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Kazakhstan warns cartel boss Daniel Kinahan he won’t be able to hide there

Among the countries identified as possible safe havens for Kinahan and his mob are Kazakhstan, Jordan and Lebanon.

Cartel boss Daniel Kinahan

Daniel Kinahan with Bob Arum pictured in Kazakhstan

Kinahan pictured at the auction in Astana

Daniel Kinahan is believed to be looking for a new safe haven

Patrick O'ConnellSunday World

Kazakhstan has become the first country, identified as a possible bolthole for Daniel Kinahan, to warn the sanctioned mob boss it will not be used as a safe haven by the cartel.

It had been alleged 45-year-old Kinahan may attempt to use a false passport to flee Dubai as the international crackdown on his €1 billion drugs cartel gathers pace.

Among the countries identified as possible safe havens for Kinahan and his mob are Kazakhstan, Jordan and Lebanon.

But, the Kazakh embassy in London confirmed to the Sunday World this week that Kinahan has not been back in the country since 2019 – and warned it intends to co-operate with ‘international investigations.’

In a formal statement to this newspaper, Mr. Darkhan Abzhanov, the Economic Section’s second secretary, told us: “We have received your request regarding the Kinahan criminal gang in particular the possible presence of one of its leaders in Kazakhstan.

“The Embassy has managed issue of his crossing the border of Kazakhstan.

“We would like to inform you that the person in question crossed the border of Kazakhstan in July 2019 and he left Kazakhstan the same month.

“At the same time, we thank you for informing us on this issue and would like to increase our co-operation in the framework of various investigations of criminal offences in the future.”

Daniel Kinahan is believed to be looking for a new safe haven

Kinahan’s visit to Kazakhstan in July of 2019 occurred at the height of his attempt to sports-wash his image.

He allowed himself to be recorded at a charity event in Astana.

During an auction in support of the Snow Leopard Foundation, he paid US$140,000 for the Virgil van Dijk-signed ball used in the 2019 Champions League final.

The charity event had been organised by Kazakh businessman Nurali Aliyev, who was himself the subject of an investigation by Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) in 2020.

Aliyev, a grandson of former Kazakh dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev, had been taken to the High Court in London in an attempt to force him and his mother to explain their ownership of £80m worth of property in the city.

Kinahan pictured at the auction in Astana

The NCA was seeking to impose an Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) on the pair, claiming the three houses had been purchased by Aliyev’s father Rakhat.

Rakhat Aliyev, the head of Kazakhstan’s tax agency, had died in an Austrian prison in 2015 while awaiting charges relating to the murder of two bankers.

However, the High Court disagreed with the NCA and Mrs Justice Lang overturned all three unexplained wealth orders, ruling “the NCA’s assumption” that Rakhat Aliyev was the source of the funds was unreliable.

She found there was “cogent evidence” the properties had been funded by Ms Nazarbayeva and her son.

Nurali Aliyev said afterwards: “The court’s powerful judgment demonstrates the NCA obtained the orders on an inaccurate basis as part of a flawed investigation which was entirely without merit.”

He accused the NCA of pursuing “a groundless, vicious legal action”.

There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by Mr. Aliyez or connection between him Daniel Kinahan.

The Sunday World put the same questions we asked the Kazakhstan embassy to the embassies for Jordan and Lebanon.

To date, no response has been received from either of these embassies.

Sources say gardai believe currently that Kinahan, his father Christopher Snr and brother Christy remain in Dubai.

Daniel Kinahan with Bob Arum pictured in Kazakhstan

But pressure continues to mount on the cartel heads – and intensified still further in the wake of the arrest of cartel fixer Johnny Morrissey on the Costa Del Sol earlier this month.

Two days after his arrest on September 11th, Spanish police alleged that Morrissey had used the Hawala money transfer system to launder €200 million in cash for criminal organisations, including the cartel, in just 18 months.

Hawala is an informal funds transfer system that allows for funds to be moved through intermediaries known as ‘hawaladars’, without the money itself ever moving across jurisdictions.

A hawaladar in one country can take receipt of the funds before contacting a hawaladar in another country who will pay out the equivalent sum in cash or goods – but the money itself does not have to cross borders.

No documentation is kept or recorded and the system works on trust between the hawaladars – making it the almost perfect system for terrorists and narcotics traffickers.

One of the many allegations facing Daniel Kinahan and the Kinahan organised crime group is that the cartel established ties with Hezbollah through its use of the Hawala system.

Details of how the Iranian-backed group used the system in Europe to finance terrorism and drug dealing were outlined by the DEA in February of 2016 – following the arrest of Mohamad Noureddine in an operation targeting Hezbollah’s External Security Business Affairs (BAC).

The DEA said the BAC was involved in international criminal activities such as drug trafficking and drug proceed money laundering.

It further identified the network as being responsible for the movement of large quantities of cocaine in the United States and Europe.

The DEA alleged Noureddine was a Lebanese money launderer who worked directly with Hezbollah’s financial apparatus to transfer Hezbollah funds via his Lebanon based company to terrorist elements in both Lebanon and Iraq.

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