Drug baron Christy Kinahan Snr and his two sons could be extradited back from their Dubai bolthole to face justice in Ireland within months, a politician has claimed.
Despite there not being an extradition agreement in place between Ireland and Dubai there is still a high likelihood one will go ahead.
According to Fine Gael’s Seanad spokesperson for justice Senator Barry Ward, the Department of Justice is likely to write to counterparts in the United Arab Emirates requesting that the cartel bosses be sent back to face charges in Ireland.
Readmore: Ed Sheeran performs for thousands of fans at Croke Park as music blasts across the city
Senator Ward, a criminal barrister, said it’s highly probable it would be given the go-ahead too on the basis that the UAE imposed sanctions on the Kinahan gang and froze their assets, and they are now seen as “bad for business”.
The Emirati government did not reveal the extent of the asset seizure, or whether it included the sum of up to $8million paid by boxing promoter Bob Arum to Daniel Kinahan for his role as an “advisor” to star Tyson Fury.
In a statement to the Financial Times, the UAE said they are continuing to investigate the Kinahans together with the US, UK, Ireland and Spain.
Senator Ward told the Irish Sunday Mirror: “At the end of the day it will be up to the Emirati but it’s bad for business for them [the UAE].
“The easiest way for them to get this off their backs is to extradite these men to Ireland on foot of a request from the Department of Justice.
“That is why I think it will happen. The Department of Justice definitely wants to get them here, there are no two ways about it.
“I presume a letter will go, if it hasn’t gone already, saying that they want to extradite them.
“The reason I think it will happen is that the UAE has done it with other European countries and up to now there was an extent to which the UAE didn’t really care about our domestic criminal issues.
“But now you have a situation where the Kinahan’s are in the headlines internationally because of the DEA [Drug Enforcement Agency] steps in the United States.
“The DEA has stepped up and said ‘we are serious about catching these people’. They have named them as a criminal organization, so any of their business or associated industries in the UAE are now sanctioned by the US.
“So all of a sudden no matter what the emirates think, it’s now happening in their back garden.
“They have obviously taken their lead from the States and now frozen their assets which is a clear indication that they are serious about doing something about it.
“We don’t have an extradition treaty with the UAE so we can write to them and ask would they extradite, say, Johnny because we want to charge him with whatever it may be, but they have no obligation to cooperate or facilitate it. However, just because there’s no treaty, it doesn’t mean that we and the UAE can’t agree that there is a basis on which the men should be extradited. It is still possible and can still happen.”
Senator Ward said they could be extradited within months but the process could be slowed down if they challenge it on constitutional grounds.
He continued: “I presume the UAE has a similar procedure in that they will have the constitutional right to challenge said extradition if or when it happens. That would slow down the process a bit.” The possible extradition of the head cartel members comes as leaked documents expose their grubby life in Dubai.
The documents, which were shared by the Washington DC-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, showed that following the attack in the Regency Hotel in Dublin on February 5, 2016, brothers Daniel, 44, and 41-year-old Christopher Jnr moved from the south of Spain to Dubai.
Their father Christopher Snr, 66, was already established in the country.
The secret documents show how the Kinahan Organized Crime Group planned to open an import and export food business in Dubai with a projected profit of $6.8million. A due diligence report shows how authorities in Dubai branded Daniel and Christopher Kinahan Jnr’s business plan as “low risk” adding that it was “okay to proceed”.
Another branch of their business, in a separate jurisdiction of the UAE, would trade clothing and textiles.
Records show that authorities, despite extensive media coverage showing Christy Snr and his two sons were involved in drug trafficking, approved the Kinahan’s business plan.
Their business plan described how “Haizum General Trading Co. LLC” would import food from Brazil, Thailand, India, China and East Africa to Persian Gulf countries and beyond.
“We also hope to eventually expand into the trading of edible oil, pasta, and even poultry, if we happen to line up potential leads, prospective clients, and profitable deals for these products,” the business plan read. “We plan to incorporate the company with a physical office from the get go, as we expect to employ a workforce of seven employees,” it added.
A copy of the contract, obtained by ICIJ said that the company had a starting capital of approximately $100,000.
They rented a two-bedroom apartment on the 14th floor of the luxurious 33-storey Iris Blue apartment block in Dubai.
It also emerged in the leaked documents how the gang planned to set up a “commodity” business. It too was given the go-ahead after authorities in Dubai branded Daniel and Christopher Kinahan Jnr’s business plan as “low risk”.
Read more: Colombian drug lords still working with Kinahan cartel despite massive police crackdown
Read more: Mob boss Daniel Kinahan’s drug trafficking empire imploding amid crackdown on business partners
Sign up to the Dublin Live Newsletter to get all the latest Dublin news straight to your inbox.