US bans 600 people with suspected links to Kinahans

Figures in professional boxing among those hit by sanctions prohibiting travel to US, senior garda says

Some 600 people with suspected links to the Kinahan organised crime group have been barred from entering the United States by American authorities, according to Assistant Garda Commissioner John O'Driscoll.

Speaking during a trip to the US, Mr O’Driscoll said sanctions prohibiting travel to the US had been placed on several hundred individuals due to their connections with the Kinahans, including large numbers involved with professional boxing.

“Businesses associated with boxing in particular, and its connections with the US, are of particular focus of the US authorities,” the senior garda told RTÉ News.

Mr O’Driscoll, who is responsible for policing efforts tackling organised crime, met officials from the US Drug Enforcement Administration and several other agencies during his trip.

In April US law enforcement announced significant sanctions against cartel founder Christy Kinahan snr and his sons, Daniel and Christopher jnr, as well as four of their associates.

Rewards of up to $5 million have also been offered by the Americans for information that would lead to the conviction of any of the three Kinahans or for significant information that could degrade the cartel.

The high-profile announcement of the steps taken by US authorities to target the criminal organisation saw the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government follow suit with sanctions aimed at the leadership of the cartel, the majority of whom are based in Dubai.

Speaking last month Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said the commencement of the US sanctions was a “landmark” day in the fight against the cartel’s leadership.

The sanctions led to MTK Global, a boxing company founded by Daniel Kinahan a decade ago, to announce it was to shut due to "unfair scrutiny and criticism".

The company managed a long list of world-class boxers, including Tyson Fury and Billy Joe Saunders. It was founded by Kinahan under the name MGM in 2012, but he subsequently left the company and in recent years it has repeatedly claimed to have cut all ties with him.