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Mob money Kinahan Cartel demand return of wealth seized by Spanish officials during failed Operation Shovel

Daniel Kinahan and his dad have clawed back the bail money they had to hand over to secure their freedom following their arrests more than a decade ago.


Daniel Kinahan leaving court in Spain in 2010

Daniel Kinahan leaving court in Spain in 2010

Christy Kinahan

Christy Kinahan


Daniel Kinahan leaving court in Spain in 2010

THE Kinahan cartel is bombarding Spanish court officials for the return of cash, cars and jewellery seized during the failed Spanish Operation Shovel mafia crackdown.

Daniel Kinahan and his dad have clawed back the bail money they had to hand over to secure their freedom following their arrests more than a decade ago.

Nearly €1m cash has already been returned to the Kinahans and other suspects rounded up as part of the massive police operation trumpeted at the time as a major triumph against organised crime, it was revealed on Tuesday.

Convicted drug dealer Christy ‘Dapper Don’ Kinahan, whose son was branded “bloody dangerous” by Barry McGuigan in a BBC Panorama special on Monday night, has been given back cash seized from the luxury Costa del Sol apartment he was filmed being cuffed on the floor in during the Shovel raids.

Well-placed sources confirmed they are powerless to stop the 63-year-old from requesting the return of his assets even though he faces trial for passport fraud.

The threat of a Spanish trial hanging over his sons Christopher Jr and Daniel, in the spotlight over his involvement in the world of boxing, has been lifted following the shelving of the high-profile investigation into their suspected criminal activities including money laundering and drugs and weapons trafficking.

Well-placed Spanish sources said: “At the moment everything that was seized or frozen is being returned but only on request. Nothing will be returned automatically.

“The Kinahans are among those who have requested the return of bail money.

“In total €915,800 in cash has so far been returned to people including the Kinahans.

“That money mostly comprises bail money that was paid by the Kinahans when they were granted bail after an initial prison remand following the Operation Shovel arrests.

“It also includes the return of around €400,000 to a Spanish woman who was initially implicated in the Operation Shovel case but was told in 2012 the case against her was being discontinued.

“Cash seized during the 2010 raid on Christopher Kinahan Sr’s home has also been returned, amounting to £175 and €13,800.”


Christy Kinahan

Christy Kinahan

Christy Kinahan

Another well-placed insider added: “Christopher Kinahan Sr’s lawyer, who also represents other Operation Shovel detainees, is the one who’s being most active in terms of requests for the return of confiscated and frozen assets.

“A BMW Daniel’s dad had confiscated in the police raids more than ten years ago is about to be returned to him and a watch that was seized was returned to him last week.

“Another BMW was returned to another individual last October.

“A lot of the bank accounts that were blocked are being unfrozen and the blocks on property are being lifted.

“Certificates are also being sent out confirming that the judicial investigations have been shelved.

“The amount of cash and the other assets that are going to be handed back will increase as requests continue to come in.”

Confirming there was no impediment to five of the original Operation Shovel detainees warned they face trial on lesser charges from seeking the return of assets, including Daniel’s dad, the source added: “Christopher Kinahan Sr has been told that although he remains under investigation, he can request the return of his assets and the fact he is still being probed on suspicion of lesser offences will not be an impediment.“

It was not immediately clear what percentage of the cash and other assets including jewellery and vehicles seized during Operation Shovel has so far been returned.

Spain’s National Police declined to comment and state prosecutors said they were not in a position to elaborate.

Lawyers representing the Kinahans in Spain said they did not want to comment or did not reply to a request for comment.

It emerged last September Spanish state prosecutors had sensationally dropped their case against Daniel Kinahan and his brother Christoper Jr after failing to build a watertight case against them.

The pair had the threat of long prison sentences hanging over their heads for more than a decade in Spain after they were arrested by heavily-armed police at their Costa del Sol homes as part of a five-nation operation against organised crime.

In its early stages the judicial probe focused on allegations of drugs and weapons trafficking.

It emerged in 2014 a judge probing Christy Kinahan Sr and a gang of suspected accomplices including his two sons had decided to drop her behind-closed-doors investigation into those crimes and focus solely on other allegations they were facing including money laundering and membership of a criminal gang.

Last September it was confirmed the money laundering and criminal association facets of the criminal investigation had been mothballed - and only five of the original 31 detainees told they now faced trial for lesser crimes which in most cases carry short prison sentences.

Those five include Christy Kinahan Sr, charged with passport fraud after allegedly using a fake travel document in the name of Michael Leslie Swift to fly from Madrid’s Barajas Airport to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil on April 30 2010.

He is expected to remain at his new bolthole in Dubai, where Daniel has also relocated to, until his trial.

Marbella’s chief prosecutor Julio Martinez Carrazo admitted after the Operation Shovel revelation he felt “disappointed” and admitted: “The fact we’ve taken 10 years to get to where we are now is not justice for me.”

Daniel Kinahan’s role in boxing, and the origin of the money he is said to have pumped into company MTK Global, was at the centre of BBC Panorama’s hour-long special Boxing And The Mob.

A spokesman for Mr Kinahan insisted in a statement issued ahead of the programme he had “never been convicted of a crime, not just in Ireland, but in any jurisdiction world-wide”

The statement was described as a “response to the false and damaging allegations repeated by various commentators and media outlets that he is the leader of an Irish-based international organised crime gang.”

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