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close shave Dutch court demands details of meeting where Daniel Kinahan was nearly arrested in Dubai

As police considered moving in on the Netherland's most-wanted man Ridouan Taghi, they suddenly realised that the lookalike was in fact the Irish mafia boss.

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Ridouan Taghi (top) and Daniel Kinahan (bottom)

Ridouan Taghi (top) and Daniel Kinahan (bottom)

Ridouan Taghi (top) and Daniel Kinahan (bottom)

A Dutch court has demanded details of a meeting in Dubai that almost led to the mistaken arrest of Irish crime boss Daniel Kinahan two years ago. 

The trials of a number of leading members of the Mocro Mafia - including mob boss Ridouan Taghi - are currently taking place under high-security in Amsterdam.

Taghi is a leading member of a 'super-cartel' who control a large portion of Europe's cocaine trade.

But now, his trial is set to hear evidence of a bizarre incident when Dutch police nearly swooped on Daniel Kinahan in Dubai - after mistaking him for Taghi.

The court wants a series of questions answered about the observations by Dubai police of the meeting that took place a hotel lobby the Emirate state in the summer of 2019.

According to the trusted Dutch website AD, the meeting involved two lawyers who were under surveillance at the time as Dutch police suspected that they had flown out to meet their client, gangster Ridouan Taghi, who was wanted in the Netherlands.

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Ridouan Taghi, the crime boss who is alleged to be an ally of Daniel Kinahan

Ridouan Taghi, the crime boss who is alleged to be an ally of Daniel Kinahan

Ridouan Taghi, the crime boss who is alleged to be an ally of Daniel Kinahan

Dubai police saw the duo meet with another client but then watched as they were joined by a fourth man, who it was initially thought was Taghi, the report has claimed.

However, as police considered moving in on the Netherland's most-wanted man, they suddenly realised that the lookalike was in fact the Irish mafia boss Kinahan and not Taghi.

AD news site has claimed that the hunt for Taghi, operating under the name 26CapeCoral, got a tip that the Amsterdam lawyer was due to meet him in Dubai.

On June 19, 2019, the lawyer was seen in Schiphol airport with his colleague. The pair flew to Dubai and were followed by undercover officers when they landed.

The pair were seen meeting their own client, another suspected criminal known as Khalid J, in the lobby of a hotel.

On the second day of their visit a fourth person joined the meeting which Dutch police later reported: “Has similarities with Ridouan Taghi in appearance.”

They then asked their colleagues in Dubai to arrest the individual but hours later local police said they would not detain the man because they were not convinced it was Taghi.

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According to AD, the police report does not address the identity of the person mistaken for Taghi who is wearing a cap and glasses but sources have said that officers in the United Arab Emirates immediately knew him to be Kinahan.

Now, the court in Amsterdam says it wants to know exactly what information had been gathered in Dubai during the surveillance operation.

The court wants the Public Prosecution Service to provide any additional photographs or video recordings taken during the operation.

The Dutch police previously wrote in an official report that no information had been received from their Dubai colleagues about what exactly they had found during the operation.

However, the court has said it wants to know “on the basis of what information” it was decided to observe the lawyers, and what further investigative activities have been carried out in the Netherlands by the police.

The court is now asking, among other things, whether there was any more Criminal Intelligence Team (TCI) information. And whether further research has been done into that information and what the results of that research were.

Taghi, who attended Kinahan’s flash wedding in the United Arab Emirates in 2017, was later arrested in a dramatic bust by Dubai police authorities and returned to the Netherlands where he is now on trial.

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Daniel Kinahan

Daniel Kinahan

Daniel Kinahan

He is currently being held in a maximum-security prison where he is facing charges relating to 10 murders, drug trafficking and leading a criminal organisation suspected of shooting dead a lawyer.

Daniel Kinahan has been living in Dubai since 2015 where he passes himself off as a bona fide businessman who is active, among other things, as a boxing promoter.

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Dubai Marina, United Arab Emirates, Middle East

Dubai Marina, United Arab Emirates, Middle East

Dubai Marina, United Arab Emirates, Middle East

Although he is wanted for questioning in relation to a number of serious offences, including conspiracy to murder and drug crimes, Daniel Kinahan has no criminal convictions.

Police forces across the world suspect he holds a leading role in a billion-euro drugs cartel, one which spans three continents and has been linked to the murder of countless people across the world.

In September, the ‘Cocaine Insights 1’ report, citing Europol intelligence, said that Irish drug trafficking organisations (DTOs) “appear to be gaining greater shares of the cocaine market in Europe” along with other gangs.

It said that a shift in the south American crime landscape had allowed new actors to become involved in the cocaine distribution, including “less prominent trafficking DTOs (that) also originate from Ireland, Poland and Serbia.”

“One example of an attempt at collusion among different groups may have been observed in 2017 in Dubai, involving individuals with ties to Irish, Italian, Bosnian and Dutch DTOs,” it states.

The meeting is a reference to the wedding of cartel leader Daniel at the seven-star Burj al Arab hotel that was attended by a number of international criminals including Chilean drug lord Ricard ‘El Rico’ Vega, Taghi, and Camorra don Imperiale.

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