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Dublin Live
Michael O'Toole

'Gloves coming off' as Kinahan cartel 'plans war on Dublin streets over international crackdown on its leaders'

The Kinahan cartel is planning war on the streets of Dublin – because of the international crackdown against its leaders, investigators fear.

“The gloves will be coming off soon,” a source warned last night.

And, 50 days since American authorities offered rewards of up to $5 million for the capture of Christy, Daniel and Christopher Kinahan, sources have told The Star that gardai gave identified a triple whammy of reasons why the €1 billion euro cartel will bring the guns out in Dublin for the first time in years.

Read more: Dublin Airport chiefs can't guarantee queue chaos won't happen this weekend

Insiders told The Star experts fear Daniel Kinahan, 44, will order his henchmen to attacks targets in Dublin:

  • Because they want to re-establish the cartel’s dominance in the city’s underworld and prevent another outfit taking over,
  • Because they are gripped by paranoia that they are being betrayed by allies here and want to hunt down informers, and
  • Because Daniel Kinahan has ordered no hits in Dublin for years as he tried to reinvent himself as boxing’s Mr Fixit – but now that dream is in tatters and he has no reason to keep a lid on the violence.

“Daniel has nothing left to lose,” a senior investigator warned last night.

“The last Kinahan murder in Dublin was way back in 2018 and, although there were some foiled hits after that, the cartel has been quiet in the city for almost four years.

“The belief is Daniel ordered a pause to hits because of his plan to become a player in boxing. He was at it for years and did not want any negative publicity about murders in Dublin as he tried to present himself as an innocent businessman.

“But the (international policing) operation against him has destroyed any chance of him being a player in the game. That experiment is over for him.

“And the fear is he will let loose the dogs in Dublin that he had been holding back.

Read more: EU vow to seize Daniel Kinahan's assets in Europe under new proposed law

“There is no reason for him to keep the guns quiet now. He can settle a few scores.”

Investigators also warned that the international crackdown – that saw the Dubai-based Kinahan men and four others hit with sanctions in America that mean their assets were frozen and they can’t even use US airlines – had also weakened the cartel in the eyes of other Dublin criminals and the mob could not accept that.

One investigator said: “The real fear is that other (organised crime groups) will see what has happened to Daniel and try to exploit that in Dublin.

“There would be a couple of outfits who are licking their lips at the idea of taking over from the Kinahans.

“The suspicion now is that the cartel will clip a criminal in Dublin in the coming months, just to show they are still the main men.”
The source warned that could also see the cartel reigniting the deadly Kinahan-Hutch feud, the worst gang war in modern Irish history.

That feud claimed the lives of 18 men between 2015 and 2018, but here has not been a murder since January of that year.

Read more: Thomas 'Bomber' Kavanagh moved to UK's toughest prison for 'security' reasons

Sources say elements of the Kinahan cartel – especially associates of Daniel's associate David Byrne, 33, who was gunned down in the infamous attack by the Hutch mob on the Regency Airport in Dublin in February 2016 – are still keen to murder members of the rival gang.

Kinahan had put a lid on the feud as he tried to become a player in boxing, but now those dreams are over, investigators fear they could target Hutch gang associates in the coming months.

“The feud is not dead, far from it. It could explode at any time,” one source warned.

It’s also understood that gardai fear the Kinahan cartel – who recently sent a senior member back to Ireland from Dubai to lead the organisation here – could go on a mole hunting exercise in Dublin and kill people they suspect betrayed them.

Sources said the Kinahan leadership holed up in Dubai are increasingly paranoid as the sanctions – and gardai fear they will strike out in Dublin.

“Everyone is a potential tout to them,” the source said.

“They could whack people they suspect are talking in return for the reward.”

Read more: Financial sanctions for 600 banned from US over Kinahan links

Just last month, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said the force was receiving a huge amount of intelligence from criminals in Ireland and abroad following the accusation of the massive worldwide crackdown.

In April, the US government imposed sanctions on senior members of the Kinahan mob – including Daniel, his father Christy, 64 and brother Christopher, 41 - and offered rewards of up to $5 million US dollars for information leading to arrests of gang leaders or the financial disruption of the Irish organised crime group.

The gang, which the High Court has previously heard is controlled by Daniel Kinahan, his father Christy Kinahan, and his brother Christopher Kinahan jnr, have all been placed on a watchlist by the US Treasury Department.

That means that US businesses can’t have any dealings with them - and their assets have now been frozen there and in the United Arab Emirates, including in their Dubai bolthole.

Furthermore, at least 600 persons with alleged links to Kinahan crime figures have been put on a US travel ban, and Daniel Kinahan has had financial assets frozen by the United Arab Emirates, as gardai and their international counterparts work together to bring the gang to justice.

Commissioner Harris told reporters in Tipperary on May 10 that the “flow of information” being made available from underworld channels, as well as banking institutions, relating to the Kinahan gang’s activities and finances, has been massive.

“There is a huge amount of information flowing from the banking sector internationally, but there is also a huge amount of information flowing in from less salubrious areas of society as well, and we are picking up on that, in terms of delivering on our part of the investigation and working with our (international) partners,” said Commissioner Harris.

A senior source confirmed the Garda boss was specifically referring to information coming to gardai from underworld and gangland sources.

Read more: Secret wife of crime lord Christy Kinahan has died

Read more: Kinahans stuck in Dubai and can't escape, gardai say

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