mob money | 

Kinahan Cartel will use cryptocurrency to move cash from Dubai. terrorism experts claim

Bank accounts belonging to members of the Irish Mafia have been frozen since April
Clodagh Meaney

The Kinahan Cartel are likely to start using cryptocurrency to move their illicit profits out of Dubai, a leading US counterterrorism group has claimed.

In April, the US government placed sanctions on the leaders of the Kinahan Organised Crime Group (KOCG) who had been openly operating for years in the Gulf State.

After the sanctions were announced, Dubai officials also froze the cartel leader's bank accounts.

The Sunday World has previously revealed how Christy Snr and his two sons, Daniel and Christopher Jnr, are said to be scrambling to get their assets out of the Emirate State.

But now, a US-based group of security experts has claimed the Irish Mafia leaders are likely to try and convert their assets into cryptocurrency to avoid law enforcement detection.

The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) also warn that sanctions alone are unlikely to stop the Kinahan cartel - and that the US will need to extradite the group's leaders to bring an end to the mob's activities.

They write: "[The] sanctions will very unlikely disrupt the KOCG’s criminal operations or impact its ability to generate funds due to its global illicit activities.

"The KOCG very likely takes advantage of weak anti-money laundering controls in the UAE to conceal the origins of its illicit finances, likely generating further funds for its criminal empire.

"Without extradition from the UAE, it is very unlikely law enforcement will be capable of stopping Christopher Kinahan Senior or his sons from conducting their international operations."

The Counterterrorism Group describe themselves as a a global organisation "focused on detecting, deterring, and defeating terrorism and other threats".

They also claim increased collaboration between international authorities will have encouraged the gang to use cryptocurrency.

“Law enforcement will almost certainly be unable to detect illicit financial flows through the cryptocurrency market due to cryptocurrency’s decentralised nature,” the report reads.

In the report from the group’s Illicit Finance and Economic Threats team, the group also noted that it is unlikely authorities in Dubai will be able to stop the gang from conducting their transnational criminal organisation.

It comes after the OFAC sanctioned the mob following a major investigation involving An Garda Siochana, UK National Crime Agency, European police Forces and the DEA in the US.

“The Kinahan Organised Crime Group smuggles deadly narcotics, including cocaine, to Europe, and is a threat to the entire licit economy through its role in international money laundering,” Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson said in a statement when the measures were announced in April.

“Criminal groups like the KOCG prey on the most vulnerable in society and bring drug-related crime and violence, including murder, to the countries in which they operate.”

As part of the sanctions “all property and interests in property of the designated individuals or entities that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC.”

The sanctions against the Kinahan gang and its associated businesses in the UK and the United Arab Emirates mean US banks, financial institutions and companies cannot do business with Kinahan organised crime group members and the three designated businesses.

A reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the Financial Disruption of the Kinahan Criminal Organisation or the arrest and/or conviction of Christopher Kinahan Snr, Christopher Kinahan Jnr, and Daniel Kinahan, was also offered.

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