before the publication of the EAW.
“They told us they were planning to issue a warrant against this person for the attack on the Regency Hotel.
“They asked us to locate him first if we could, before the order was issued. By the time we started to search, he was no longer in Lanzarote. We found out that he traveled to Malaga in March with his own passport, as he did not need to use false travel documents at this point.
“We waited for him at the airport. We knew he had a round trip ticket to Lanzarote and thought we could stop him before he boarded, but he never showed up.
“We now believe that he found out that an EAW was going to be issued.
“From the cameras at Malaga airport, we saw that he had shoulder-length hair and a beard.
“The next time we saw him, it was on the balcony of his rented house – and by then he had shaved his beard and cut his hair.”
Hutch is appealing against the extradition, and his defense team should argue that he won’t get a fair trial if returned to Ireland.