The alleged leader of a “murderous organization” linked to boxing targeted by the US government

Originally Posted: Apr 14, 22 06:36 ET

Updated: Apr 14 22 07:52 ET

By CNN Sport Staff

(CNN) — The US State Department is offering rewards of up to $5 million for information leading to each of the arrests of three Irish ‘transnational organized criminals’, including Daniel Kinahan, who has been a significant influence in the boxing world in recent years.

According to a US State Department announcement on Tuesday, the transnational criminal organization Kinahan has engaged in drug trafficking, money laundering, firearms trafficking and murder.

Kinahan’s ties to boxing stem from his former ties to the agency Frank Warren/” target=”_blank”>MTK Global, an organization whose most prestigious client is the heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who has to fight Dillian Whyte in a world title fight on April 23 in London.

In February 2021, a BBC Panorama survey examined Kinahan’s influence in world boxing.

Mr Kinahan’s lawyer told the BBC that Kinahan had no criminal record or convictions and that claims he was a crime boss were false and unsupported by any evidence.

The attorney said: “In terms of our client’s boxing record, he is proud of his boxing record to date.”

Legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum, CEO and founder of Las Vegas Top Rank, Inc., promotes Fury’s fight with Whyte with Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions.

According to the Mail Online, Arum said Fury was told by Warren that their future relationship would not include Kinahan.

“I am a US citizen and the Treasury Department does not take these actions lightly,” Arum said. the mail. “We will respect them (sanctions preventing Kinahan from doing business in the United States).

“We are not going to deal with Kinahan and his people. We will deal directly (with Fury) or his attorney Robert Davis.”

The US State Department’s $5 million reward followed the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced on Monday that it had imposed sanctions on Kinahan, describing the Irishman as one of the leaders of the Kinahan Organized Crime Group (KOCG).

OFAC described the KOCG as “a murderous organization involved in the international drug and firearms trade”.

The investigation was a collaboration between OFAC and several US agencies, the Irish National Police, the UK National Crime Agency, and the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, according to the OFAC statement.

OFAC said “every member of the KOCG reports to Daniel Kinahan, who is expected to direct the day-to-day operations of the organization.”

According to OFAC, Kinahan is based in Dubai.

‘Get that deal on the line’

The OFAC sanctions also affect a number of Kinahan associates, including Ian Dixon, who owns or controls “directly or indirectly, Hoopoe Sports LLC.”

Hoopoe Sports is a sports management and consultancy company based in the United Arab Emirates, according to OFAC.

Sporty Hoopoe’ website says it has “expertise in professional combat sports (Boxing & MMA) and an enviable track record of success among its advised fighters”.

Dixon did not respond to CNN’s email request for comment.

In 2020, Fury made a point of thanking Kinahan in an Instagram video for “making this deal” to potentially fight fellow British boxer Anthony Joshua in 2021. The two ultimately did not fight.

Afterwards, Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister) at the time, Leo Varadkar, told the Irish Parliament that he was “surprised” to see Fury using Kinahan’s name in his video “as if it were of someone who didn’t have a checkered enough history in this state and elsewhere. “

The law firm representing Kinahan did not respond to CNN’s request for comment regarding OFAC’s announcement. CNN was unable to independently confirm the allegations against Kinahan.

In a statement on Thursday, MTK Global said it “will fully comply with the sanctions imposed by the US government against Daniel Kinahan…We will cooperate fully with all authorities and assist in any ongoing investigation.”

Current CEO and Chairman of MTK Global, Bob Yalen, is quoted in the statement as saying: “MTK Global will take all steps to ensure that the company, and those who do business with it, comply fully with the sanctions. announced this week and take this matter very seriously.”

In a previous MTK statement given in 2020, MTK Global CEO Sandra Vaughan said Kinahan “has nothing to do with MTK Global”.

In the same statement, Vaughan explained that fighters will often have independent advisors, adding that the organization was able to sign Fury because he was “recommended” to them by Kinahan.

“It happens all the time and I hope it continues to happen,” Vaughan said. “As long as we live up to what Daniel says about us being a great management company and continuing to do our best for the fighters as much as possible, I hope we continue to get recommendations from Daniel. “

“A threat to the entire licit economy”

The OFAC sanctions announced on Monday targeted seven people, including Kinahan.

According to OFAC, the KOCG emerged in the late 1990s and became the “most powerful organized crime group operating in Ireland”.

The group has links to international money laundering and was “involved in a gang war with another group in Ireland and Spain resulting in numerous murders”, OFAC said.

According to the UK’s NCA, recent investigations have caused “major disruption” to the activities of the KOCG.

The OFAC sanctions, which target Daniel and two other members of the Kinahan family as well as several associates, announced Monday mean that “all property and interests in the property of designated persons or entities that are in the United States or possession or control of U.S. persons should be blocked and reported to OFAC.”

In the announcement, OFAC said Daniel Kinahan “has been appointed to act or purport to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the KOCG.”

“Kinahan asked KOCG members to send money to various people serving prison sentences, including a person convicted of attempted murder on behalf of KOCG and a person imprisoned for murder on behalf of KOCG,” the OFAC statement alleged.

“Kinahan, who sources large quantities of cocaine from South America, plays a vital role in organizing the drug supply in Ireland and attempts to facilitate the importation of cocaine into the UK. Daniel Kinahan is known for using false identity documents,” the OFAC statement added.

“The Kinahan Organized Crime Group smuggles deadly narcotics, including cocaine, into Europe, and poses a threat to the entire licit economy due to its role in international money laundering. “said Brian E. Nelson, Undersecretary of 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.”

Kinahan has never been charged with any of the crimes the OAFC alleges he committed.

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Aubrey L. Morgan