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Friday 23 February 2018

Kinahans linked to string of seemingly legitimate export companies that had assets frozen

Christy Kinahan Snr
Christy Kinahan Snr
Daniel Kinahan
Chirsty Kinahan Jnr

Shane Phelan and Gerard Couzens

A web of seemingly legitimate companies, some of which described themselves as importers and exporters of toys, lay at the heart of the Kinahan criminal empire.

Dozens of firms were identified in the course of an investigation by police forces in several European countries.

These had their assets frozen following a series of raids by Spanish police in 2010 as part of Operation Shovel.

However, while the assets were still frozen, charges against Christy Kinahan and his associates did not follow and his operation is still considered the biggest wholesaler of drugs to Irish gangs.

The operation identified properties around the world with a combined value of more than €150m.

These include homes, plots of land and interests in pubs and retailers in Ireland, Spain, Brazil, Belgium, South Africa and Cyprus.

A fleet of expensive cars, including Lamborghinis, Porches, Ferraris and Bentleys, was also seized.

While these details are eye-catching, it was significant how a string of companies was set up by the family, seemingly in an attempt to portray them as legitimate businessmen and to launder cash.

Publicly available documents in Spain, where Dublin-born Kinahan and his sons Daniel and Christopher Jnr are based, show the family had interests in high-security apartment buildings, real-estate firms and companies importing and exporting children's toys, seeds, plants and insecticides.

In total, 31 firms, mainly based in the Costa del Sol, had their assets frozen on the orders of a judge.

They include Sea Dream Investments SL in Nueva Andalucia, near Marbella, of which Kinahan was a director.

The real-estate company was set up in December 2003, but hasn't presented accounts since 2007.

Another Kinahan-linked firm whose assets were frozen was Sea Investments SL, another real-estate firm located at the same address.

Meanwhile, Daniel Kinahan is listed as a director of Warm Beach SL, registered as a real-estate and clothes and toy import-export firm, also in Nueva Andalucia.

It began operations in August 2006 and last presented its accounts the same year. Its assets were frozen.

Daniel Kinahan is also listed as a director of The Score Emerald Group SL, another of the firms which had its assets frozen.

It was created in April 2005 as a building firm, located at an office building in Nueva Andalucia.

A further company linked to Daniel Kinahan is Sea Dream Homes SL, which is now in liquidation.

It registered as an import-export firm, which also sold retail and wholesale items such as clothing, toy, perfumes and electronics.

Its last accounts were presented in 2007.

Daniel Kinahan is also listed as a director and sole shareholder in Minotauro Trading, with an address at an apartment in Estepona.

In its incorporation documents, it listed its business as including real estate, management of sporting activities, import and export of seeds and plants and insecticides and management of car parks.

Its last accounts were presented in 2007.

Christy Kinahan's sister Denise Kinahan, who was also investigated as part of Operation Shovel, is listed as an administrator of the company. Both she and Daniel Kinahan were previously involved in import-export, dry cleaners and interior-design firms in Ireland. None of the firms ever filed accounts.

Publicly available records show that Christy Kinahan owned a two-bedroom home at the luxury Torre Bermeja complex between Marbella and Estepona.

The ochre-red complex has two gyms, two outdoors pools and a heated indoor swimming pool, as well as underground parking and 24-hour security.

Uniformed security guards man the gated main entrance around the clock and can monitor the rest of the fenced-off complex perimeter on CCTV from their office by the main gate.

All visitors have to be invited in by a resident and must sign in.

Each apartment has Bang & Olufsen sound and television systems, underfloor heating, a double spa bath in the master suite, alarm systems with sensors in every room, a panic button and smoke alarm.

The penthouses have six-person jacuzzis on the terrace.

It was bought with a €300,000 mortgage, but it does not appear that Christy Kinahan still owns the property.

Christy Kinahan was also linked to the ownership of a luxury property near a golf course between Marbella and Gibraltar.

Daniel Kinahan has been linked with a large whitewashed property teeming with security cameras mounted on high walls in El Paraiso between Marbella and Estepona.

Former boxer Jamie Moore was shot near this property in August 2014 and Daniel Kinahan asked for police protection afterwards.

It is not thought that he lives there any more.

He is now thought to have a luxury apartment in Marbella.

Irish Independent

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