Revealed: The seven 'key members' of Kinahan cartel hit with sanctions by the US
Top of the list is Christopher Snr and his two sons, Daniel and Christopher Jnr
The seven “key members” of the Kinahan cartel, including leaders Christy Kinahan Sr and Daniel Kinahan, hit with sanctions imposed by the United States government have been named in documents published this morning.
The seven, who have all been placed on an Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) list which was released by the US Treasury Department, follows a major investigation involving the gardai, the UK National Crime Agency, European police forces and the DEA in the US.
The sanctions against the Kinahan gang and its associated businesses in the UK and the United Arab Emirates mean US banks and companies cannot do business with the Kinahan organised crime group members and three designated businesses that have also been identified.
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Top of the list is Christopher Snr and his two sons, Daniel and Christopher Jnr. However, four other people - who all have long associations with the Kinahans - have also been hit with sanctions.
They include gangster Liam Byrne's former right-hand man, Sean McGovern, and Tallaght native Ian Dixon - a relative of Daniel Kinahan's mother.
Also on the list are Bernard Clancy, a childhood neighbour of the Kinahans who grew up in the Oliver Bond flat complex and ex-CAB target Johnny Morrissey.
1. Christopher Kinahan Snr
Listed as being at the top of the Kinahan Organised Crime Gang is Christopher Kinahan snr. The veteran trafficker, originally from Phibsboro, founded the cartel and became one of the largest suppliers of drugs in Europe. He is currently living in Dubai and had been staying in one of the Gulf's most luxurious hotels.
According to US officials:
“Irish national” Christopher Vincent Kinahan Senior (Christopher Sr), who is currently based in Dubai, was designated for “acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the KOCG (Kinahan Organised Crime Group).”
The documents state that with a long history of criminality, Christopher Sr has served prison sentences in Ireland, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
These include a six year stint for dealing heroin, two-and-a-half years for possession of cocaine, and four years for money laundering.
“During this time he was building a list of contacts that grew to what became known as the KOCG,” the documents add.
“Christopher Sr’s sons, Daniel Kinahan and Christopher Jr, now manage his drug trafficking operations while Christopher Sr oversees the property portions of the enterprise.
“For example, Christopher Sr has registered a number of companies under aliases or using abbreviations of his name. Christopher Sr has been known to have used false identity documents.”
2. Daniel Kinahan
Daniel Kinahan has risen to become one of the most important figures in the world of boxing - acting as an 'advisor' to a number of world champions including heavyweight Tyson Fury. However the US documents leave no doubt about where the Irish Mafia chief made his money.
They write: "Daniel Joseph Kinahan (Daniel Kinahan), who is currently based in Dubai, was designated for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the KOCG.
“Each member of the KOCG reports to Daniel Kinahan, who is believed to run the day-to-day operations of the organization,” US officials say.
“Daniel Kinahan has instructed KOCG members to send money to a variety of individuals serving prison sentences, including a person convicted of attempted murder on behalf of the KOCG, and an individual imprisoned for murder on behalf of the KOCG.
"Daniel Kinahan, who sources large quantities of cocaine from South America, plays an integral part in organizing the supply of drugs in Ireland, and is attempting to facilitate the importation of cocaine into the United Kingdom. Daniel Kinahan is known to have used false identity documents.”
3. Christopher Kinahan jnr
Daniel's younger brother, Christopher jnr, is also facing sanctions by the US government. Although he has a much lower profile than Daniel, Christopher jnr is said to play a key role in the financial operation of the cartel. He was previously arrested as part of Operation Shovel in Spain but he has not faced major criminal convictions.
According to the US, Christopher jnr has been added to the list for “materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the KOCG”.
“Christopher Jr regularly contributes to a fund that is used to pay KOCG members,” the documents show.
“Additionally, Christopher Jr responds to directives from Daniel Kinahan and has collaborated with other members of the KOCG to transport and sell narcotics in the United Kingdom. Christopher Jr was also caught travelling with a false identity document in Germany.”
4. Sean McGovern
Crumlin-native Sean McGovern first cut his criminal teeth as mobster Liam Byrne's sidekick. He played a key role in the Byrne Organised Crime Group's drug operation in Dublin in the 2010s. He was successfully targeted by the Criminal Assets Bureau who seized a house in Crumlin off him. After becoming the focus of gardai investigating the Kinahan Hutch feud, he left Dublin and is now based in Dubai.
The US describe McGovern as Daniel Kinahan's 'closest confidant".
"Sean Gerard McGovern who is listed as currently based in Dubai, was designated for materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Daniel Kinahan.
“McGovern is Daniel Kinahan’s advisor and closest confidant, and evidence indicates that all dealings with Daniel Kinahan go through Sean McGovern,” the US documents reveal.
“Sean McGovern also has managed communications on behalf of Daniel Kinahan, and he sells multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine.
5. Ian Dixon
Ian Dixon is a relative of Daniel and Christy jnr and has been one of their closest associates since the 00s. He previously worked in the Auld Dubliner bar in Malaga, a known hangout for members of the Kinahan gang. He was also arrested by Spanish police investigating the Hutch-Kinahan feud but never faced any charges.
He is described as: "Ian Thomas Dixon who is also based in Dubai, was designated for materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Daniel Kinahan.
“Ian Dixon has arranged multiple payments on behalf of Daniel Kinahan, as well as moved bulk currency on behalf of Daniel Kinahan in Ireland and the United Kingdom,” the US authorities say.
“Ian Dixon also oversees a fund on behalf of Daniel Kinahan and keeps track of money owed by a narcotics trafficker.
6. Bernard Clancy
Veteran criminal Bernard Clancy is a childhood friend of Daniel Kinahan and grew up beside him in the Oliver Bond Flats in south-inner city Dublin. Since the early 00s, he has spent most of his time in Spain and was previously jailed for drugs offences on the Costa Del Sol.
"Bernard Patrick Clancy, another Dubai-based member, was designated for materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the KOCG," US Law officials write.
“Bernard Clancy is a key KOCG lieutenant, who, among other duties, is tasked by Daniel Kinahan with providing wages to elements within the KOCG and payments to others.”
7. Johnny Morrissey
Johnny Morrissey is a close pal and public supporter of Daniel Kinahan who lives in a luxury home on the Costa Del Sol. Morrissey is so close to Kinahan that he was invited to his wedding in Dubai in the summer of 2017, weeks after gardaí arrested international hitman Imre Arakas as he posed as a tourist in Dublin in an effort to kill Hutch target James ‘Mago’ Gately.
Morrissey has been living in Spain for two decades after he was targeted by the Bureau, who took almost €130,000 from him and froze another €500,000 of his assets.
US official claims: "John Francis Morrissey who is currently based in Spain, was designated for materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the KOCG.
“John Morrissey has worked for the KOCG for several years, including as an enforcer, and facilitates international drug shipments for the organization from South America. John Morrissey is also involved in money laundering.”
Also named by US officials are three companies who will no longer be able to operate in the US.
The three companies that have also been named on the sanctions list include Nero Drinks Company Limited (Nero Drinks), a UK-based alcoholic beverage company.
Nero Drinks was designated for being owned or controlled by, directly or indirectly, John Morrissey, the documents show.
“John Morrissey, who outwardly serves as the Nero Drinks’ brand ambassador, is heavily invested in Nero Drinks and has given a significant portion of the business to Daniel Kinahan to compensate for loads of drugs seized by law enforcement.
“John Morrissey controls and operates Nero Drinks through his wife, the primary shareholder, who is used as a front person for his interests.
The other company is Hoopoe Sports LLC (Hoopoe Sports), a UAE-based sports management and advisory company.
“Hoopoe Sports was designated for being owned or controlled by, directly or indirectly, Ian Dixon,” the US authorities say. “Ian Dixon is a 49 per cent shareholder, and he also receives 80 per cent of Hoopoe Sports’ profits. Ian Dixon is the sole manager of Hoopoe Sports and has full executive power over the company.”
The third company, Ducashew General Trading LLC (Ducashew) is described as a “UAE-based business management consulting company”.
“Ducashew was designated for being owned or controlled by, directly or indirectly, Daniel Kinahan,” the list adds. “Daniel Kinahan runs Ducashew through various individuals and is involved in its financial and business management.”
The US Treasury Department has directed that all property, and interests in property, of the Kinahan gang members and the three associated companies that are in the United States, or in the possession or control of US persons, must be blocked and reported to OFAC.
OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by a US person or persons within or transiting the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.
US citizens violating these sanctions can face civil or criminal penalties.
In a detailed statement, US officials described the Kinahan Organised Crime Group (KOCG) as a major player in the international Drugs Trade.
“The KOCG emerged in the late 1990s and early 2000s as the most powerful organised crime group operating in Ireland.
“Since then, Irish courts have concluded that the KOCG is a murderous organisation involved in the international trafficking of drugs and firearms.
“Criminal activities of the KOCG, including international money laundering, generating proceeds in the United Kingdom, which are then pooled together and passed to local criminals before being handed to Irish organised crime group members and laundered out of the United Kingdom.
“The KOCG also frequently uses Dubai as a facilitation hub for its illicit activities.”
The statement also refers to the Kinahan gang's bloody gangland war in Ireland with the Hutch mob.
“Since February 2016, the KOCG has been involved in a gang war with another group in Ireland and Spain, resulting in numerous murders, including of two innocent bystanders.”
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