flying high | 

Cartel chief Christy Kinahan tried to buy fleet of Egyptian military planes, leaked files show

According to the leaked documents, a Dubai company linked to Kinahan tried to purchase as many as nine used de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalos from the Egyptian air force in 2020.

Christy Kinahan Snr at a business meeting

Christy Kinahan's passport

Niall DonaldSunday World

Crime godfather Christy Kinahan tried to buy a fleet of Egyptian military planes for $10 million and planned to set up a bolthole in Zimbabwe, according to newly leaked documents.

In July, the Sunday World exclusively revealed how the Kinahan mob were moving cocaine across Africa in air ambulances.

We revealed how the cartel had bought off officials for use of landing strips and took control of the key transport route to Europe making the Irish mob second only in importance to the Colombian Cartels.

The Irish mafia had effectively taken control of Africa’s lucrative ‘cocaine corridor’ – one of the main routes for importing drugs into Europe.

After the drugs landed in the southern part of Africa, the Kinahan gang would use ‘air ambulances’ to move the cocaine through the continent to ports where it could be shipped into Europe.

Now the news organisation, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), have published stunning details of how, Christy snr, attempted to pull off a series of multi-million euro aviation deals while posing as a legitimate broker.

According to the leaked documents, a Dubai company linked to Kinahan tried to purchase as many as nine used de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalos from the Egyptian air force in 2020.

It is claimed he also attempted to do lucrative deals in Africa and Latin America and even explored buying an Antonov An-26 turboprop in Venezuela.

Emails show Kinahan pushing for the formation of a company in Singapore so that it could negotiate the Egyptian deal.

In late 2019, Kinahan explained in an email that he wanted the company website to “create a smoke and mirrors illusion that we are bigger and better than a mere startup company,” so the firm would be “in pole position for aircraft finance and or leasing facilities.”

It is claimed Kinahan also tried to establish a home and a business hub in Zimbabwe, but he was forced to abandon his plans after being denied permanent residency.

ICIJ reveal how Kinahan attended an aviation conference in 2019 at the Red Sea resort city of Sharm El Sheikh

The gathering was hosted by the World Food Program and the now former Egyptian minister of civil aviation, Lt. Gen. Younis el-Masri.

Shortly after the conference, the Dubai aviation company linked to Kinahan, made inquiries about buying aircraft from the Egyptian military.

A company representative wrote to Egyptian defense attache in Abu Dhabi, Brigadier Hisham Nabil Monir, about buying up to nine DHC Buffalo military transport planes for as much as $8 million.

According to the leaked documents, in Feb 2020, Monir sent the Kinahan-linked company a list of aircraft for sale, along with spare parts and equipment.

The following month, the attache sent the company technical information related to the Buffalo and gave “the Egyptian Air Force’s approval” for a field inspection to take place at the Almaza Air Force base, in Cairo.

Christy Kinahan's passport

The ICIJ write that the company representatives kept Kinahan - who used the name ‘CV DXB’ - updated in text messages

They write: “By December 2020, Kinahan and his associates seemed confident that a deal for the purchase of the nine aircraft would go through, and they said they were transferring millions of dollars to cover the cost, records show.

“’I will wait for the 10 million to be transferred to the company account,'

“Two visits to Egypt to see the planes and discuss the deal occurred, the first in December 2020; the second in May 2021 when the team met with four Egyptian air force officers.”

It is claimed that Kinahan’s team tried to secure bank loans while negotiated the deal with the Egyptians

According to an account appearing under the letterhead ‘Christopher Vincent Business Broker’, Kinahan and his business associate met in January 2021 with a Dubai-based lender Ltd, to finance the purchase of the Egyptian aircraft.

“In the meeting, [Kinahan’s associate] said the deal ‘would be in the region of $20 million,’ according to minutes.

“...Kinahan agreed that they could probably come up with 25 percent. But they were not sure about 50 percent, the minutes show.

“An [Dubai lender] representative said she was confused by the deal and would need a lot more detailed information before proceeding any further, according to the minutes.

“When the [Dubai lender] representative inquired about Christopher Vincent’s connection....Kinahan identified himself as an “advisor / broker,” adding that “he knew and advised the principals in the deal, those that either wished to buy or were architects of the deal.”

However, the deal ultimately fell through and screenshots from a WhatsApp conversation in September 2021 show Kinahan notifying his team that the deal was cancelled.

The ICIJ write: “He declared that ‘the buffalo deal is now officially closed.’

“A copy of a letter that was intended to be sent to the Egyptian Defense Ministry listed a number of technical problems in the aircraft to justify the cancellation.”

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