mistaken identity | 

Daniel Kinahan nearly arrested after meeting with mobster Ridouan Taghi's lawyers in Dubai

As police considered moving in on the Netherland's Most-Wanted, they suddenly realised that the lookalike was in fact the Irish mafia boss and not Ridouan Taghi.

Ridouan Taghi (top) and Daniel Kinahan (bottom)

Nicola Tallant

A trusted Dutch news website has reported how Dubai police almost arrested Daniel Kinahan in a hotel lobby when he went along to meet lawyers representing the fugitive mobster Ridouan Taghi.

The website AD has said that the lawyers were under surveillance at the time as Dutch police suspected that they had flown out to meet Taghi who was wanted in the Netherlands.

Dubai police, who were helping with the surveillance operation in the summer of 2019, saw the duo meet with another client but then watched as they were joined by a fourth man who was initially thought to be Taghi.

As police considered moving in on the Netherland's most-wanted, they suddenly realised that the lookalike was in fact the Irish mafia boss and not Taghi.

Taghi, who attended Kinahan’s flash wedding in the United Arab Emirates in 2017, was later arrested in a dramatic bust by Dubai police authorities and returned to the Netherlands.

He is currently being held in a maximum-security prison where he is facing charges relating to 10 murders, drug trafficking and leading a criminal organisation suspected of shooting dead a lawyer.

AD says the incident happened as Dutch police were increasingly desperate to catch the fugitive Taghi whose gang are regarded as the most violent cocaine mob to ever exist in the Netherlands.

The news site claims that the hunt for Taghi, operating under the name 26CapeCoral, got a tip that the Amsterdam lawyer was due to meet Taghi in Dubai.

On June 19, 2019, the lawyer was seen in Schiphol airport with his colleague. The pair flew to Dubai and were picked up by undercover officers when they landed.

The pair were seen meeting their own client, another suspected criminal known as Khalid J, in the lobby of a hotel.

On the second day of their visit a fourth person joined the meeting which Dutch police later reported: “Has similarities with Ridouan Taghi in appearance.”

Mob boss Daniel Kinahan

They then asked their colleagues in Dubai to arrest the individual but hours later Dubai police said they would not detain the man because they were not convinced it was Taghi.

According to AD, the police report does not address the identity of the person mistaken for Taghi who is wearing a cap and glasses but sources have said that officers in the United Arab Emirates immediately knew him to be Kinahan.

Kinahan and Taghi have been previously linked in secret police papers which detail how their two organisations worked together along with the Ndrangheta mafia and the so called 'Tito and Dino' cartel.

All of the four organisations have links to Amsterdam where the 'Dapper Don' Christy Kinahan Snr founded his mob.

According to the investigation by AD: “What the Irish top criminal had to look for in a conversation between Khalid J. and his lawyers remains unclear.

"The two lawyers just want to say that during the conversation with their client, 'someone came along who showed no outward resemblance to Taghi'.

"This site has attempted to approach Daniel Kinahan through a London law firm representing his interests. That office has not answered despite repeated calls.”

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