United Arab Emirates government freezes assets of Kinahan gang 3 months ago

United Arab Emirates government freezes assets of Kinahan gang

It follows the shutdown of MTK Global this week.

Government officials in the United Arab Emirates have frozen the financial assets of the Kinahan drug trafficking gang as investigations continue into the overall operations of the enterprise.

Advertisement

According to the Financial Times, UAE authorities are working in conjunction with officials in Ireland, the UK, Spain and the US as part of the investigation.

It follows the announced internal shutdown of events promotion company MTK Global earlier this week, which was co-founded by Daniel Kinahan.

In a statement issued on Wednesday (20 April), MTK Global confirmed it was ceasing all operations, citing "unprecedented levels of unfair scrutiny and criticism" since the US government applied sanctions on Daniel Kinahan.

Last week, US officials offered a public reward of $5 million for information leading to the disruption of the Kinahan Organised Crime Group.

Advertisement

The reward is for information that leads to the arrest or conviction of three senior Kinahan members, Christy Snr, Daniel or Christopher Jnr.

On Thursday, the United Arab Emirates followed suit.

"The relevant authorities co-operate closely on cases involving foreign elements, in line with the UAE’s international commitments and national legal framework for combating illicit activity," said a UAE government spokesperson.

According to the FT report, the assets freeze includes all personal and corporate bank accounts belonging to the Kinahan gang.

Advertisement

"The Kinahan Organised 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 US Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E Nelson last week.

"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."

Taoiseach Micheál Martin, meanwhile, has said that his government is considering offering its own reward for information on the gang.

The Taoiseach made the comments at a launch of a new report from the National Economic and Social Council last Tuesday (12 April).

Advertisement

"I think it's very significant and I welcome this," he said.

"I do believe that we have to work internationally and collaborate with other authorities in respect of these issues.

"We want to do everything we possibly can to deal with criminality in our country."