The Kinahan files: Leaked documents expose workings of global empire

AuthorColm Keena
Publication Date23 April 2022
Publication titleIrish Times: Web Edition Articles (Dublin, Ireland)
The documents, which were shared with The Irish Times by the Washington DC-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), also show new links between Daniel Kinahan and the international boxing business, MTK Global

The Dublin family developed an extensive trading business in a low-regulation tax-free zone in Dubai in the period after the attack in the Regency Hotel in Dublin on February 5th, 2016, the leaked files show. A screening and assessment review conducted by the Dubai authorities deemed the Kinahan brothers to be "low risk".

Following the Regency attack, where the Hutch crime gang tried unsuccessfully to kill Daniel Kinahan during an MTK Global event, brothers Daniel (44) and Christopher junior (41) moved from the south of Spain, where they had been living, to Dubai, where their father, Christopher senior (66), was already established.

The brothers rented a two-bedroom apartment on the 14th floor of the luxurious 33-storey Iris Blue apartment block in Dubai, paying Dirhams 185,000 (€46,600) up front, with a single cheque, for one-year's rent beginning March 1st, 2016.

According to the tenancy agreement, seen by The Irish Times, the owner of the 127 square metre apartment bought it the previous year for €630,000. The brothers got one parking spot in the building's underground car park.

The leaked documents show that soon after the brothers moved to the UAE, they began to develop a series of import-export businesses with the consent of the local authorities.

The brothers set up branches of their businesses in the Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre (DMCC), a special designation tax free zone and one of a number of such "offshore" zones set up by the Government of Dubai to attract international investment.

As well as allowing the Kinahans establish a global trading businesses in the tax free zone, the DMCC also agreed to move staff on secondment from the State-owned authority to work in the new enterprises, the documents show.

Among the enterprises established by the Kinahans was Haizum General Trading, which was granted a licence by the Dubai authorities on July 28th, 2016. Under UAE law at the time companies had to be majority-owned by a local citizen. The licence for Haizum listed its shareholders as Hadif Mohammed A Binhuwaidin Alktebi (51 per cent), Daniel Kinahan (30 per cent), and Christopher Kinahan (19 per cent).

When Haizum applied to open a branch office in the DMCC, officials in the authority's compliance and inspection department conducted a screening and risk assessment during which, the records indicate, they conducted Internet searches on Christopher Kinahan junior and his brother.

Despite both men being associated with the most notorious criminal gang in Ireland and the hugely high-profile Regency Hotel attack, from which Daniel Kinahan had been lucky to escape, the officials decided, in December 2016, that the proposed venture was "low risk" and that it was "okay to proceed", the documents show.

Two months prior to the assessment process, in October 2016, the findings of a transnational investigation into the Kinahan cartel by the Milan-based Transcrime organisation had been widely reported.

The investigation, which received co-operation from An Garda Síochána and...

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