US Ambassador Says Sanctions Will Hit Kinahans Hard As Cartel Uses Crypto For Laundering

Cronin appeared at a press conference in Dublin alongside Gardai, Europol, the UK’s National Crime Agency and US government officials in April when sanctions against the gang were announced.

During the briefing, she also announced a whopping $5 million reward for key information leading to the dismantling of the Kinahan gang.

She told the media that the US State Department offered a reward for information “leading to the financial disruption” of the transnational Kinahan group, or the arrest and conviction of its leaders.

The three leaders of the gang are appointed by the authorities as Daniel Kinahan, who runs the day-to-day operations, his father Christy Kinahan Snr who organizes property purchases, and Christy Kinahan Jnr who oversees their finances.

Speaking to The Irish Times, Cronin said cooperation between international law enforcement and financial intelligence officials “will limit illegal Kinahan activity internationally”.

“All of these things are just going to make it much more likely that the Kinahans will be held accountable for their activities,” she said.

“It was a great transnational cooperation between all these different law enforcement groups and we are united on that.”

It comes as a major US counter-terrorism group has claimed that the Kinahan Cartel will likely start using cryptocurrency to move its illicit profits out of Dubai.

After the sanctions were announced, Dubai officials also froze the cartel leader’s bank accounts.

The Sunday World previously revealed how Christy Snr and her two sons, Daniel and Christopher Jnr, are scrambling to get their assets out of the Emirate state.

The US-based security expert group claimed that Irish mob bosses would likely try to convert their assets into cryptocurrency to avoid detection by law enforcement.

The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) also warns that sanctions alone are unlikely to be enough to stop the Kinahan cartel – and that the United States will have to extradite the group’s leaders to end mob activity.

They said: “[The] the sanctions will cause very little disruption to the criminal operations of the KOCG or impact its ability to generate funds due to its global illicit activities.

“The KOCG is most likely taking advantage of weak anti-money laundering controls in the UAE to conceal the origins of its illicit finances, likely generating additional funds for its criminal empire.

“Without extradition from the UAE, it is highly unlikely that law enforcement will be able to prevent Christopher Kinahan Sr. or his sons from conducting their international operations.”

The Counterterrorism Group describes itself as a global organization “focused on detecting, deterring and defeating terrorism and other threats”.

They also claim that the increased collaboration between international authorities will have encouraged the gang to use cryptocurrency.

“Law enforcement will almost certainly be unable to detect illicit financial flows in the cryptocurrency market due to the decentralized nature of cryptocurrency,” the report states.

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