Irish gangs "terrified" by the extent of US focus on the Kinahan cartel

Irish gangs “terrified” by the extent of US focus on the Kinahan cartel

A period of “shock” in Dublin’s underworld, which resulted in the disruption of the flow of drugs in the streets, came weeks after US law enforcement agencies announced that they were targeting and sanctioning the Kinahan cartel’s leadership.

Senior Garda sources said that the large scale of the announcement from the Americans meant that many of Ireland’s largest drug gangs, most of whom are in Dublin, were “scared” and immediately reduced their activities. This seemed to take the form of gangs stopping the movement of large shipments of drugs and cash, which affected the supply of medium-sized and small-scale traders.

The same sources said that although there was no “drought” in drugs in Dublin, the supply line came under pressure and the availability of certain drugs was affected. However, evidence has now begun to emerge that after the initial shock over the scale of the US operation, the larger movement of cash and drugs resumed.

“It seemed that when the US sanctions were announced, it had an impact across the board,” a Garda source said of the drug trade, adding that some of the gangs seemed concerned about the level of surveillance currently being applied. “For a period, they did not move around major shipments of drugs and cash and we put it down to the effect of the announcement of the US sanctions.”

Other sources said that the manner in which US law enforcement agencies so publicly announced their intentions to target the Kinahan cartel “surprised these guys a lot”.

“You have a large flow of drugs coming for one source, [the Kinahan] cartel, so many crime groups in Ireland are linked to that supply line, ”he said. “And the Americans are basically saying that they are now prioritizing that supply line.

“It would be big news in any country and it’s extremely important for Ireland because we are a small country. The kind of attention that Americans can apply to focusing on such a large source of drugs in this country will be frightening. many people.”

The sources said that the seizure of drugs and cash linked to the drug trade continued, even in the days after the US authorities announced the sanctions they imposed on China and offered rewards of up to 5 million dollars (4.8 million euros) for information about them. However, while some seizures of drugs and cash continued to be made, a reduction in moving around large shipments was noted and the supply of drugs was suspended.

Since then, however, there has been evidence that an increase in large-scale deliveries and transactions where much larger amounts of both cash and drugs have been seized more often.

Seven of the cartel’s key people – six of whom are based in Dubai – and three companies linked to them have so far been placed on a sanctions list by the US Treasury Department. This means that in practice they are excluded from the US banking system and cannot trade with individuals or companies in the US.

All money they have in US financial institutions will be frozen and any additional business they attempt to conduct in the US must be reported to the Office of Foreign Assets Control. More companies or cartel members may soon be added to the sanctions list.

The US authorities have also offered a reward of up to $ 5 million to any person who can provide information that would significantly disrupt the cartel or lead to the conviction of one of the three Chinese men – Christy Kinahan snr and his sons Daniel and Christopher jnr. About 600 people connected to the cartel management are also banned from entering the United States.

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