mob merger | 

The Kinahan cartel backed Scotland's infamous Lyons mob in gangland feud, politician says

'The Costa Del Sol is a bit of a criminals' playground, the Lyons formed an allegiance with the Kinahans,' a Scottish politician has claimed

Russell Findlay

Neil Fetherstonhaugh and Nicola Tallant

AN outspoken politician has revealed the extent of how organised crime has infiltrated football in Scotland.

Scottish MP Russell Findlay recently raised the issue in parliament when he described how the Kinahan crime cartel, that had just been sanctioned by the US Government, was working in partnership with the feared Glasgow-based Lyons gang.

Speaking at Holyrood, Mr Findlay also said he believed that Scottish football was "contaminated by drugs money" in a similar way to the world of professional boxing.

Referring to one Kinahan gang member to be sanctioned, Johnny Morrisssey and his vodka company Nero Drinks, he said it was widely known that the Kinahan cartel was in partnership with the notorious Lyons gang, "making vast profits from killing Scots".

Findlay added: "Journalists in Ireland and elsewhere have taken great personal risks to reveal how the Kinahan cartel's dirty money has infiltrated boxing.

Russell Findlay

"But it is my contention that Scottish football is also contaminated by drugs money."

Speaking to Sunday World's Nicola Tallant on her Crime World podcast, Mr Findlay expanded how organised crime had infiltrated into the football world as well.

"Boxing has always been associated with criminality," he said. "Way back, I was aware of a boxing promoter in Glasgow, and even more than one, who effectively were, what you would term nowadays, as organised criminals.

"Football in Scotland also has a serious problem, in my opinion, on two or perhaps three main levels.

"One is the ownership of clubs. There have been a number of clubs over the years identified as having been influenced or part owned by organised criminals.

"It's not always immediately obvious (because) it's usually done with front people but that is something that remains a problem.

"There's at least one club in Scotland, I believe, that is effectively under the direction of organised crime.

"(One of the) other two issues are the world of football agents.

"Now, I'm not saying agents always had a great reputation. But we've seen a number of organised criminals in Scotland deciding to target young footballers and make a lot of money out of them through transfers and through their earnings.

"Just last week, a newspaper here identified an individual, without naming him, who was heavily involved in the football transfer market and is facing organised crime charges, so that's another element.

"And 12 months ago the Scottish Government, along with the police and some clubs, produced a video warning players of this phenomenon of the gangland agents.

"There's been suggestions over the years of organised crime influencing certain players and events to make money from gambling."

Former crime journalist Findlay, who was the victim of an acid attack at his home in 2015, also discussed the connections with the notorious Glasgow-based Lyons gang and the Kinahans.

The Kinahans are described as almost a "Scottish-Irish mob" as the connections were so strong between them.

"I don't know how it happened but as the Costa Del Sol is a bit of a criminals' playground, the Lyons formed an allegiance with the Kinahans.

"Fast forward a few years and the hitman, William Paterson, who had spent many years on the run and was subject to the usual wanted posters and so on, rather embarrassingly decided, having fathered a child with his long-term partner, that he would hand himself in because he reckoned he would be acquitted of [a] murder.

"He has now been convicted of that but it seems to have sparked a chain of events where the Lyons, from being on the back foot and effectively having had to flee Scotland, were now in the ascendancy.

"They had this Kinahan backing, if you like, but they also had the drugs importation on a vast scale. It's all very well controlling the streets but half the problem is getting regular, safe consistent supplies in.

"So, it was quid pro quo in that the Lyons could give them access to Scotland right across the central belt from Glasgow to Edinburgh."

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