Gang boss loses laundering appeal
Crime godfather fails in challenge to four-year jail sentence in Belgium
Published 16/12/2010 | 05:00
International crime gang boss Christy Kinahan has lost his appeal against a four-year sentence for money laundering offences.
Dubliner Kinahan (53) was convicted in a Belgian court earlier this year but granted bail to appeal the sentence.
In the meantime, he was arrested by Spanish police for allegedly masterminding a massive drug trafficking and money laundering empire, with an assets portfolio conservatively valued at €250m.
Kinahan's appeal was heard and rejected by a judge in a court in Brussels on Tuesday.
The charges followed his arrest by Belgian federal police in May 2008 following extensive inquiries into a laundering scam and after assets worth €2.5m were seized.
A warrant will be prepared by the Belgian police for his arrest but will not be activated until Kinahan has been processed through the Spanish courts.
Kinahan has already served a jail sentence in the Netherlands for handling stolen property.
He also has a number of convictions here, and served a jail term of six years after he pleaded guilty to the possession of heroin with intent to supply after being arrested at an apartment in Fairview on the northside of Dublin in September 1986.
After he was set free from jail in Amsterdam, he moved to the UK but was later arrested by gardai in Dublin in connection with a batch of cheques -- worth IR£16,000 -- that were stolen from the First National Building Society in Drumcondra, also on Dublin's northside, in June 1993.
He pleaded guilty to handling stolen property, and, after serving a four-year sentence, he set up a new base in Spain with a network of Irish associates around him.
Last May, Kinahan was one of 23 people arrested in Spain, the UK and Ireland in a major international police operation, codename Shovel. He was detained in a swoop on his €6m villa in Estepona, on the Spanish coast, near Gibraltar.
Kinahan and his two sons, Daniel and Christopher Jnr, were initially remanded in custody by a judge who was appointed to investigate alleged involvement in crimes including drug trafficking, money laundering and falsifying documents.
But since then, all of the suspects have been released from jail.
Kinahan must sign on every Monday at a court in the Costa del Sol resort of Estepona, where the headquarters of the investigation is centred.
He was ordered to surrender his passport and instructed not to leave Spain until all of the judicial inquiries have been completed.
He is expected to remain on bail, unless he breaches any of the conditions, until the judge has decided whether criminal charges should be brought against him there.
The Belgian police are not likely to move against him until his fate in Spain is known.