US sanctions Daniel Kinahan, offers $5 million reward for ‘disruption’ of Kinahan Cartel

Daniel Kinahan, founder of MTK Global and close advisor to Tyson Fury, Darren Till and a slew of other boxers and mixed martial artists,…

By: Tim Bissell | 1 year ago
US sanctions Daniel Kinahan, offers $5 million reward for ‘disruption’ of Kinahan Cartel
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Daniel Kinahan, founder of MTK Global and close advisor to Tyson Fury, Darren Till and a slew of other boxers and mixed martial artists, has been sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

The US Government has named Kinahan among the leaders of the Kinahan Organised Crime Group and offered a $5 million reward for information that leads to the disruption of the KOCG or Kinahan’s arrest and conviction. In a press release OFAC released an organizational chart for the KOCG as well as known addresses for Kinahan, who is believed to reside in Dubai.

Kinahan Organized Crime Group organizational chart.
US Department of Treasury

Courts, politicians and media outlets in Ireland have long maintained that Kinahan is the de factor leader of the KOCG, a group believed to be responsible for most narcotic trafficking into Ireland. Additionally, the KOCG is believed to operate throughout mainland Europe, North Africa and Oceania and be worth an estimated $1 billion.

Sanctioned along with Kinahan is his father Christy Kinahan, believed to be the group’s founder, and his brother Christopher Kinahan Jr.

A number if other individuals, named as Kinahan associates, and suspected Kinahan-affiliated companies were also sanctioned.

“As a result of today’s action, 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 U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC,” wrote OFAC on their release. “OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or persons within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons. U.S. persons may face civil or criminal penalties for violations of E.O. 13581 as amended or the Transnational Criminal Organizations Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 590.”

Despite being named in the press as a mob boss, Kinahan has sought to legitimize his image through a close association with combat sports.

Around 2012 he established Macklin’s Gym Marbella (MGM) with retired pro boxer Matthew Macklin. That company swelled from a gym in southern Spain to a promotion and management company.

After armed men attacked an MGM boxing weigh-in show at Dublin’s Regency Hotel in 2016, MGM rebranded and became known as MTK Global.

The Regency Hotel attack resulted in the death of David Byrne, an alleged top Kinahan lieutenant, and the wounding of Liam McGovern (who is one of the individuals now facing sanctions). It is believed that Kinahan was the intended target of the attack and that this was in retaliation for the failed assassination of Gerry Hutch, alleged leader of The Hutch Gang. Kinahan fled to Dubai shortly after this incident.

Today MTK is one of the most powerful companies in combat sports and represents dozens of top boxers and MMA fighters. It’s roster includes Tyson Fury, Billy Joe Saunders, Michael Conlan, Carl Frampton, Lee McGregor, Darren Till, Aleksandar Rakic and Mounir Lazzez.

After the Regency Hotel shooting MTK claimed that Kinahan was no longer involved in the company. This is despite top MTK talents, like Fury and Till, repeatedly claiming that Kinahan was their friend and advisor.

MTK is not one of the companies hit with this round of sanctions. However, Dubai based Hooepooe Sports was named. That company claims to represent some fighters currently on the MTK roster including Billy Joe Saunders, Hughie Fury and Michael Conlan.

In 2020 Fury caused controversy for thanking Kinahan when he announced his two fight deal to fight Anthony Joshua. After this it was revealed that Kinahan had been negotiating on Fury’s behalf for a number of the top heavyweights past bouts.

These public revelations lead to Ireland’s government calling for a boycott of any fight connected to Kinahan. Ireland also stated that they would be contacting their counterparts in the United Arab Emirates to discuss Kinahan.

This lead to Fury, and his US promoter Bob Arum, claiming they would no longer work with Kinahan. Kinahan was also dropped from his advisor role with KHK Sports, a company owned by Bahrain’s royal family.

News of these sanctions against Kinahan comes after a number of suspected Kinahan associates have been arrested in the UK and Ireland. Many of those individuals have been arrested in connection to killings and attempted murders committed as part of the Hutch-Kinahan feud. That feud has lead to at least 18 deaths. It began in 2015 with the execution of Gary Hutch (Gerry Hutch’s nephew) by suspected Kinahan members.

In their press release OFAC states that Kinahan has been sending money to individuals who are serving prison sentences for killings carried out on behalf of the KOCG.

Last month Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh was sentenced to 21 years for his role in the KOCG. British authorities have claimed that Kavanagh’s conviction represents the dismantling of the Kinahan’s UK operation.

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About the author
Tim Bissell
Tim Bissell

Tim Bissell is a writer, editor and deputy site manager for Bloody Elbow. He has covered combat sports since 2015. Tim covers news and events and has also written longform and investigative pieces. Among Tim's specialties are the intersections between crime and combat sports. Tim has also covered head trauma, concussions and CTE in great detail.

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