Two weeks ago, Thomas “Bomber” Kavanagh, the “top man” in the U.K. for the crime gang ‘Kinahans,’ was out in jail for twenty-one years. With attention getting drawn toward the Kinahans in recent weeks, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency offered rewards of up to $5m (£3.8m) for information leading to the arrest of either Daniel Kinahan or his father Christopher Snr. or brother Christopher Jnr.; U.S. sanctions streamlined with the temptation of the $5m award.
The Kinahan cartel was formed during Ireland’s “Celtic Tiger” era, which started in the 90s and ended in the mid-2010s. Since 2016, the group has been involved in a war with their rival Hutch gang in Dublin and Spain. The drug war has resulted in 18 lives ending. The sanctions came with a warm welcome from the Commissioner of Ireland’s police force, Drew Harris; while speaking at a news conference in Dublin, he directed his words toward senior gang members by saying the members couldn’t “hide from justice forever.”
Among the seven individuals sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury is Daniel Kinahan, who has previously worked as an advisor to boxer Tyson Fury. Daniel Kinahan is a co-founder of the MTK Global agency and a well-known figure in boxing circles, representing several of boxing’s top fighters, including Tyson Fury and Michael Conlan. John O’Driscoll, the Assistant Commissioner of Ireland’s Police Force, denounced Kinahan’s standing in boxing, telling reporters at a news conference in Dublin that his influence was “destroying or attempting to destroy a sport so important to inner-city communities.”
America has chosen to go after a few significant companies and individuals. The companies currently facing sanctions are two UAE-based companies, Hoopoe Sports and Ducashew General Trading, as is Nero Drinks, which is based in Glasgow and produces Nero Vodka. The U.S. claims that although John Morrissey owns or controls Nero Drinks, he had “given a significant portion of the business to Daniel Kinahan to compensate for loads of drugs repossessed by law enforcement.”
Even though Kinahan co-founded MTK Global agency, he cut ties with the company five years ago. Kinahan’s links to the boxing ring remain unphased as friends continue to defend the known drug trader, as just weeks ago, he was seen with Tyson Fury, one of the world’s top boxers. Boxing chiefs have gone so far as to defend Kinahan’s involvement in boxing. Last month, World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaimán expressed his “whole support” for the Irishman’s continued participation.
The sanctions mean to target who the Irish High Court has previously named as the controller and manager of the gang; Mr. Kinahan, his father, Christopher Snr. – a convicted drug trafficker and alleged founder of the gang, and his brother Christopher Jnr., who the notice accused of working with the gang to “sell and transport narcotics in the U.K.”
From Britans NCA, Matt Horne, who was involved in the international operation, said that the American actions taken out today were “a huge blow to the Kinahans…they thought they were untouchable, but we will explore every opportunity to disrupt their criminal activities. We will not stop here.” The officials’ positive reassurance stood with the Gardai giving journalists information about British and Irish involvement in the international drug ring.
Treasury officials said Mr. Kinahan “is believed to run the organization’s day-to-day operations.” With a tempting offer of $5mil on the table, the Kinahans’ rival gang will drop the dime on them, perhaps one of their own will. There seems to no longer be a definitive continuance of the gang that has swept the streets for nearly four decades. As law enforcement continues to zero in on the Kinahans gang and sanctions tighten, Kinahan will be forced into a corner even his friends can’t get him out of.