Three senior Kinahan gang members have pleaded guilty in the UK to drugs and money laundering offences.

Fifty-two-year-old Thomas Kavanagh and 37-year-old Gary Vickery, both with addresses in Tamworth in the UK, and Daniel Canning, who is 41, and from Walkinstown in Dublin, all pleaded guilty at Ipswich Crown Court today.

All three men will be sentenced in October.

Today's convictions are part of a four-year international investigation into drugs and gun crime by the National Crime Agency in the UK backed up by the gardaí.

Thomas 'Bomber' Kavanagh is, the gardaí say, one of the most senior figures in the Kinahan Organised Crime Group and its leader in the UK.

Originally from Dublin, he is based at a secure mansion in Tamworth in the UK and has been a major garda target for years.

Two other Kinahan gang members Gary Vickery and Daniel Canning, who are also from Dublin, have also along with Kavanagh pleaded guilty to drugs and money laundering offences.

Canning also admitted possession of a gun and ammunition.

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The UK National Crime Agency says they were part of a significant international crime network, capable of organising multi-million pound shipments of drugs.

The Assistant Commissioner in charge of Special Crime Operations John O'Driscoll welcomed the convictions, saying successful outcomes such as these are the result of a particularly productive working relationship between the gardaí and the UK authorities which will continue.

NCA Deputy Director of Investigations Matt Horne said he hopes these convictions send out a strong message to others who may think themselves to be untouchable.