Spanish officials say the gang has withdrawn from direct involvement in the process because of a lack of manpower on the ground since moving operations to Dubai and that the Kinahan cartel now only has an “investor” role in drugs shipments heading through Spain towards Ireland.
It is believed that now they act as “financiers” for others who want to land cocaine and hashish on the Costa del Sol and move it north through France and into Ireland via ferry. It is thought that the cartel — led by exiled mobster Daniel Kinahan — receives a share of the profits for their investment, without having to organise logistics themselves.
The Kinahan crime cartel was a key player in the European drugs trade, and their war with the Hutch crime group reflects escalating gang violence in Europe, say EU drugs and police agencies.
In a major report, the agencies said the EU drugs trade is now worth at least €30b a year, up from €24bn in 2016.
They said the cocaine trade is driving the surge and is now worth €9.1bn, at a minimum, compared to €5.7bn in 2016, up 60%.