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Massive $5 million reward on heads of Kinahan cartel is aimed at smashing the wall of silence

Kinahan cash is stuffed through the letterboxes of wives and girlfriends of locked up cartel members to maintain their silence

Daniel Kinahan

Eamon Dillon

THE unprecedented $5 million reward on the heads of Christy Kinahan snr and his two sons, Daniel and Christy jnr, is aimed at smashing the wall of silence around the gang's leadership.

In its statement, US Department of Treasury said Christy jnr was being sanctioned for his role in the gang and that he "contributes to a fund that is used to pay KOCG members".

This is the network that keeps the cartel's men behind bars happy while the bosses continue to enjoy their lavish lifestyles in Dubai.

The Sunday World previously revealed how Kinahan gangsters are paid between €500 and €1,000 a week while doing time.

With 79 Kinahan-linked prisoners locked up in Ireland and others in the UK, it is a significant weekly bill.

In some cases, the cash is lodged through betting shops into online accounts and in envelopes stuffed through the letter boxes at the homes of wives and girlfriends.

The cash is vital in keeping their loyalty and making sure the banged-up gang members keep their mouths shut.

Convicted fraudster Dean Masterson is being investigated by the Criminal Assets Bureau for his part in the Kinahan's salary system, which is run like a normal business. He is serving a four-year prison sentence for mortgage fraud.

Prison: Dean Masterson

In another recent case, evidence was heard in court how a total of €100,000 came through the letterbox of a woman whose partner was serving a prison sentence.

But it is likely US authorities already had a strong case against the three Kinahans even before they posted the massive reward this week.

One source suggested the evidence against them is likely to lie outside Ireland and investigators have spent a number of years working on bringing them down.

Meanwhile, former Dublin Lord Mayor Nial Ring said there was a palpable "sense of relief" in Dublin's north-inner city, where the Hutch family lives, following this week's extraordinary moves against the Kinahan crime cartel.

Cllr Ring, who represents the area, said people in the community now believe serious efforts are being made to take down the cartel that had wrought so much damage through its deadly feud with the Hutch gang.

"For the US to come in as they did, and the US Treasury putting the squeeze on them... proves to people here that the gang will be dismantled."

Another local source who is close to the Hutch family said there was also relief amongst family members that the net "is really tightening around the Kinahans" although they were still fears of retribution from members of the Kinahan gang.

Assistant Commissioner John O'Driscoll said this week that the cartel had generated about €1 billion by leaving "addiction and violence in its wake".

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