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Kinahan enforcer Johnny Morrissey linked to website set up to out 'rats'

TheRatBook.com had been intended for subscribers to sign up to find out if people with criminal convictions lived in their neighbourhoods, but it only lasted online for a year.

Eamon Dillon

SANCTIONED Kinahan Cartel enforcer Johnny Morrissey has been linked to a website set up to expose “rats”, according to leaked legal documents.

The Irish citizen, named by US authorities a key member of the Kinahan gang, also tried to set up bank accounts in the British Virgin Islands and Panama.

The documents are part of the ‘Panama Papers’ uncovered by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and shared with the Irish Times.

The material came from the Panamanian legal firm Mossack Fonseca, whose founders are awaiting trial over allegations it helped clients launder money.

John Morrissey

According to the leaked papers Morrissey flew to Panama in 2009 to “explore the possibility of initiating an internet business from Panama” where he was met at the airport by a courtesy car from the law firm.

TheRatBook.com had been intended for subscribers to sign up to find out if people with criminal convictions lived in their neighbourhoods, but it only lasted online for a year.

Morrissey was listed as a co-founder of the site.

It also said the firm expected to sign up 100,000 customers paying $80 a year in its first 12 months of operation.

In an archived page it describes itself a as “The UK's leading name and shame website.”

“The Rat Book is the result of 18 months development and over 80,000 hours research, designed to expose paedophiles, abusers, rapists, perverts, violent criminals, and terrorists across the UK."

"We believe that you have the right to know about criminals living and operating in your area, and that through awareness, you can improve the safety of your family."

They also appeal for help in tracking ‘rats’: “We appreciate your help in exposing the rats in your area. To get started, simply click your location on The Rat Map below.”

The firm was based in Panama where it applied to open a bank as well as plans to set up links to other offshore accounts.

In a resume in the leaked document, Morrissey claimed to have been a bricklayer who left school at 15 who enjoyed diving and sailing among his hobbies.

The Sunday World recently revealed how Morrissey had moved to west Cork in the 1990s where he is suspected of organising cocaine shipments from abroad.

Sources say he used commercial diving equipment to retrieve drugs consignments dropped off the Irish coast for collection.

His high-spending habits meant he attracted the attention of the newly-fledged Criminal Assets Bureau which seized cash, jewellery and other property from him.

He had been implicated in 38 gangland murders outside of Ireland at the time, according to Sunday World sources.

More recently he re-invented himself as an ambassador for his wife Nicole’s Nero Vodka brand on the Costa del Sol, a firm which has also been sanctioned by the US.

He was also a guest at Daniel Kinahan’s 2017 wedding at the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai at which a number of major gangsters were also in attendance, including ‘Dutch Maroc’ mobster Riduoan Taghi and Camorra crime boss Raffaele Imperiale.

Morrissey is also known to be a close associate of George ‘The Penguin’ Mitchell who fled Ireland around the same time as him.

Morrissey and The Penguin have maintained close links over the years in Spain, where Mitchell had kept an apartment close to one of Morrissey's properties.

One source insists The Penguin is just as wealthy and successful in the drugs business as the Kinahans, but has managed to avoid the same attention from the authorities.

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