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National Crime Agency officers and MI5 spooks target Costa del Sol kingpin as potential Daniel v Lyons peacemaker … Extraordinary bid to end 17-year drug war being waged across central Scotland .... But factions reject plea to stop tit-for-tat bloodshed

A MAJOR criminal based in Spain has been approached by security services in a desperate bid to end the Daniel v Lyons drugs war.

The wealthy expat, who is in his 60s and was once jailed over a heroin haul in Glasgow, was asked to broker a truce between the warring families.

Both gangs - the most prominent of Scotland's 22 high level organised crime groups - have been told the approach may have come from Britain's domestic security service MI5.

The National Crime Agency (NCA), described as Britain's FBI, is understood to have been involved in the extraordinary move to end Scotland's deadliest criminal feud.

One source said: “The expat criminal was in London on business when he was approached by either the security services or the NCA.

“He was asked to use his influence by relaying the message to both sides that the bloodshed in Scotland had to end.

“Unfortunately, it seems not to have had the desired effect. There has been so much violence that neither side seems willing to back down.

“The approach has also instilled a sense of paranoia in both camps about who can be trusted and who is looking at them.”

The book Caught in the Crossfire charts how the The Daniel v Lyons feud began in 2001 when a stolen stash of Daniel cocaine ended up being sold by the Lyons in Milton, Glasgow.

The minor theft escalated into a relentless wave of tit-for-tat shootings and other atrocities.

The vendetta has claimed the lives of Daniel enforcer Kevin ‘Gerbil’ Carroll, 29, and Michael Lyons, 21.

Lyons was killed by two Daniel hitman using stolen British Army guns in a triple shooting in Lambhill, Glasgow in 2006.

A rogue band of Argyll & Sutherland soldiers were jailed for supplying Army explosives to the Daniel gang following a joint police and MI5 probe.

In the triple shooting, Steven Lyons, 37, was injured but survived and fled to Spain where he formed an alliance with a major Irish drugs gang.

He remains the Daniels' number one target and has thought to have recently quit Spain for Dubai - another favourite haunt of UK gangland.

Following Carroll’s 2010 shooting outside a suburban Asda supermarket, Billy Paterson, 38, joined pal Steven in Spain’s Costa del Sol.

Paterson eventually surrendered to police and in 2015 was jailed for at least 22 years for Carroll’s murder.

Other incidents have included fire attacks, the desecration of a child’s grave and two shootings outside primary schools.

Last year [2017], Police Scotland launched Operation Engagement in a bid to target the two families and their associated organised crime gangs in places including Paisley and Edinburgh.

Lead officers Detective Superintendent Kenny Graham vowed to “do whatever we can to dismantle them”.

It later emerged that police had attempted to set up ‘peace talks’ with a proposed meeting between Steven Lyons and a senior member of the Daniel gang.

The extraordinary offer was rejected by Steven ‘Bonzo’ Daniel, 38, who suffered severe facial injuries in an alleged attack in May 2017.

A police insider defended criticism of the unprecedented attempt by saying it was “part of a range of measures to try to engage with both sides”.

The secretive NCA was set up in 2013 to tackle organised crime including drugs, human slavery and firearms, in the UK and overseas.

A significant NCA unit is based at the Scottish Crime Campus in Gartcosh, Lanarkshire.

MI5 does not respond to media enquiries.

An NCA spokeswoman said: “The NCA does not routinely confirm nor deny the existence of investigations, or comment on specific intelligence matters.


A CAR trader jailed over a stash of guns in his flat was hiding the weapons for the Daniel organised crime gang.

John McIver, 61, was caught with a Remington self-loading pistol, a sawn-off shotgun and a Winchester shotgun along with an electric stun gun disguised as an iPhone.

They weapons were hidden in McIver’s flat in an area of Glasgow’s Possil known as The Jungle which the Daniels consider their territory.

Police believe that the deadly arsenal would have been used in 17-year drugs war being waged against the Lyons.

Also seized was ammunition and a stash of cocaine, cannabis and amphetamine value at £168,000.

McIver plead guilty to 12 charges just three months after his arrest last November and was last month [March 2018] sentenced to six years and eight months in prison.

One source said: “He had the choice of taking the rap or pointing the finger at his bosses which was not really an option.

“Losing the drugs is bad enough for the Daniels but the weapons are a much greater loss.”

McIver is a long-term Daniel associate through the used car and scrap trade but they were not named during proceedings at Glasgow High Court.

His lawyer claimed that he was put under pressure to allow his flat to become a safe house.

Jailing McIver, judge Lord Mulholland said: “Lethal weapons which in the wrong hands can be used to maim or kill. This city has seen a lot of these offences.”


A stash of Daniel cocaine is stolen from a house in Milton, Glasgow, then sold by the Lyons

December 2006
Michael Lyons, 21, right, is killed by two Daniel hitmen in a triple shooting at a garage in Lambhill, Glasgow. Cousin Steven Lyons, 37, and a Paisley gangster ally are also shot but survive.

January 2010
Daniel enforcer Kevin 'Gerbil' Carroll is shot dead outside a suburban Asda near Glasgow

May 2012
Lyons mob drug dealer Ross Monaghan walks free when his trial for murdering Carroll collapses

May 2015
Lyons gang hitman Billy ‘Buff’ Paterson is jailed for at least 22 years for the murder of Carroll

September 2015
Gerbil associate Ross Sherlock is shot and injured outside a primary school in Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow

January 2017
Lyons associate Ross Monaghan is shot in the shoulder after dropping a child off at school in Penilee, Glasgow

February 2017
Jamie Daniel's son Francis 'Fraggle' Green is targeted when shots are fired at his home in Milton of Campsie, north of Glasgow

March 2017
Drug dealer Robert Daniel shot on the arm outside his home in Stepps, near Glasgow

March 2017
Operation Engagement launched to target the two families' organised crime activities across Scotland

March 2017
Daniel associate Ross Sherlock suffers a blade attack in prison

May 2017 Steven 'Bonzo' Daniel is seriously assaulted in Glasgow's Port Dundas

June 2017
Robert Daniel's brother, also named Jamie, is seriously assaulted outside his home in Glasgow's Milton.

March 2018
Daniel associate William Barclay is attacked in front of his family in Springburn by two gunmen

A version of this report was first published in the Sunday Mail on April 8, 2018:

A detailed account of the Daniel v Lyons drug war is contained in Caught in the Crossfire by Russell Findlay, available from Amazon: CLICK HERE


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