US sanctions senior Kinahan gang members in international action

Christopher Snr and his two sons, Daniel and Christopher Jnr, have all been placed on an Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) list, a list of the US Treasury Department.

Daniel Kinahan and brother Christopher Kinahan jr

Niall Donald

The United States government has imposed sanctions on seven key members of the Kinahan organised crime group following a major international policing operation.

Christopher Snr and his two sons, Daniel and Christopher Jnr, have all been placed on an Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) list, a list of the US Treasury Department.

The moves comes 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.

“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.

Cartel boss Daniel Kinahan

“Treasury is proud to have coordinated so closely with our international counterparts, and the U.S. government will continue to use every available resource to dismantle these criminal networks.”

The sanctions mean that US banks and companies are barred from doing business with the seven named individuals or with three businesses also named by the Treasury Department.

The statement said: “As a result of today’s action, 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 Office of Foreign Assets Control].”

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.

Dublin gangster Christy Kinahan

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, generate 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.”

US officials also described the role Chirsty Snr, Daniel and Chistopher jnr play in the operation of the cartel.

"Irish national Christopher Vincent Kinahan Senior (Christopher Sr.), currently based in Dubai, was designated for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the KOCG.

"Demonstrative of a long history of criminality, Christopher Sr. has served prison sentences in Ireland, the Netherlands, and Belgium, including: six years 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.

"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."

The US government also deal a massive blow to Daniel's efforts to 'sportswash' his reputation by detailing him as the day-to-day controller of the drugs gang.

WIrish national Daniel Joseph Kinahan (Daniel Kinahan), 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. 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."

Daniel's brother, Christopher jnr, is described as playing a significant role in organising the group's finances.

"Irish national Christopher Vincent Kinahan Junior (Christopher Jr.), 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, the KOCG.

"Christopher Jr. regularly contributes to a fund that is used to pay KOCG members. 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."

At a press conference this morning, gardai confirmed that there was a warrant issued for Daniel's sidekick, Sean McGovern.

Sean McGovern, originally from Crumlin but now living in Dubai, is wanted to face charges of murder and organised crime related offences.

Assistant Commissioner John O'Driscoll, head of the garda's investigations into organised and serious crime, said that they are monitoring his movements and are appealing for information on him.

He said they possessed a significant wealth and power which was exercised in a campaign of murder in Ireland directed by the group's hierarchy.

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To date the Garda's Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) have seized €20m in drugs, €7.5m in cash and numerous firearms linked to the cartel.

The press conference also heard the DEA and NCA estimate the gang's operation is worth over a €1bn.

Gregory Gatjanis, associate director of OFAC, said the cartel had started on the streets of Dublin two decades ago but that now its tentacles spread around the world.

Arrest warrant for Sean McGovern

He said through the sanctions imposed it now joins the ranks of international crime gangs including the Italian Camorra, the Japanese Yakuza, and the Russian gang 'Thieves in law.'

Wendy Woodcock, of the US Drug Enforcement Agency, said that the Kinahan gang prey and profit from the addicted while living lavish lifestyles in Dubai.

She appealed for anyone with information which will financially disrupt the Kinahans or lead to their arrest, to submit tips to

Ms Woodcock said that their dedicated law enforcement and intelligence officers will work "effortlessly and tirelessly" to follow up every lead and bring the KOCG to justice.

The NCA's Deputy Director Matt Horne said that they have prevented eight threats to life or murders on UK streets linked to the gang by sharing intelligence with international agencies.

He said that despite several successes, the leadership continued to evade capture and going to extreme lengths to evade capture.

Mr Horne said that this included the use of corruption and counter-surveillance, but that these sanctions will severly hamper the Kinahan gang which includes freezing their bank accounts.

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