cartel crackdown | 

Key Kinahan crime ally reportedly arrested in Dubai as heat turned up on super cartel

Edin Gačanin, leader of the Tito and Dino gang is the latest Kinahan wedding guest to have been arrested.

Edin Gačanin

Eamon DillonSunday World

Balkan mob boss Edin Gačanin, a guest at Daniel Kinahan’s infamous 2017 wedding party, is reported to have been arrested in Dubai in a multi-national operation against the super cartel.

The Bosnian is wanted by authorities in The Netherlands where other Kinahan guests and cartel members are now also on trial for drugs-trafficking and murder.

Daniel Kinahan

The 40-year-old native of Sarajevo who also holds a Dutch passport has been named in Dutch and Bosnian media as being one of the 49 people arrested.

The cartel, in which the Kinahans play a key role, are suspected of importing at least a third of the cocaine that arrives in Europe.

Details of the police operation were announced today by Europol and took place earlier this month involving four EU countries along with the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

Edin Gačanin, leader of the Tito and Dino gang is the latest Kinahan wedding guest to have been arrested.

Ridouan Taghi is on trial for gang-related charges including murder and drug trafficking in The Netherlands after previously being extradited from Dubai.

Trafficker Ridouan Taghi

Naoufal Fassih is serving a lengthy sentence there as well after being convicted for a range of crimes including attempted murder.

Raffaele Imperiale, considered one of the biggest drug traffickers in the world, was arrested last year at his Dubai home and flown to Rome in March to face charges.

Ricardo 'El Rico' Riquelme Vega a Dutch-Chilean trafficker and one of Daniel Kinahan’s closet criminal contacts got an11 year sentence last year.

Christy Kinahan sr and his two sons Daniel and Christopher jr have since been sanctioned by the US and $5 million bounty place on them.

Details of the operation have emerged today with authorities in The Netherlands and Spain releasing information on their roles.

Naoufal Fassih Pic: Collins Courts© Collins

The Civil Guard in Spain carried out raids on 8 November in Malaga, Madrid and Barcelona resulting in the arrest of 15 people, including three “High Value Targets”.

They said the operation began with the seizure, by the Civil Guard, of a container in the Port of Valencia in March 2020, through which they intended to smuggle 698 kg of cocaine from Panama.

It uncovered a smuggling network through the ports of Barcelona, Valencia and Algeciras, as well as a complex corporate network of real estate investments in the Costa del Sol area in to launder the profits.

“It has been possible to identify the leader of this organization, a British citizen linked to the Costa del Sol and who had to leave Spain due to an attempted kidnapping against him, moving to Dubai, a place from where he continued directing and coordinating the criminal activities of the organization.”

Raffaele Imperiale

They also said the supplier of the drug was identified, as a Panamanian citizen also living in Dubai, who organised shipments from the port of Manzanillo in Panama.

The criminal network had two separate structures, one for getting the cocaine into Europe and the other for laundering the cash.

Earlier today the Dutch Public Prosecution Service said a suspect arrested in Dubai is a 40-year-old Dutchman, who is also a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He became the target for police after a series of intercepted encrypted Sky messages.

Richard Eduardo Riquelme Vega, known as `El Rico’

“The man is not only suspected of importing large quantities of cocaine. He is also suspected of organising the import of almost 8,000 kilos of raw materials for the production of amphetamine.”

“The raw materials for drug production came via the port of Antwerp with a company in the Netherlands as final destination.

According to the Dutch authorities this man “probably played an important leading role in the importation of the prohibited goods.”

“This includes a batch of approximately 1800 kilos of cocaine that was imported via the port of Hamburg in 2020 with destination the Netherlands.”


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