The Unprecedented Rise of Daniel Kinahan, From Early Crimes in Downtown Dublin to Dubai

FROM Oliver Bond’s apartments in Dublin’s city center to the millionaires’ Jumeirah Palm in Dubai, Daniel Kinahan’s rise to the top ranks of the international drug trade is unprecedented in the Irish gangland.

he Kinahan Cartel is now listed alongside the Camorra, Yakuza, Los Zetos and Thieves in Law by US law enforcement.

When talking about a dangerous and ambitious young gangster in 2000, it would have been difficult to envision the 22-year-old as a global drug kingpin.

But he had already accumulated serious experience, taking charge of the day-to-day running of a lucrative drugs ring between Ireland and Holland when his father Christy snr and associate John Cunningham were serving time behind bars.

Young Kinahan played an equal role among serious gangsters twice his age.

After escaping prosecution for assault on an off-duty garda in 1999 and a brief period in police custody for a traffic violation, he left Ireland in 2002.

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Polaroid taken at Terenure Garda station when Daniel Kinahan was 19 or 20

Polaroid taken at Terenure Garda station when Daniel Kinahan was 19 or 20

Kinahan Jnr joined the growing ranks of well-connected Irish gangsters who fled the country as the newly formed Criminal Assets Bureau flexed its considerable muscle.

At this stage, Daniel was a registered director of various companies in Ireland and the UK.

Part of his business had been trying to organize horse races to help launder the cartel’s ever-growing flow of money.

Daniel Kinahan was mentioned by name in evidence during a trial at the Old Bailey in 2007, but was described simply as a furniture store owner.

According to the evidence, it was claimed Kinahan was “losing patience” with a jockey who kept winning races, coming from Spain in 2004 to kick him.

British police released a photo video in 2007 of Kinahan with a man accused of racial manipulation.

He again disappeared from the public eye until he dramatically reappeared with Christy Snr and her brother Christy Jnr and their former business partner John Cunningham in 2010 when they were arrested by police in Spain.

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Daniel Kinahan leaves the court in Estepona, Spain.  Photo: Solarpix


Daniel Kinahan leaves the court in Estepona, Spain. Photo: Solarpix

Daniel Kinahan leaves the court in Estepona, Spain. Photo: Solarpix

It was part of a joint investigation with Irish, British, Dutch and Spanish police in which 22 people were arrested.

Although the investigation failed without any prosecution, information released by the police showed that the Kinahan Cartel was a truly global operation.

Later that year, Daniel showed he had yet to develop his taste for publicity, shunning the Sunday World as he showed up at Estapona courthouse where he was due to sign.

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Daniel Kinahan with Nicola Tallant as he returns to court to sign as part of his bail


Daniel Kinahan with Nicola Tallant as he returns to court to sign as part of his bail

Daniel Kinahan with Nicola Tallant as he returns to court to sign as part of his bail

Two years later, in April 2013, his father Christy Snr was just as discreet after his release from a Belgian prison.

The Sunday World video taken that day remains the only publicly available footage of Christy Snr.

Daniel’s involvement in boxing began to become clear that year with pictures of him in the ring at the MGM gymnasium in Marbella.

He again leggered, sprinting away from the Sunday World, when he was approached near the MGM gymnasium in August.

It was clear that in 2014 Kinahan was comfortable operating openly and not hiding from the police or rival mobsters.

The murderous nature of the cartel was further highlighted the following month when Gerard “Hatchet” Kavanagh was shot dead in Marbella despite being a close and trusted confidant of the gang.

Kinahan at this point was in full swing with his side career as a boxing promoter, agent and manager showing up in the corner for Matthew Macklin’s fight against Jorge Heiland.

He and Christopher Jnr were pictured at City West at the pre-fight weigh-in.

Daniel must have thought he had successfully transformed into a legit businessman in July 2015 as he stood in the ring with a victorious Jamie Conlon.

It recently emerged at a CAB hearing that around this time Jim Mansfield Jnr handed Kinahan a £4million mansion in Citywest for a failed plan to launder money through a school of English language.

Whether it was arrogance or overconfidence, Kinahan’s decision to kill Gary Hutch in September 2015 in Spain set off a series of events that culminated in the forces of the army’s unprecedented show of force. international orders this week at City Hall.

This led directly to the infamous shooting at the Regency Hotel in which David Byrne was shot and Sean McGovern injured.

Daniel Kinahan escaped by jumping out of the window during the weigh-in as members of the Hutch faction dressed in Garda tactical gear searched for their target.

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Daniel Kinahan exiting Dublin Airport


Daniel Kinahan exiting Dublin Airport

Daniel Kinahan exiting Dublin Airport

There was no Garda presence at the event, but Sunday World took photos of two armed men, one dressed as a woman, as they fled the scene.

Byrne’s lavish funeral in Dublin then caught everyone’s attention, with Daniel being pictured with Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh and Fat Freddie Thompson, after which he moved to Dubai for good.

The row that left 18 dead would also lead to the conviction of 79 criminals linked to Kinahan in Ireland.

Later that year, the MTK Gym in Marbella was raided by police and money seized. The police forces had the Kinahan in their sights.

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Tyson Fury and Daniel Kinahan with former boxer Khan alongside the pair


Tyson Fury and Daniel Kinahan with former boxer Khan alongside the pair

Tyson Fury and Daniel Kinahan with former boxer Khan alongside the pair

In what would be a major breakthrough for the Gardaí, raids in January 2017 at Greenogue Business Park, Rathcoole, Co. Dublin, yielded an arsenal of weapons as well as key figures such as ‘Mr Nobody’ Declan Brady.

Despite such setbacks, Daniel’s criminal career continued to skyrocket with his marriage to Caoimhe Robinson at the Burj al Arab in the presence of Italian, Dutch, Bosnian and South American gangsters.

During a High Court hearing in 2019, he was named by a senior custody official as the leader of the Kinahan criminal gang.

Despite this, in 2020 Kinahan’s effort to ‘sport wash’ his reputation. A clever video purporting to be a documentary on the ‘real truth’ behind the Regency shooting portrays Daniel as the victim of a Garda and media plot against him.

When Tyson Fury publicly thanked Kinahan for his role in setting up a big-money fight in Dubai with Anthony Joshua, it caused an uproar in Ireland.

But it also underscored how Kinahan had now become a major powerhouse in the sport by using his drug money and power to wield influence.

A BBC documentary exposed his involvement in the sport. Photoshoots have continued since, which he orchestrates in Dubai, have seen him pose with several boxers, promoters and even politicians to give an impression of legitimacy.

A photo in 2020 with boxing promoter Bob Arum was taken in Kazakhstan. This suggests that if he overstays his welcome in the UAE, others could be waiting for him and a billion dollar network.

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