Boxers are being ‘exploited’ and ‘preyed’ on by Kinahan Cartel, senior garda says
Garda Assistant Commissioner John O'Driscoll believes the cartel took advantage of many pro-fighters.
The Kinahan cartel “exploited“ and “preyed” upon boxers who were desperate to be successful in the sport, a senior garda has said.
The boxing world has been thrown into turmoil since the US government imposed sanctions of the leaders Irish cartel – due to Daniel Kinahan’s heavy involvement in the sport.
Over the last decade, Daniel Kinahan had risen to become one of the most prominent advisors and managers in the fight game.
Following the US clampdown, a number of fighters – including heavyweight champion Tyson Fury – have been banned from flying to the States due to their links to the cartel boss.
Fury, who has no involvement in crime, was not allowed on a flight to the US last week after he tried to board a plane in the UK.
Speaking to BBC News NI, Assistant Garda Commissioner John O'Driscoll – who is heading up Garda initiatives designed to tackle organised crime gang – said he believes the gang took advantage of many boxers.
"We see many people who are involved in boxing, in particular young people, being exploited by that organised crime group," he told BBC NI.
"These are people who have, maybe, dedicated their life to pursuing a career in boxing, and who have no knowledge of the activities of the Kinahan organised crime group, but have been preyed upon by them and find themselves in circumstances that were not of their own making and they are people that we are attempting to protect also, in targeting the criminal activity engaged in by the Kinahan organised crime group."
After the sanctions were announced on the leaders of the Kinahan cartel, it emerged that a total of 600 people had been barred from entering the US as part of the crack down.
Speaking about figures from the boxing world being banned from the US, Asst Commissioner O'Driscoll said the US shares information with the Irish authorities about .
"That is a matter for the US authorities and we would not necessarily know all of the people who are refused entry in such circumstances.
"But, where it would be relevant to us, and where it may assist us in our investigations, that information is shared by the US authorities," he said.
Assistant Commissioner O'Driscoll also stated that some boxers may be able to re-enter the US if they can show they have no further ties to Daniel Kinahan.
He responded: "It is a matter for interaction between a particular individual and the US authorities as they attempt to enter the US.
"But, from my knowledge, if they can assure the US authorities that they have disassociated themselves from people or entities that are problematic, that the prospect is there that they will be allowed entry to the US into the future."
Mr O’Driscoll also said there were well-established ties between the Kinahan cartel and criminals operating in the North.
"Northern Ireland features from a number of perspectives. Firstly, it may feature in the drug trafficking route involved.
"So, while cocaine obviously, imported into Ireland by the Kinahan organised crime group, will in some cases be destined for Ireland, on other occasions it'll be destined for the UK, and the route which it will take may include transportation through Northern Ireland," he explained.
"Or indeed, it may in some cases be intended to supply a demand for that drug in that part of the UK also."
"Movement takes place on a regular basis among those who are involved in the criminal organisations concerned.
"So, you may find movement that is temporary in nature. On occasions, people may stay somewhat longer. But, all of those movements are subject to ongoing monitoring in the relevant jurisdictions."
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