US offers $5mn reward for arrest of alleged Irish crime lord linked to boxing
The United States has issued strong 'Russia-style' sanctions as well as a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the leaders of the so-called 'Kinahan Organized Crime Group' whose de facto leader, Daniel Kinahan, has been hailed as one of the most powerful men in global boxing.
The reward also applies to two other alleged senior members of the group, Daniel Kinahan's father Christy Sr and brother Christopher Jr.
Daniel Kinahan has been named in Irish court as the day-to-day leader of the cartel.
This comes after a joint operation by authorities in Ireland, the UK and the United States designed to destroy what they describe as the trio's criminal empire which allegedly involves a sophisticated drug-smuggling operation, as well as money-laundering, arms trafficking and numerous instances of murder. Daniel Kinahan has consistently denied the allegations against him.
The US Department of State is offering a reward of up to $5m for information leading to the 'financial disruption' of the Kinahan organsied crime gang or the arrest of its leaders, the US Ambassador to Ireland has said | Read more: https://t.co/7qwXOvkAvJpic.twitter.com/s5Oox9tlJa— RTÉ News (@rtenews) April 12, 2022
This is only the 'first phase' in work to tackle the Kinahan crime gang, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has said. He added that remaining members of the gang can run but 'can't hide from justice forever' | Read more: https://t.co/7qwXOvkAvJpic.twitter.com/YDHA9oed40— RTÉ News (@rtenews) April 12, 2022
Speaking at a press conference in Dublin early on Tuesday, the US ambassador to Ireland, Claire Cronin, stated that destroying the group “is an urgent priority for President Biden and the US government.”
Gregory Gatjanis of the US Dept of the Treasury put the 'Kinahan Cartel' on the same level of notoriety as Italian mafia organization the Camorra and Japan's yakuza.
The sanctions placed upon the Kinahans – all three of whom currently reside in Dubai – mirror those placed upon some wealthy Russians in recent weeks, and will see their US assets potentially frozen as well limiting, or ending entirely, their ability to business with various US entities.
The US allegations also state that Daniel Kinahan – who fled Ireland in 2016 after a failed assassination attempt on his life – is responsible for the importation of large quantities of cocaine into Ireland and the UK.
The infamous Regency Hotel Attack in which Daniel Kinahan was allegedly the primary target sparked a vicious gang feud in the Irish capital in which at least 18 people were killed.
Tyson Fury namechecks Daniel Kinahan and thanks him for setting up “the biggest fight in British Boxing history”...... 👀 pic.twitter.com/dvw6GxOY6x— Barry Whyte (@BarryWhyte85) June 10, 2020
Since moving to Dubai, Daniel Kinahan has become known as a power player in the world of boxing and was key to brokering a fight between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, which subsequently fell apart.
Kinahan has also been credited in some circles with being crucial to Fury's decision to return to the sport after experiencing struggles with depression.
There is no suggestion that Tyson Fury has been part of any criminal wrongdoing.
Kinahan has also been photographed in the company of UFC star Darren Till, who also has no links to criminality, as well as several other well-known fighters.
I’ve known Daniel for sometime, i have huge respect for what he’s doing for boxing. We need people like Dan to keep the sport alive. One of the nicest guys I’ve met. https://t.co/6MrajYsfLi— Amir Khan (@amirkingkhan) February 8, 2021
Hoopoe Sports, a sports management company linked to Kinahan, is among the businesses which have been hit by sanctions. The company's website lists the likes of Billy Joe Saunders and Michael Conlan among its clients.
Saunders previously hailed Daniel Kinahan's role in securing his world title fight with Canelo Alvarez, saying: "Big thank you obviously to MTK Global and also thank you to my advisor, Daniel, as well because without him, this fight wouldn’t have happened.
“He was the one who secured it over the line and gave me that bit of advice to say ‘yay or ‘nay’ and what I should do, so thank you very much.”
Boxing company MTK Global was founded by Daniel Kinahan in 2012, though they now say he has stepped away from the business.
It also emerged in a court case that former world champion Carl Frampton doesn't pay MTK Global for its management services, something which sparked speculation as to how MTK Global obtains its funds.
World famous boxing promoter Bob Arum has previously refused to be drawn in to a debate as to Kinahan's alleged links to criminality.
“[Kinahan] has been very honorable [in our dealings],” Arum said last year.
“What he did before, what he didn’t do before; f**king (Don) King stomped a guy’s head in and did that stop King from being a major promoter for most of my career?
“What the f**k are we talking about?”
It remains to be seen if any fighters who have links to Kinahan will see their ability to fight in the United States affected by the sanctions, but if figures within boxing aren't quite convinced of Kinahan's alleged links to the criminal underworld the US authorities most certainly seem to be.
“The Kinahan organized crime group (KOCG) smuggles deadly narcotics, including cocaine, to Europe, and is a threat to the entire licit economy through its role in international money laundering,” said Brian E Nelson, who is the US under-secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.
“Criminal groups like the KOCG prey on the most vulnerable in society and bring drug-related crime and violence, including murder, to the countries in which they operate. Treasury is proud to have co-ordinated so closely with our international counterparts, and the US government will continue to use every available resource to dismantle these criminal networks.”
None of the fighters mentioned in this article are alleged to have any links to organized crime.