mobster freed | 

Kinahan ally and super-cartel chief Edin Gacanin freed in Dubai after extradition ‘error’

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

Edin Gacinin and coaine seized during international policing operation

Kinahan cartel boss Daniel Kinahan

Edin Gacanin, the boss of the 'Tito and Dino' cartel

Anthony Alfredo Martínez Meza

Eamon DillonSunday World

Balkan mob boss Edin Gačanin, a guest at Daniel Kinahan’s infamous 2017 wedding party, is reported to have been freed from custody in Dubai three weeks ago.

His arrest last November was one of 49 in a multi-national police operation announced by Europol against the super cartel that includes the leaders of the Kinahan cartel.

Gačanin is regarded by international police forces as one of the world’s biggest drugs traffickers and heads up a Balkan-Dutch gang dubbed the Tito and Dino cartel.

But just two months after his arrest was hailed by Europol, it has been reported that Gačanin has been freed despite attempts by the authorities in The Netherlands to have him extradited.

Two Dutch leaders of the super cartel were released after the official extradition request was rejected according to the news website, ad.nl.

A Dutch spokesperson told the news outlet they are working on trying to find out what went wrong with the process but admitted they no longer know where Gačanin since his release on 29 December.

A lawyer for the Dutch-Bosnian national told ad.nl he was released “according to legal regulations” and is still waiting on the extradition process.

A spokesman for the Dutch Public Prosecution Service denied any mistake were made on their part and the extradition papers were sent on time.

"We know the stories about the documents being submitted too late. That is not true. We are working to find out what exactly is the cause."

He added: “We don’t know where the two suspects are now. We have no information about their whereabouts and their possibilities to cross the border,”

The super-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 November’s police operation were announced by Europol and took place some weeks earlier involving four EU countries along with the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

Among the six arrests in Dubai were two men believed to key members of the Kinahan Cartel, Panamanian citizen Anthony Alfredo Martínez Meza and British national Ryan James Hale.

Anthony Alfredo Martínez Meza

They are wanted in Spain where police say their group managed to ship 10 tons of cocaine worth €760 million through the country in just two years.

Martínez is suspected of being the connection who arranged to get Colombian cocaine shipped into Europe.

It is claimed Martinez – who used the alias ‘Hassan’ in encrypted phone messages – struck a deal with Daniel Kinahan in 2017 after the arrest of Peruvian drugs lord Ricardo ‘El Rico’ Riquelme.

Kinahan cartel boss Daniel Kinahan

One arm of the criminal network, of which Hale is alleged to be boss, was tasked with laundering the gang’s drug money.

The investigation into him in Spain started with a massive cocaine seizure in 2020, with more evidence being gleaned when French and Belgian police cracked an encrypted messaging service used by the gang.

Spanish police later identified Hale as the person sending messages to find out if the €53 million consignment had been stolen by a rival gang or found by the police.

Hale was described as living in luxury in Marbella where profits were invested in mansions, jewellery and top-end sports cars, including a €300,000 Lamborghini.

Edin Gacanin, the boss of the 'Tito and Dino' cartel

A US Drug Enforcement Administration report, details of which were first published by the Bosnian news outlet Istraga in 2019, identified the members of the super cartel.

Other members of the super cartel arrested in Dubai have previously been extradited without a hitch.

These include Raffaele Imperiale, now offering to become a Sate witness as he faces serious criminal charges in Italy.

Also arrested in Dubai was Ridouan Taghi, now on trial in The Netherlands for ordering murders as the head of a drugs gang.


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