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Daniel Kinahan rubbishes African crime links despite leaked 'narcotrafficking' file

Daniel Kinahan may have laughed off allegations but WikiLeaks documents prove his criminal tentacles stretch as far as Sierra Leone

Daniel Kinahan laughed off his Africa connection with James English

Neil Fetherstonhaugh and Nicola Tallant

Daniel Kinahan may have laughed off allegations that he had “supplied guns to rebel kids in Africa” yesterday - but documents on WikiLeaks claim his criminal tentacles stretch as far as Sierra Leone.

As part of his campaign to present himself as a hard-working businessman who only wants "to help people" the gangster sat down for an interview with James English for a new episode of his podcast Anything Goes.

In a clip for the interview, to be broadcast on St Patrick's Day, Kinahan takes aim at the media for making him out to be “this bad person”.

In a brazen bid to dismiss his links to organised crime, he declared: “The things they wrote about me, the newspapers wrote about me that I supplied guns to these rebel kids in Africa, I had a billion dollars of cocaine that went through America.

"Come on.”

However, The Sunday World can reveal that according to documents published by WikiLeaks, SOCA (the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency) had identified an individual “of interest” who they believed represented Kinahan’s business interests in Africa.

The cable states that this “individual of interest” is a "Lebanese-Brit who works out of Birmingham and visits Sierra Leone every six weeks."

“The family is active in the mining sector here, and (named man) reportedly comes to Sierra Leone to do charity work in the Kono District.

“According to SOCA, however, he is connected to Daniel Kinahan, an Irish businessman involved in narcotrafficking throughout Europe and currently the target of a major investigation.

“SOCA believes that (named man) represents Kinahan in Sierra Leone, and that Kinahan may be interested in expanding his network to West Africa.”

The details were contained in a dossier on the British businessman that had been compiled following a surveillance operation carried out in Sierra Leone on behalf of SOCA.

The cable, sent from the US embassy in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, revealed that a number of Europeans were putting themselves forward as partners for Colombian groups, who were already active in the region.

According to the leaked cable, the businessman made regular visits to Sierra Leone, representing Daniel Kinahan, whose father was believed by the agency to be interested in expanding the network to West Africa.

Meanwhile, for Kinahan, the podcast interview is just the latest in a series of press statements, pictures and propaganda that he has issued in recent months in a bid to clean up his image.

The popular podcast has previously featured chats with a host of MTK boxers, many of whom have taken the opportunity to praise drug boss Kinahan.

As he sits down with English, Kinahan presents himself as a victim of a media who “for me, manipulates (sic) everyone.”

“They create the reality for people for the future,” he says. “For what they want to think, how they sleep, what they eat, what they buy.

He also blames the media and “fat cats” for the ongoing controversy over the Josh Taylor and Jack Catterall fight that is now the subject of an investigation by the British Boxing Board of Control

“Josh is a very dear friend of mine and so is Jack, a very dear friend of mine,” Kinahan says. “I know Jack’s kids, (they’ve) been over, his girlfriend. I know Josh’s girlfriend, I’ve spent a long time with them.

“Really good people. They've done nothing wrong.

"So what's happening now with them is the media and the fat cats will make Josh and Jack at each other or their girlfriends at each other

“So, do I think there is corruption, if I’m being honest, no. Do I think it was massive incompetence? Yes, one billion per cent.

In a later snippet he declares: “I grew up the way I grew up.

“I never said I was an angel but I’m proud of where I was born and I’m proud of how I was born and what I’ve turned things into.

“I want to just turn things into a positive and I want to help people.”

He also describes, for the first time, how he narrowly avoided being shot in the Regency Hotel attack.

Kinahan was the target of the group of gunmen who burst into the hotel in 2016 and opened fire.

He fled to safety on foot but his associate David Byrne (34), from Crumlin, was shot dead and a number of other men were wounded but survived

“I’ve never told anyone this story,” Kinahan says in the new trailer for his "world exclusive" interview with English.

“I seen (sic) there, maybe six metres from me, (as he stands up and imitates a man taking a gun out of his waistband) and then I see the gun at the back and then I go.

"And then (I hear) ‘boom boom’ shots let go behind me.

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