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Mugshot shows future cartel boss Daniel Kinahan during only spell in Irish custody

Taken 20 years ago, the mugshot of the future cocaine mob boss was snapped on Polaroid when he was held on minor road traffic offences

Daniel Kinahan 20 years ago

Eamon Dillon

A defiant young Daniel Kinahan did his best to frustrate gardai trying to take a clear photograph during the only time he has spent in custody in Ireland.

Taken 20 years ago, the mugshot of the future cocaine mob boss was taken when he was held on minor road traffic offences.

But turning his head away and keeping his eyes shut, the young Kinahan was making clear he had no respect for and no fear of the Gardaí.

It's at odds with the photos in his current social media campaign, where he poses with professional boxers in a bid to 'sports wash' his reputation.

At the time the mugshot was taken he had escaped prosecution over an attack on an off-duty officer near a Dublin city dog track in 1999.

The case against Kinahan was dropped but the other accused young men were convicted for their part in the ugly assault.

Christy Kinahan

With his father Christy Snr in prison, Daniel was already learning the ropes on how to run an international drugs cartel.

It emerged during court hearings in the Netherlands how a young Daniel acted as a go-between for his father and Dutch drug dealer Joope Altepoost.

Phone taps of Kinahan Snr and his Dutch connection were mentioned in court in which Daniel was revealed as handling his father's business.

The senior Kinahan and the Dutch criminal had met while behind bars and a business link was forged.

At this stage in around 2002, young Kinahan was already causing waves for his organisational abilities in the underworld.

They took full advantage of their base in the Oliver Bond flat complex in Dublin's south inner-city to expand their drugs business.

The murder of Ray Salinger in 2003 hardened the gang's reputation for lethal violence and a long memory for anyone who crossed them.

Salinger had been blamed by Kinahan Snr for landing him in jail over heroin dealing 17 years previously.

Young Kinahan was listed as a director of an antiques company and was already laundering drugs through what appeared to be legitimate businesses.

Not long after this mugshot was taken Kinahan left Ireland, moving to the UK where he continued to be involved in property investments and business deals.

A British-Asian businessman would later prove a crucial influence in extending the early Kinahan cartel as the mob became highly efficient at laundering and investing their ill-gotten gains.

Daniel Kinahan was briefly in the public eye in 2007 when he was named in a trial over fixing horse races which ultimately collapsed.

Undercover police officers had tailed Kinahan and other people accused of the race-fixing conspiracy, travelling together and booking into a hotel under a false name.

His next public photo was taken in 2010 outside the courthouse in Estepona on the Spanish Costa del Sol after being arrested as part on an international police operation.

With head down and hands cuffed behind his back, it was hailed as the beginning of the end of the Kinahan cartel.

His father and brother Christy Jr were also nabbed along with veteran Irish criminal John Cunningham and others.

The investigation revealed the scale of their international business, showing how they had extended far beyond the shores of Ireland.

Such was the gang's sophistication much of what was uncovered is now believed to have been an elaborate hoax to keep investigators busy.

UFC fighter Darren Till, who is not involved in crime, takes a stroll in Dubai with Daniel Kinahan

The probe fizzled out and Kinahan continued his life in southern Spain, the UK and Ireland, building his gym business and being photographed by the Sunday World on occasion.

It was at a boxing event at the Regency Hotel in Dublin 2016 where Kinahan made one of his last appearances in Ireland.

He narrowly escaped a bullet from a Hutch faction murder gang who shot and killed David Byrne and wounded Kinahan's most trusted lieutenant, Sean McGovern, who now lives in Dubai.

Kinahan was named in an affidavit in the High Court in 2019 by the Criminal Assets Bureau which named him as the head of an criminal organisation.

In 2020 a judge at the Special Criminal Court accepted garda evidence that the Kinahan cartel is an organised crime gang involved in "execution-type murders" in the context of feuds "to protect its core activities", which include "organised drugs and firearms" offences on "an international scale".

Since his wedding at the Burj Al Arab hotel in 2017, Kinahan has seen his close international associates fall to arrest one by one. The question now is how long it will take before another mugshot of Daniel Kinahan in custody is released.

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