This was a professional Russian hit. There were 13 shots and we don't think they wasted a bullet. It has a military-trained assassin written all over it, possibly ex-special forces,' a senior detective told The Observer. 'The intelligence coming back from the Costa del Sol is that Paddy Doyle crossed the Russian mafia, which is something you do there at your peril.'
The officer said shortly after Christmas Doyle got involved in a brawl with a young Russian man whom he severely beat up. Unknown to Doyle, the man was related to a senior Russian mafia figure. True to form, on a warm afternoon in one of Spain's most popular destinations for tourists and holiday-home owners, vengeance was exacted in a ruthless fashion.
Less than 24 hours after Doyle's murder, cocaine valued at about €9.2million was seized by Spanish police in Estepona close to the shooting. Doyle was on his way to meet a British criminal when his car was ambushed and this triggered speculation that his death was linked to the drugs haul, in which an Irishman was one of eight arrested.
'Doyle was typical of the third generation of gangland "soldier" from Dublin. He was aggressive, showy and started fights at a whim. He and his ilk are unlike the older Irish criminal types on the Costa who live a very quiet life and just get on with their business. Our intelligence suggests Doyle simply crossed the people you don't cross on the Costa, the Russians.'
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