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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
National
Susie Beever

Vodka firm said to be 'front for notorious crime cartel on brink of collapse'

A booze company accused of being a front to launder money for a gang is on the verge of collapse.

Nero Drinks Company faces being struck off Government directory Companies House due to overdue payments.

The firm, established in 2018 to make Nero Premium Vodka, is owned by Glasgow-based Nicola Morrissey.

The 47-year-old was arrested alongside husband Johnny Morrissey in Marbella, Spain, in September as part of an investigation into Irish criminal gang the Kinahans, Daily Record reports.

Spanish police claim Ms Morrissey's company was set up to hide criminal activity on behalf of the gang.

Companies House lodged a striking off proposal on Tuesday, with annual accounts due in November still unpaid.

Nicola Morrissey is listed as the owner of Nero Vodka (UGC)

The firm has another two months to pay the money owed or be struck off or dissolved.

If dissolved, the Government will be able to seize its assets.

Accounts from 2021 shows the company lost more than £270k, despite getting £10k in Covid support.

There is no suggestion that the strike-off proposal is linked to Ms Morrissey's arrest.

Based in Dubai, crime empire the Kinahans have been described as "major operators" in the international drugs trade with assets worth an estimated $1bn and influence to rival the likes of the Italian mafia.

Daniel Kinahan, son of the gang's founder Christy, has been named by the High Court of Ireland as a significant player in the criminal underworld and is one of the world's most wanted men.

In April last year, US ambassador for Ireland Claire Cronin announced a $5m (£4.03m) bounty for the capture and conviction of boss Christy Kinahan or sons Christy Junior and Daniel Kinahan.

In the same month, US officials also named Johnny Morrissey as one of the cartel's aides.

Nero Drinks has been banned from trading in the States over its alleged links to the Kinahans.

Johnny is being held in jail in Malaga, while Nicola was bailed after a court appearance.

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