Daniel Kinahan: How an Irish Cartel Boss Took Over the Boxing World

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Daniel Kinahan: How an Irish Cartel Boss Took Over the Boxing World
Daniel Kinahan - international boxing businessman and one of Europe's most powerful crime lords - Image Source: Twitter

DANIEL KINAHAN, who Irish authorities say is the leader of one of Europe’s largest crime cartels, is a major figure in the boxing world despite his family’s murderous reputation.

An upcoming BBC Panorama documentary will reveal the extent of influence and power Daniel Kinahan wields over the world of boxing despite being named as one of Europe’s most powerful crime lords by a court in his native Ireland.

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The Kinahan Cartel is one of Europe’s most sophisticated and powerful crime cartels, flooding the continent with drugs and weapons from bases in Ireland, Britain, the Netherlands, Spain, and now the United Arab Emirates. From lowly heroin pushers working the mean streets of inner-city Dublin to international highly-trained hitmen on the Costas of southern Spain – the vast gang is run like a corporation, and according to Irish authorities Daniel Kinahan is currently its CEO.

The 43-year-old is the son of the group’s founder Christy Kinahan, an enigmatic Dublin-born drug baron who is fluent in at least three foreign languages to aid his international criminal empire. Daniel inherited his father’s knack for networking and money laundering and used his talents to infiltrate the lucrative world of professional boxing.

He established MTK Global, a massive agency representing 250 boxers worldwide including world champions such as Tyson Fury, Billy Joe Saunders, and Carl Frampton. He worked as Fury’s personal adviser and organised one of boxing’s biggest blockbuster fights between Tyson and Anthony Joshua.


In 2017, when a bloody gang war between the Kinahans and a rival Dublin mob made international headlines, MTK severed its ties to Daniel. However, the BBC documentary Panorama: Boxing and the Mob will reportedly reveal that from his exiled base in Dubai the gangster still acts as a valued organiser and advisor to many high-profile fighters worldwide.

Daniel’s lawyers claim that he is a “legitimate businessman”, despite Irish courts officially naming him as the de-facto leader of the Kinahan cartel. The crime family didn’t reach their global heights through brutality and violence, but through calculated intelligence and an astonishing talent for money laundering.

It seems certain that Daniel used his family’s vast wealth and global connections to establish himself in the world of boxing to present himself as a genuine entrepreneur, but with authorities across Europe and now the US Drugs Enforcement Agency closing in on the Kinhan cartel it seems his future in boxing may be coming to an end.



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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...

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