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Close Encounter National Crime Agency officer describes secretly filming Christopher Kinahan Sr 'up close'

NCA officer Craig Taylor (not his real name) has been tracking the Kinahan cartel since 2006.

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Christy Kinahan Sr

Christy Kinahan Sr

Christy Kinahan Sr

A National Crime Agency (NCA) officer in the UK has recalled a time where he got “up close” with Christopher Kinahan Sr and secretly filmed him.

NCA officer Craig Taylor (not his real name) has been tracking the Kinahan cartel since 2006 and revealed the challenges and dangers of getting close to the most senior member of the criminal gang.

“Most assignments have provided various levels of bum twitching. Still, I’ve managed to get up close to the main man [Christopher Kinahan Sr], who fortunately didn’t pay any attention to me because I was filming. But I was quite nervous,” he told The Observer.

Taylor explained that Kinahan didn't appear to notice the plain-clothes NCA officer beside him and, as a result, he acquired fresh intelligence in an attempt to dismantle the Kinahan cartel.

However, Taylor could not share further details of the encounter for security reasons.

He said that there have been incidents where police investigating the group have been put at risk.

“Colleagues have been approached by some very, very undesirable people, some in the company of convicted armed robbers, others with affiliations to political groups... and have been challenged. It’s very intimidating. These people are saying: ‘We know who you are.’

“It’s not a good place to be, it’s very uncomfortable but we work under the risk of compromise. With the Kinahans there have been compromises. It hasn’t compromised the investigation but it’s compromised them [the officers] as an individual, which at the time put them in a very difficult position.”

An NCA officer recalled one occasion where a colleague had to be rescued: “During an investigation peripheral to the Kinahans, they were chased down the road with a knife. Another was chased in a car.”

Last week, the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued a press release in which it detailed sanctions against Christopher Snr and his sons Daniel and Christopher Jnr, along with other members of the “Kinahan Organized Crime Group (KOCG) for their criminal activities.”

A US government official quoted in the press release noted that KOCG smuggles narcotics to Europe, launders money and commits murders as part of its criminal enterprise.

Matt Horne, deputy director of investigations at the NCA, described the Kinahans as a “high threat, high harm” organisation that plays a significant role in the supply of drugs to Europe.

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He said that the hierarchy of the KOCG has convinced senior Kinahan members that they are “untouchable.”

“You won’t catch them running out of a car with five kilos of cocaine, that’s for sure. They’re far removed from that level of criminality: the cartel structure is extremely hierarchical,” said an NCA investigator.

“The key difference is the high level of violence they use. That really marks them out, along with the lengths they go to to make sure that vendettas are followed through,” an NCA officer added.

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