Kinahan sanctions: the seven men and three companies targeted

Sport and luxury drinks firms on sanctions list alongside crime group’s allies

Four Dublin men and three companies in the sports and luxury drinks sector have been placed on a US sanctions list alongside the leaders of the Kinahan cartel: Christy Kinahan snr, Daniel Kinahan and Christopher Kinahan jnr.

One of the companies is a boxing management consultancy, which also works in sponsorship, management and broadcast deals in other sports. Hoopoe Sports is run by close Kinahan ally Ian Dixon, from Dublin. His email address is on the contacts page of the UAE-based company's website. Another company is named as Nero Drinks Company Ltd in Glasgow, London and Mijas (Spain).

The US treasury department said as a result of the action being taken against the named people and businesses "all property and interests in property of the designated individuals or entities that are in the United States or in the possession or control of US persons must be blocked and reported to" the office of foreign assets control.

The sanctions imposed by the US also set out the Kinahans’ leading roles in their cartel and gives details such as their home addresses and passport numbers, genuine and fake.


Daniel Kinahan

The sanctions list names Daniel Kinahan (44) as the owner of Dubai-based company Ducashew Trading LLC. It is a business consultancy company, which says it offers support and mentorship to companies as well as corporate concierge services.

The US treasury department  says the company is “owned or controlled by, directly or indirectly, Daniel Kinahan”. It adds that  he “runs Ducashew through various individuals and is involved in its financial and business management”. Ducashew is one of three companies placed on the US sanctions list.

The sanction papers also say Daniel Kinahan "has instructed" Kinahan organised crime group members "to send money" to people serving prison sentences arising from crimes, including murder, committed for the cartel. He "sources large quantities of cocaine from South America, plays an integral part in organising the supply of drugs in Ireland, and is attempting to facilitate the importation of cocaine into the United Kingdom".

Three addresses are listed for him; one in Dubai, where he lives, and two in south Spain, in Estapona and Malaga. He has four Irish passports, three of which were fraudulently obtained, as well as a British passport and three UAE identification numbers. The US states he is "believed to run the day-to-day operations" of the crime gang.

Christopher Kinahan jnr

Adding Christopher Kinahan jnr to the sanctions list, the US says he "regularly contributes to a fund" that is used to pay cartel members. He also "responds to directives" from his older brother and "has collaborated with other members" of the crime group to "transport and sell narcotics in the United Kingdom" and was "also caught travelling with a false identity document in Germany". Kinahan jnr (41) has, according to the US sanctions documents, three addresses; one in Dubai and two in Marbella, southern Spain. He also has three Irish passports, the numbers of which are also set out – and two of which are fraudulently obtained. Kinahan jnr also has a UK passport and three UAE identification numbers and uses two different dates of birth.

Christy Kinahan snr

The US says Christy Kinahan snr, who also goes by the name Christopher O'Brien and is nicknamed the Dapper Don, had "served prison sentences in Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium, including: six years for dealing heroin, two-and-a-half years for possession of cocaine and four years for money laundering".

The US treasury department  said he had built a list of contacts that gradually grew into what is now known as the Kinahan organised crime group. However, it said  his sons – Daniel and Christopher jnr – “now manage his drug trafficking operations while Christopher snr oversees the property portions” of the enterprise. “For example, Christopher snr has registered a number of companies under aliases or using abbreviations of his name.”

The 65-year-old is listed as having four addresses,  including one in Dubai, where he lives, and three in Spain; in Barcelona, Estepona and Marbella. He also uses three dates of birth and has used four places of birth. He has one Irish passport and four British passports.

Sean McGovern

Sean McGovern (36), who was wounded in the Kinahan-Hutch feud-related attack at the Regency Hotel, north Dublin, six years ago, is described by the department of the treasury in the US as "Daniel Kinahan's advisor and closest confidant". It further states that "evidence indicates that all dealings with Daniel Kinahan go through Sean McGovern".

McGovern, whose house in Crumlin, Dublin, was seized by the Criminal Assets Bureau in 2020 and who subsequently moved to Dubai, has also "managed communications on behalf of Daniel Kinahan, and he sells multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine". He has just one known passport, which is Irish, and the only address listed for him is in Dubai. A European arrest warrant had been issued for him by the Irish authorities as he is wanted in relation to a number of crimes, up to and including murder.

Ian Thomas Dixon

Dubliner Ian Dixon (32) is also currently based in Dubai. He is described as a key figure working for Daniel Kinahan, taking care of his money and has two Irish passports and four UAE identification numbers.

“Ian Dixon has arranged multiple payments on behalf of Daniel Kinahan, as well as moved bulk currency on behalf of Daniel Kinahan in Ireland and the United Kingdom”, US treasury department said. “Ian Dixon also oversees a fund on behalf of Daniel Kinahan and keeps track of money owed by a narcotics trafficker.”

The US authorities say  Dixon “owns or controls, directly or indirectly” the Hoopoe Sports company in UAE, which manages boxers and negotiates sports-based deals, including broadcasting contracts.

“Ian Dixon is a 49 per cent shareholder, and he also receives 80 percent of Hoopoe Sports’ profits. Ian Dixon is the sole manager of Hoopoe Sports and has full executive power over the company,” the treasury department says. Hoopoe Sports is one of three companies also on the US sanctions list.

Bernard Patrick Clancy

Bernard Clancy (44) is a Dubliner with addresses in Dubai and Estepona in Spain, and has two Irish passports. He is described in the sanctions list as “a key KOCG (Kinahan organised crime group) lieutenant, who, among other duties, is tasked by Daniel Kinahan with providing wages to elements within the KOCG and payments to others”.

John Morrissey

John ‘Johnny’ Morrissey (62), with an address in Malaga, Spain, is named as having “worked for the KOCG for several years, including as an enforcer, and facilitates international drug shipments for the organisation from South America”.

The US says Morrissey is also “involved in money laundering”. It is further stated that Morrissey is the owner or controller, either directly or indirectly, of the Scottish-based Nero Drinks Company Ltd, which sells luxury alcoholic drinks and is one of the three companies now on the US sanctions list.

Morrissey, it is stated, “has given a significant portion of the business to Daniel Kinahan to compensate for loads of drugs seized by law enforcement” and that he, Morrissey, controls the business through his wife who is “the primary shareholder, who is used as a frontperson for his interests”.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times