WBC President distances himself from Daniel Kinahan, says Dubai meeting due to ‘absolute ignorance of the situation’

World Boxing Council President describes meeting as ‘innocent mistake’
World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman, boxing promoter Ahmed Öner and Daniel Kinahan in Dubai last month.

World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman, boxing promoter Ahmed Öner and Daniel Kinahan in Dubai last month.

Eoghan Moloney

The President of the World Boxing Council, Mauricio Sulaiman, has distanced himself and the WBC from Daniel Kinahan in a statement issued on Monday.

This comes just weeks after Sulaiman met Kinahan in Dubai, posed for a photograph with him, and said that he would receive the “full backing” of the WBC, in his “quest to bring benefits to boxing”.

Sulaiman had said that the work Probellum is doing, “in coordination with MTK, and Kinahan’s plans, could make Dubai one of the great meccas of boxing in the near future.”

He also said Kinahan was a “character who has been crossed out and labelled as a person linked to criminal groups, thus creating prejudice against a large part of the world boxing community.

"I am nobody to judge any person, and that has been the policy of our organization, to combat all types of discrimination and abuse of power, before any person and group,” he adds.

Sulaiman today backtracked on this and said he felt it “necessary” to make it clear “that at no time have we [the WBC] had any relationship with Daniel Kinahan”.

“I made an innocent mistake, due to absolute ignorance of the situation. In this way, I confirm that the World Boxing Council and all its members absolutely reject any action that is detrimental to human beings and we will continue, as always, in total compliance with the laws of all countries in the world,” Sulaiman said in a statement posted on the WBC’s website on Easter Monday.

This comes six days after the US Treasury Department offered a $5m reward for information leading to the disruption of the Kinahan Organised Crime Group, which named Daniel, along with his father and brother, Christopher Sr and Jr, as the heads of the cartel.

Sanctions were placed on the Kinahans, along with four others deemed to be working for or with the crime group. Three companies deemed to be connected to the gang and its members were also the subject of sanctions by the US government.

Four of the gang's most trusted members are also listed including key associate Sean McGovern(36) , currently based in Dubai, who is described as Daniel Kinahan's "advisor and closest confidant".

Three others are Ian Dixon (32) who controls financial payments of the gang; Bernard Clancy (44) who organises wage payments and; Spanish based John Morrissey (61) who is described as an enforcer and facilitates drug shipments from South America.

Three companies have also been added to the sanctions list by the US Department of Treasury, including Hoopoe Sports LLC, a sport management company based in the UAE.

The sanctions imposed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) means that all property, or interests in property, linked to the named associates and three companies within the US must be reported and blocked.

This includes a ban on US companies doing business with the designated members, their finances in American banks being frozen, and not being able to fly with US airlines. People based in the US are also banned from acting on behalf of the Kinahan Organised Crime Group (KOCG).

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