WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated the Kinahan Organized Crime Group (KOCG) along with seven of its key members, including its Irish leaders Christopher Vincent Kinahan Senior, Daniel Joseph Kinahan, Christopher Vincent Kinahan Junior, and three associated businesses pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13581, “Blocking Property of Transnational Criminal Organizations,” as amended. Today’s action is the result of close collaboration between OFAC, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Ireland’s national police force (An Garda Síochána), the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency, and the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation.
“The Kinahan Organized Crime Group smuggles deadly narcotics, including cocaine, to Europe, and is a threat to the entire licit economy through its role in international money laundering,” said Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “Criminal groups like the KOCG prey on the most vulnerable in society and bring drug-related crime and violence, including murder, to the countries in which they operate. Treasury is proud to have coordinated so closely with our international counterparts, and the U.S. government will continue to use every available resource to dismantle these criminal networks.”
KINAHAN ORGANIZED CRIME GROUP
The KOCG, which operates in Ireland and is also established in the United Kingdom, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates, was designated as a significant transnational criminal organization. The KOCG emerged in the late 1990s and early 2000s as the most powerful organized crime group operating in Ireland. Since then, Irish courts have concluded that the KOCG is a murderous organization involved in the international trafficking of drugs and firearms. Criminal activities of the KOCG, including international money laundering, generate proceeds in the United Kingdom, which are then pooled together and passed to local criminals before being handed to Irish organized crime group members and laundered out of the United Kingdom. The KOCG also frequently uses Dubai as a facilitation hub for its illicit activities. Since February 2016, the KOCG has been involved in a gang war with another group in Ireland and Spain, resulting in numerous murders, including of two innocent bystanders.
THE KINAHAN FAMILY
Irish national Christopher Vincent Kinahan Senior (Christopher Sr.), currently based in Dubai, was designated for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the KOCG. Demonstrative of a long history of criminality, Christopher Sr. has 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. During this time he was building a list of contacts that grew to what became known as the KOCG. Christopher Sr.’s sons, Daniel Kinahan and Christopher Jr., now manage his drug trafficking operations while Christopher Sr. oversees the property portions of the enterprise. For example, Christopher Sr. has registered a number of companies under aliases or using abbreviations of his name. Christopher Sr. has been known to have used false identity documents.
Irish national Daniel Joseph Kinahan (Daniel Kinahan), currently based in Dubai, was designated for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the KOCG. Each member of the KOCG reports to Daniel Kinahan, who is believed to run the day-to-day operations of the organization. Daniel Kinahan has instructed KOCG members to send money to a variety of individuals serving prison sentences, including a person convicted of attempted murder on behalf of the KOCG, and an individual imprisoned for murder on behalf of the KOCG. Daniel Kinahan, who sources large quantities of cocaine from South America, plays an integral part in organizing the supply of drugs in Ireland, and is attempting to facilitate the importation of cocaine into the United Kingdom. Daniel Kinahan is known to have used false identity documents.
Irish national Christopher Vincent Kinahan Junior (Christopher Jr.), currently based in Dubai, was designated for materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the KOCG. Christopher Jr. regularly contributes to a fund that is used to pay KOCG members. Additionally, Christopher Jr. responds to directives from Daniel Kinahan and has collaborated with other members of the KOCG to transport and sell narcotics in the United Kingdom. Christopher Jr. was also caught travelling with a false identity document in Germany.
Irish national Sean Gerard McGovern (Sean McGovern), currently based in Dubai, was designated for materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Daniel Kinahan. McGovern is Daniel Kinahan’s advisor and closest confidant, and evidence indicates that all dealings with Daniel Kinahan go through Sean McGovern. Sean McGovern also has managed communications on behalf of Daniel Kinahan, and he sells multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine.
Irish national Ian Thomas Dixon (Ian Dixon), currently based in Dubai, was designated for materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, Daniel Kinahan. 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. Ian Dixon also oversees a fund on behalf of Daniel Kinahan and keeps track of money owed by a narcotics trafficker.
Irish national Bernard Patrick Clancy (Bernard Clancy), currently based in Dubai, was designated for materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the KOCG. Bernard Clancy is a key KOCG lieutenant, who, among other duties, is tasked by Daniel Kinahan with providing wages to elements within the KOCG and payments to others.
Irish national John Francis Morrissey (John Morrissey), currently based in Spain, was designated for materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, the KOCG. John Morrissey has worked for the KOCG for several years, including as an enforcer, and facilitates international drug shipments for the organization from South America. John Morrissey is also involved in money laundering.
Nero Drinks Company Limited (Nero Drinks) is a UK-based alcoholic beverage company. Nero Drinks was designated for being owned or controlled by, directly or indirectly, John Morrissey. John Morrissey, who outwardly serves as the Nero Drinks’ brand ambassador, is heavily invested in Nero Drinks and has given a significant portion of the business to Daniel Kinahan to compensate for loads of drugs seized by law enforcement. John Morrissey controls and operates Nero Drinks through his wife, the primary shareholder, who is used as a frontperson for his interests.
Hoopoe Sports LLC (Hoopoe Sports) is a UAE-based sports management and advisory company. Hoopoe Sports was designated for being owned or controlled by, directly or indirectly, Ian Dixon. Ian Dixon is a 49 percent 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.
Ducashew General Trading LLC (Ducashew) is a UAE-based business management consulting company. Ducashew was designated for being owned or controlled by, directly or indirectly, Daniel Kinahan. Daniel Kinahan runs Ducashew through various individuals and is involved in its financial and business management.
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. 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.
U.S. sanctions need not be permanent; sanctions are intended to bring about a positive change of behavior. Consistent with the findings of Treasury’s 2021 Sanctions Review, the removal of sanctions is available for persons designated under OFAC’s Transnational Criminal Organizations sanctions authorities who demonstrate a material change in behavior. For detailed information on the process to submit a request for removal from an OFAC sanctions list, please visit here and refer to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Question 897. Additional information regarding sanctions programs administered by OFAC can be found here.