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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Irish Police Request Charges Against Kinahan Cartel Leaders, Who No Longer Dominate Irish Organized Crime

"Socalj" for Borderland Beat

The Irish Garda has completed a major criminal investigation into the leadership figures of the Kinahan Cartel, submitting a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for a decision on criminal charges against them.

The crimes investigated were committed in the Irish Republic and are linked to the cartel’s drug-trafficking business and its dispute, which escalated into a bloody feud with the Hutch gang, resulting in 18 dead.

Many Garda officers believed that US authorities were the most likely to bring the Kinahans to justice, mainly because of the power of US law enforcement and the rewards of up to $5 million offered for information that would lead to criminal charges.

However, there is now renewed hope the leadership figures of the cartel, who have been based mainly in Dubai for much of the past decade, will be charged in the Republic and extradited there to face trial. The Garda file has been under review by the DPP for several months and there is optimism within Irish law-enforcement charges will be approved.

Completing the major Garda investigation and submitting the file into the cartel’s top tier is very significant as its founder, Christy Kinahan Sr, has not been before the courts in Ireland for more than two decades. 

He has never been charged with any cartel-related or violent crimes in Ireland. In the 1980s, he served time for dealing heroin, and later charges included passport fraud and money laundering.

His sons, Daniel and Christopher Jr., who have been named in Irish courts as leaders in the cartel, have never faced charges in Ireland.

When asked about the investigation being completed and the DPP’s ongoing review of the file, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said he could not comment on any investigations into “individual members of the Kinahan organized crime group.”

“But we have completed a very comprehensive and wide-ranging investigation into numerous serious offenses committed here in Ireland and that file has been submitted to the DPP,” he said. “And we would hope to see leadership figures within the Kinahan organized crime group brought to justice here in Ireland.”

Packages of drugs were discovered along the north Donegal coastline in July. 

Massive Cocaine Seizures

Barely a week goes by without reports of massive and, in some cases, record seizures of cocaine across Europe, including Ireland. The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) has been reporting “unprecedented” levels of cocaine production and cocaine seizures in recent years, with each year seeing new records.

In Ireland, 60 kilos of cocaine was recovered on August 5 inside a freight container that landed at Ringaskiddy Port, Co. Cork. It was the second major haul in the port after 54 kilos were found last April inside the refrigeration unit of a container from Ecuador.

July was a busy month too in Ireland. Some 40 kilos of cocaine were found inside two bales washed up on the Donegal coast which authorities suspect were dropped off from a vessel.

Also in July, Revenue officers in Rosslare made two massive hauls, the first a 163 kilos seizure inside a concealed roof of a trailer fridge unit and the second a 133 kilos consignment inside the roof of a horse box off a ferry.

But, the largest hauls have occurred elsewhere in Europe. Last month, authorities in Germany found 10 tons of cocaine in the port of Hamburg, Italian agencies found 5 tons of cocaine off the Sicilian coast while 6.8 tons were seized in Brussels, Belgium.

Two weeks ago, Dutch authorities found 8 tons of cocaine in Rotterdam port, the biggest to date. They were hidden in containers carrying bananas arriving from Ecuador. 

Assistant Commissioner Justin Kelly, head of organized and serious crime, told the Irish Examiner there was “no shortage” of cocaine, despite the seizures. He said the supply glut was met by what appeared to be an "insatiable appetite" for cocaine in Ireland and elsewhere.

He said that in Colombia, the source of around 60% of global cocaine supplies, there were “huge stockpiles of cocaine at all the different levels,” against the backdrop of a significant change in drug policies in the country. The new government is moving away from the previous security-driven approach, which involved forced coca eradication, towards a voluntary approach and the potential legalization of drugs.

Chilean cocaine trafficker "El Rico"

"El Rico" Soon to be Released

Daniel Kinahan's 'Super Cartel' ally `El Rico’ has been moved from the maximum security Extra Secure Institution (EBI) in the Netherlands to a “supervision unit” as he prepares for his freedom. The Dutch-Chilean drug trafficker Ricardo Riquelme Vega, was sentenced to 11 years in prison. According to the Dutch Public Prosecution Service, "El Rico" was the leader of a criminal organization that carried out assassinations, traded in cocaine, and laundered money. 

While El Rico is suspected of involvement in certain specific assassinations, he was never convicted for any particular one, and his sentence was limited to 11 years; he is due for release in 2025. He carried out these operations together with Ridouan Taghi, another key Kinahan ally, who is facing a sentence for a series of murders in a high-profile trial in the Netherlands.

Italian cocaine broker turned witness Raffaele Imperiale.

Key Kinahan Associates Cooperating

“El Rico" also had contacts with the Italian cocaine broker Raffaele Imperiale, tied to the Camorra. Imperiale has become a cooperating witness in Italy, however, he has stated that he would refuse to testify against "El Rico" in order to bring additional charges against him. “The fact that Imperiale refuses to testify in the Dutch criminal case against Rico R does not mean that he will not make any statements in Italy about his suspected Dutch criminal contacts,” the Dutch news site Het Parool reports.

Imperiale who is currently in an Italian prison after being extradited from Dubai, is regarded as a key figure in Europe’s Super Cartel. He attended Daniel Kinahan’s wedding in 2017 at the luxury Burj al Arab in Dubai and was known as a playboy when he lived in Dubai, prior to his arrest in August 2021.

For years, Imperiale ran drug lines between the Netherlands and Italy, distributing shipments of 100 to 150 kilos at a time.

Boxer JoJo Diaz

In a submission to a US District Court in California this week, lawyers for Moses Heredia, who has accused Daniel Kinahan and the boxing promotion company MTK Global of using drug money to lure fighter JoJo Diaz from his stable, have revealed that associates of Kinahan are now cooperating with his legal team. It also revealed they are now seeking permission to serve subpoenas for documents and depositions from other key entities and persons in the case.

Having secured default judgments against Kinahan and MTK after they ‘ghosted’ the legal proceedings and refused to answer the summons, the case is now at a stage where damages against Kinahan and MTK are being assessed. Among those who were scheduled to be called to give evidence before the court in California were Kinahan’s former business associate and former MTK CEO Bob Yalen, Top Rank boss Bob Arum, and boxer JoJo Diaz.

Boxing promotions legend Bob Arum.

Top Rank Bob Arum repeatedly spoke publicly about his business relationship with Kinahan in the past, stating at one point he had paid Daniel Kinahan €4 million for his role in organizing fights involving Tyson Fury. Arum revealed how Kinahan opened up to him about doing ‘bad things’ and said that Dublin-born mobster was hoping to get out of ‘that other stuff.’

"He has kids and he said he wanted to get out of that other stuff. “He said to me, ‘Bob, I’ve done some bad things in my life. I admit that. But I’m not involved with that anymore.” But, Arum continued: “There came a time that we discovered that he might still have been involved in some nefarious activities. That was enough for us.”

Thomas "Bomber" Kavanagh, Kinahan's longtime man in the UK.

Kinahan cartel gangster Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh is alleged to have concocted a bizarre strategy to get a reduced prison sentence by informing police where they could find a stash of guns. Kavanagh faces charges of conspiracy to possess firearms without a certificate, possessing ammunition without a certificate, possession of a ‘fire bull’ firearm – a weapon that can fire repeatedly without any pressure being added to the trigger – and possession of a ‘dumdum bullet’, which explodes prior to impact.

He is already serving a 21-year sentence for overseeing shipments of cocaine and cannabis into the UK worth €36 million.

Assistant Commissioner Kelly said gardaí were aware that a large number of Kinahan people in jail are due to be released in the coming years but cautioned against predictions that they will return to the cartel fold and restart the murderous Kinahan-Hutch feud.

He said the killings require significant logistics and a “huge amount of money” to fund them, adding that gardaí have made it “difficult” for the Kinahan leaders to fund or organize any such hit teams again. The Hutch family has been under guard off and on, especially since the release of Gerry "Monk" Hutch
following being found not guilty of participating in or ordering the infamous Regency Hotel Shooting in 2016 in Dublin.

Assistant Commissioner Justin Kelly

Kinahan Group No Longer Dominant

Assistant Commissioner Justin Kelly, head of organized and serious crime, said the Dublin crime gang is no longer the dominant force it once was after the leaders “brought a huge amount of this attention on themselves.”

He said recent investigations had resulted in a seismic change in the level of cooperation between various agencies in other countries and Ireland. This has been greatly boosted by the expansion of garda liaison officers to Colombia and Dubai while Asia is next on the cards.

Assistant Commissioner Kelly was referring to successive operations and investigations by Irish, British, and Spanish authorities and the massive $15 million total bounty put on the heads of the three cartel leaders by the US in April 2022.

He said there are “still elements” of the cartel structure in Ireland, as there is in Dubai, and that it would be naive to think “they’re out of business.”

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris disputed claims that Dublin had become more dangerous or violent, saying attacks in public places had not increased in the city, which he believed was safer than other European cities.

He said gun crime had plummeted in recent years because “dozens and dozens” of men involved in the Kinahan-Hutch feud were jailed in the Republic and this had deterred other gangs from engaging in gun murders or feuding. However, Irish organized gangs were still heavily involved in the drug trade.

Commissioner Drew Harris

Possible Power Vacuum in Ireland

Harris added it was possible major foreign drug gangs may decide they should “take a cut” of the Irish drug trade, as the domestic economy was so strong and demand for drugs so high. The Garda had to remain vigilant to the threat of foreign cartels looking for a foothold in the Republic, he said.

Kelly also cautioned against people obsessing about the dominance of the Kinahan cartel, saying there are other high-level Irish gangs out there that have the international connections, including in South America, to traffic large shipments of cocaine and other drugs. “They [Kinahan and Hutch gangs] are just two organized crime groups, we have other OCGs. That is sort of lost on people. Our focus is other groups and particularly emerging ones.”

He said that Brexit has seen a significant increase in maritime traffic from northern Spain and France to Rosslare, as well as more traffic from Belgium and Netherlands, that was bound for Britain but coming through Irish ports. He said some of the very large cocaine hauls in Rosslare could be bound either in full or in part for the North for onward shipment to Britain, due to no customs checks on the north-south border or between the North and Scotland.

All of this could see greater involvement of Balkan and Albanian gangs using Ireland.


  1. @HEARST


    1. That's happened before, years ago and it was covered by BB. Surprised it happened again.

    2. Why wld ramons codename been 03 wasnt he the #2 guy in the cartel. Shldnt he been 02




    📢 anonymous contributor.

  3. We miss you chivas

  4. Fascinating I love the coverage we get but I do wish we could get a little bit more kinahan coversge

  5. Se estan aggarando a vergazos mazisos con drones y la verga la gente del senor strawberry y Mr pescado contra los tlacos con huachos en medio segun mis fuentes de information ya can 4 huachos down

  6. How is ireland organized crime related to "the border?"

    1. They have direct cartel connections… Sinaloa to be exact… 🦉

    2. Don't read the article simple as 1,2,3.

    3. It doesnt but i find it entertaining so hopeful others did as well.

    4. They might be from Irekand but they are worldwide org.

    5. Stop 12:41 they buy theyre cocaine direct. Sinaloa is not powerful in Europe.

    6. @956 — educate yourself, young one.

    7. No I live in Europe and Im probably older then you 12:24

  7. I been saying this for a long time now here… these guys are an International Criminal Entity!!!

  8. Hutch family are not a cartel or ocg, just a large family from Dublin with a grudge against the Kinahans. Gerard Monk Hutch is an interesting character but it's crazy to think that one of the biggest crime groups in the world have been almost brought down by a feud with a family of pretty criminals barely known outside Ireland.

    1. The monks are ex bank robbers stick up artists.

    2. Speaking from someone whos in the game in Ireland right?

      You're an absolute idiot.. Hutch has always had an OCG group under him.. He ran with Kinahan for many years, thus the feud they have..

  9. The kinahans are so fascinating the dad seems to be quite good at this stuff. Daniel seems to be your average guy though unfortunately

  10. Thank God for Dubai, the drug game is safe.


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