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Daniel Kinahan's boxing partners can no longer turn a blind eye to his drug empire

Until now Kinahan relied on a bogus veneer of respectability to cultivate an image of an advisor to leading boxers

Daniel Kinahan and Tyson Fury

Eamon Dillon

SPORTS stars and business-people willing to ignore Daniel Kinahan’s involvement in serious organised crime will have to think again.

As Tyson Fury, one of Kinahan’s cheerleaders on social media, prepares to fight in front of 90,000 fans in Wembley later this month the mob boss remains a dark shadow over the sport.

Until now Kinahan relied on a bogus veneer of respectability to cultivate an image of an advisor and deal-maker working behind the scenes for the greater good of boxing.

This week’s unprecedented move by the US authorities to impose sanctions on the Kinahan Cartel leaves Daniel Kinahan few places left to hide.

Posing in photos posted on social media with various boxers, a sports minister and boxing promoters was always a thin cover which has now been ripped away.

When the same office from the US Department of Treasury that is closing down Putin’s oligarchs found the time for the Kinahans, there is no arguing.

Standing in City Hall, not far from Oliver Bond flats where Daniel and Christopher Jnr grew up, Gregory Gatjanis from the Office of Foreign Assets Control said such sanctions are reserved for those who are an “extreme threat”.

"The Kinahan Transnational Criminal Organisation joins the ranks of Italy's Camorra, Mexico's Los Zeta's, Japan's Yakuza and Russia's Thieves in Law."

Daniel Kinahan and brother Christopher Kinahan jr


The US Ambassador to Ireland, Claire Cronin, called the Kinahan Cartel a transnational organised crime gang involved in heinous crime.

Matt Horne from the UK’s National Crime Agency said the Kinahans as a “high threat group” that plays a significant role in major shipments of drugs.

“They thought they were untouchable but the sanctions imposed today will be a huge blow to the Kinahans.”

One after another the speakers at the press conference cited Kinahans as being involved in murder, drugs, money-laundering and supplying guns.

They referred to how they grew from a south-inner-city Dublin drug dealing gang to a €1 billion global criminal enterprise.

Graphic released by US officials of the Kinahan Organised Crime Group

Christopher Kinahan sr, his sons Daniel and Christopher jr have been unequivocally labelled international criminals involved in serious crimes.

Among those also speaking was Special Agent Wendy Woolock from the US Drug Enforcement Agency Special Operations Division

Name checking Kinahan sr and his two sons, Special Agent Woolock promised the Kinahans would be held responsible “for the harm they’ve caused to the people of Ireland, United Kingdom, United States and others.”

“I stand before you as a member of the international law enforcement community pledging our continued commitment to relentlessly pursue , investigate and bring to justice members of the Kinahan Organised Crime Group.”

“The Kinahans desire to self-promote their notoriety and power is the driving force behind their recent activities including drug trafficking and money laundering.”

“For years they have used intimidation, influence and money to destroy towns by pouring drugs into the streets.”

“They prey and profit from addicted vulnerable people while they enjoy lavish lifestyles in Dubai.”

Europol’s head of their European Serious and Organised Centre at Europ Jari Liukki, which also targets terror organisations, said: “Serious and organised crime affects and undermines all levels of society, from the daily lives of our citizens to the economy, state institutions and the rule of law.”

Garda Comissioner Drew Harris speaking at Dublin City Hall (Niall Carson/PA)

Asked what he thought of sports stars and companies dealing with Daniel Kinahan, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris was blunt: “If you deal with these individuals who have been sanctioned, or these entities who are being sanctioned, you are involved in a criminal network.”

He said sports broadcasters need to look at their relationship with fans and decide if it is something they want to be involved with.

The Kinahan’s attempt to influence boxing provided even more motivation for the law enforcement agencies to taken the gang down, according to Asst Comm John O’Driscoll.

It must have been a satisfying moment for O’Driscoll who said he briefed Drew Harris on his first day as Garda Commissioner on the Kinahan gang.

Christy Kinahan Sr

He said the sanctions now being imposed might “lead others to believe they are better off cutting their links with this crime group.”

It was made crystal clear that the sanctions are not the last and investigations will continue into the Kinahan gang.

Also listed were the successes against the Kinahan Cartel since a plan was into operation to take the gang down following the Regency Hotel shooting in 2016 in which David Byrne was shot dead.

In Ireland 79 people have been convicted of crimes linked to the Kinahan Cartel, including 12 in relation to murders and 23 connected to murder attempts.

Garda Assistant Commissioner John O’Driscoll speaks at Dublin City Hall (Niall Carson/PA)

They also pointed to 46 “interventions in threat to life incidents” while the NCA stated they stopped eight “threats to life.”

With Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh and James Mulvey locked up for importing millions of euro worth of drugs the Kinahan’s Cartel has lost two of their most senior operatives.

The so-called ‘apex-leaders’ of the gang remain free in the United Arab Emirates, despite the police successes against their organisation.

But with the Americans now clearly on board with the plan to take down the Kinahans the gang’s leaders are running out of time.

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