Clock ticking | 

Cartel boss Daniel Kinahan under increasing pressure as he struggles to pay foot soldiers

The clock is ticking down for under-pressure Kinahan Cartel drug boss as his friends and money start to run out and empire crumbles

Daniel Kinahan

Nicola Tallant

Daniel Kinahan is living like a hunted animal in his bolthole in Dubai as his €2 million per month Cartel wage bill threatens to overwhelm him and turn his own against him.

Cash flow problems, the arrest of his arch enemy Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch deep within the Spanish territory he once controlled and his increased anxiety that he can trust nobody has led to ever more bizarre behaviour from Kinahan.

The head of the Irish mafia remains close to just one last lieutenant, Sean McGovern, as he spends his final days of freedom living a paranoid nightmare and desperate to keep up the payments that buy him trust, loyalty and silence.

But the cracks are showing and he has already missed weeks of wages to prisoners in Ireland who are on €500 per week retainers as they serve lengthy sentences for murder, botched Cartel assassination attempts, money laundering and drug and weapons offences.

Daniel Kinahan in Dubai

Despite efforts to get cash to his workers, Kinahan is becoming overwhelmed by the sheer scale of his own operation and the amount of people he has to pay.

He has already cut off a number of prisoners in Mountjoy who he sees as the lowest on his list of priorities while making sure to look after the more powerful lags like Barry Doyle, whose brother Paddy was murdered on his orders.

Many of those serving time for him have never even met Daniel Kinahan and have no connection with the elusive mob boss save for the regular payments that are received to support their families while they languish behind bars.

Fears are growing that he is finally being cut off by some of the most key figures in organised crime who operate under the radar as fixers, launderers and logistics operators in Europe.

Senior personnel in Spain and The Netherlands who pocket up to €60,000 per month are understood to be shoring up their capital and looking to secure an independent future from the Kinahan organisation which has operated for years like an ordinary corporate employer.

Sean McGovern

Wage and bonus structures have long existed within the Kinahan Organised Crime Gang with each ‘employee’ given a clear role and responsibilities, all which ultimately report back to Daniel Kinahan. Sources say mid level dealers earn basic wages of €2,000 per week plus regular bonuses of cash, designer watches or cars at Christmas, Easter and for summer holiday periods.

A number of major seizures including €35 million of pure cocaine nabbed in The Netherlands last month is understood to have hit Kinahan’s cash flow badly while the arrest of his Italian business partner Raffaele Imperiale has left him realising that he has reached the end of the line in the United Arab Emirates.

Sources close to him say that Kinahan is trying to keep up appearances, even leaking staged photographs onto social media to look as if he hasn’t a care in the world, but that behind the scenes the wheels have come off.

Kinahan moves about with caution in Dubai staying in different places every night and rarely sees his wife Caoimhe Robinson as he tries to remain on the move while juggling a billion euro drug empire on the verge of collapse.

He has been refusing to meet with anyone and all dealings now go through his sidekick Sean McGovern - the Crumlin mobster who was once best friends with criminal Liam Byrne. McGovern has been Kinahan’s closest confident for years and he moved out to Dubai in 2017 following the murder of The Monk’s friend Noel ‘Duck Egg’ Kirwan. Sources say Kinahan has an unhealthy reliance on McGovern in the absence of any other real friends and has become totally reliant on him.

Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch.

The arrest of Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch in Feungirola floored Kinahan completely, sources say.

The fact that he was lifted within what was once Kinahan’s territory near his one time Spanish stronghold of Marbella has added to his sense that he is losing a grip on his finely tuned mob.

Sources say The Monk has been based along the Costa Del Sol and Blanca for a number of years building up contacts and making connections with gangs that once worked alongside Kinahan.

Fears are growing that his associates have been monitoring the movements of Kinahan’s senior lieutenants still based in Spain and may hold dossiers on their addresses and even details about their families and friends.

Spanish police have been on alert that should the Hutch mob make a move in their feud with Kinahan they will likely strike in Spain where he once held the seat of power and where many of his close associates still live.

Sources close to Kinahan say he is trying everything to get funds to Europe and regularly using human couriers to transport cash. They are lured on the promise of a free holiday to Dubai with euro 5,000 spending money if they agree to return home with hundreds of thousands of euro or sterling strapped to their bodies.

Gerry Hutch being arrested by police.

Kinahan has also reached out to some of his oldest contacts, pals and associates looking to use their bank accounts to transfer money into the UK and Ireland. His operators have also set up a number of pop-up brothels in Spain to generate funds so he can pay his bills there.

Daniel Kinahan knows he is living on borrowed time after the five year plan to dismantle his organisation was delayed by Covid 19 restrictions felt across the globe.

Sources say he feels abandoned by many and that even his own father Christy ‘The Dapper Don’ Kinahan has distanced himself as a sense of the last days of Rome descends on the once mighty mob.

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