Christy Kinahan facing return to Spain for trial over passport fraud

Cartel boss risks being subject of international arrest warrant if he fails to show in Malaga court

Gang boss Christy Kinahan snr faces having to return to Spain for a passport fraud trial after being indicted by prosecutors and warned that he could be sentenced to up to four years if convicted.

Kinahan (65) was previously told he would not have to leave his home in Dubai to attend the court in Malaga if prosecutors sought a jail sentence of less than two years.

This possibility was first noted when it was confirmed that plans to try him and his sons Daniel and Christopher jnr for money-laundering and membership of a criminal gang had been dropped.

Julio Martinez Carazo, head of prosecution for the Marbella area, spoke of his “disappointment” in October 2020 after it emerged that only five of the 31 suspects arrested as part of Operation Shovel, a multinational initiative targeting the cartel, in May 2010 would face trial on lesser charges.


Sources confirmed that Kinahan would risk being made the subject of an international arrest warrant if he failed to show in court for the passport fraud trial.

Forced return

He is expected to intensify efforts through his lawyers to seek an out-of-court settlement whereby he would agree to plea guilty in return for a reduced sentence.

A forced return to Spain would be expected to end in attempts to extradite him to the United States or Ireland.

In a five-page indictment presented against the five accused men, prosecutors say they are seeking two years for each of the two counts of passport fraud Kinahan snr is charged with.

Kinahan, a convicted Dublin-born drug dealer named as a leader of the Kinahan cartel in April along with Daniel and Christopher jnr by the US department of the treasury, is accused of using a fake passport when taking a flight to Brazil. Prosecutors allege he used a British passport, in the name of Michael Leslie Swift, to book a ticket for and board an Iberia flight to Rio de Janeiro on April 29th, 2010.

Lunch box

The five-page indictment also outlines the basis for the second fraud charge. It says police in Benahavis near Marbella “surprised” two of his co-accused – Robert Edward Phillips and James Gregory Naughton – on June 15th, 2010, and found a taped-up lunch box, which contained an Irish passport in the name of a man who had died but which had a photograph of Kinahan snr on it.

Naughton and Phillips have also been told they face two-year sentences if convicted. Jasvinder Singh Kamoo faces trial for using fake number plates on a Mercedes and Ross Gerard Browning is facing trial for unlawful possession of a weapon.

The indictment makes clear that Kinahan snr has no previous convictions in Spain. He spent about six months on remand in jail after his Operation Shovel arrest, which would be taken into account but would not spare him a return to prison if he gets the full four-year term.

A date for the trial, which would take place in Malaga, has not yet been set, it is understood.