Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Daily Record
Daily Record
Chris McCall & Lanarkshire Live

Lanarkshire vodka firm with ties to Irish drugs cartel could be linked to Scottish crime gangs

An Irish drugs cartel last week sanctioned by the US Government is working in partnership with the feared Lyons gang in Scotland, an MSP has claimed.

Speaking at Holyrood on Tuesday, Russell Findlay also said he believed that Scottish football was "contaminated by drugs money" in a similar way to the world of professional boxing.

It comes as Irish, American and British law enforcement launched coordinated action against the Kinahan cartel - with a reward of up to $5m offered for information against its three most senior members.

Daniel Kinahan, 44, has previously been named in the Irish courts as the head of one of Europe's most prominent drug gangs - but he has never been convicted of a crime.

He previously worked as an adviser to boxer Tyson Fury and is a co-founder of the MTK Global agency which has represented several well-known fighters.

Findlay, community safety spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives, said it was "widely known" that the Kinahans worked in partnership with the Glasgow-based Lyons crime family.

He said: "One Kinahan gang member to be sanctioned is John Morrissey along with Glasgow-based vodka company Nero Drinks.

"But the Kinahans are not interested in flogging vodka - their real business is cocaine and heroin.

"It is widely known that this cartel is in partnership with Scotland's Lyons gang, making vast profits from killing Scots.

"The SNP Government turned its back on the UK Government's project Adder which aims to tackle drug trafficking with tougher police enforcement.

"Considering these international sanctions, will the Cabinet Secretary rethink this decision?"

Last wekk, Nero Drinks – whose business HQ is listed as a £440,000 home in a residential street in the village of Stepps – was named part of KTCO’s network of business interests by US law enforcers who likened the crime clan to terror groups and the Italian mafia.

And we told you earlier this week how Nero, run by mum Nicola Morrissey and “enforcer” husband John, Nero Drinks was given up to £10,000 as part of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Keith Brown, the SNP's justice minister, hit back: "I'm sorry that so quickly Mr Findlay has adopted his usual SNP attack mode.

"I think there is a very serious issue at the root of this - which is the pervasive influence of organised crime.

'I think Police Scotland, working with other agencies, works very effectively in order to address not just organised crime but drugs gangs."

Findlay responded: "Journalists in Ireland and elsewhere have taken great personal risks to reveal how the Kinahan cartel's dirty money has infiltrated boxing.

"Tyson Fury and the Scottish World Champion Josh Taylor are among those to be represented by Daniel Kinahan.

"But it is my contention that Scottish football is also contaminated by drugs money.

"Last year, the Scottish Government issued a video warning young players about the risk of being targeted by organised criminals posing as advisers.

"Can the Cabinet Secretary tell us what tangible action has been taken against dirty money in boxing and football in the 12 months since this video was released?"

Brown replied: "I've mentioned how closely we work with Police Scotland and others - including the SFA - on these issues.

"It's also worth saying that in relation to the action that is taken - whether it is against the gangs Russell Findlay has mentioned, or more generally against organised crime - it is often not the best course of action to lay out exactly what you are doing as you are doing it.

"He will know, I'm sure, the more that you telegraph what you intend to do the harder it is - either to find the evidence or the proceeds of crime that derive from these activities."

The US Treasury Department describes the Kinahan cartel as one of the most dangerous in the world, comparable to crime organisations like Italy's Camorra, Mexico's Los Zetas and Japan's Yakuza.

According to Gardaí Commissioner Drew Harris, the gang is estimated to have made over €1bn (£836,590,000) globally from its activities.

Tyson Fury has claimed Daniel Kinahan's alleged criminal empire is "none of this business" despite having previously praised the Irishman for helping his career.

Fury is days away from defending his heavyweight world title against Dillian Whyte at Wembley but the build-up has been dominated by the US government's sanctioning of Kinahan.

Fury's promoter Bob Arum admitted last week that he paid Kinahan up to $2m for each of Fury's last four fights but insists he has not been involved in the Brit's clash with Whyte.

And when asked about the latest developments, Fury told Ring Magazine : "It’s none of my business, and I don’t get involved in other people’s business."

Don't miss the latest headlines from around Lanarkshire. Sign up to our newsletters here.

And did you know Lanarkshire Live is on Facebook? Head on over and give us a like and share!

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.