He was once showered with praise by Tyson Fury for brokering what should have been one of the greatest fights in British boxing history.
Now the US government is offering $5 million for information which leads to the arrest or conviction of Daniel Kinahan and the other leaders of the Kinahan Cartel.
The dramatic intervention is seen as a blow to the sprawling criminal gang, whose drug and gun trade has grown from the streets of Dublin to countries around the world.
Here Sky News takes a look at what we know about Kinahan, the alleged crime boss who is said to have brought “an element of terror” to the boxing world.
Born in 1977 in Dublin, Kinahan is the eldest son of Christy Kinahan, a convicted drug dealer widely reported to be the founder of his family’s criminal operation.
Kinahan claimed to have been raised in a disadvantaged area, with severe levels of poverty and crime, which sparked his interest in boxing.
“People like me, from here on out, aren’t supposed to do anything else with their lives but serve the middle and upper classes,” he said.
“Boxing is a working class sport that I have always had a love and passion for.”
Kinahan – who has not had a criminal conviction – was reportedly arrested in connection with an attack on two police officers outside Dublin’s Shelbourne Park Greyhounds stadium in May 2001.
He was charged with assault and initially denied bail, but the charges were dropped the following January, according to the Irish Independent.
Disclosure and arrest of WikiLeaks in Spain
In 2009, Kinahan was reportedly mentioned in a diplomatic cable sent by a United States embassy in South America, in which he was described as an alleged figure in international drug trafficking.
The reference was revealed in a WikiLeaks publication of confidential US documents.
Kinahan was arrested in Spain in 2010, along with his father Christy and brother Christopher Jnr, but the long-running money laundering case was dropped in 2020.
In 2016, it was reported that Kinahan ran a string of innocuous businesses ranging from interior design firms to a cleaning business while in Ireland – for which he never filed accounts.
Company records showed Kinahan declared himself an “upholsterer”, the Irish Independent said.
Attempt to kill Kinahan amid gang feud
Kinahan fled Ireland after an assassination attempt at a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel in Dublin in 2016.
Gunmen from the rival Hutch gang disguised as armed police attempted to assassinate him, killing his associate David Byrne instead.
Describing the incident, Kinahan said one of the assailants was “maybe six meters away from me” when he saw a gun and heard “‘boom boom’ shots being dropped”.
At least 18 people have been murdered in the feud between the two gangs.
Kinahan, his father Christy and his brother Christopher Jnr are now all based in the United Arab Emirates.
In May 2017, Kinahan was reportedly married at the seven-star Burj al Arab hotel in Dubai.
Guests included Chilean drug lord Ricard “El Rico” Vega, Dutch-Moroccan mobster Ridouan Taghi and Italian mobster Raffaele Imperialem, according to Dublin Live.
Tyson Fury’s praise for Kinahan
Kinahan co-founded boxing management company MTK Global, which represents more than 300 fighters including Tyson Fury, Carl Frampton and Billy Joe Saunders.
In June 2020, Fury publicly thanked Kinahan for reaching a two-fight deal with fellow British heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua, in one of the most anticipated title fights in sports history.
“I’m right after hanging up on the phone with Daniel Kinahan,” Fury said.
“He has just informed me that the biggest fight in British boxing history has just been agreed.
“Big thanks to Dan. He pulled it off, literally across the line. Two fight deal.”
He continued, “So a big thank you to Dan for making this deal happen. All the best. God bless you all. See you soon.”
There is no suggestion that Tyson Fury is associated with any wrongdoing.
After Kinahan’s involvement was revealed, then-Prime Minister of Ireland Leo Varadkar said it would be “quite appropriate” for broadcasters not to show the scheduled fights.
Following the outcry, KHK, a sports media company set up by the son of Bahrain’s king, said it dropped Kinahan as an adviser.
And just two weeks after his video praising Kinahan, American Fury promoter Bob Arum claimed the boxer had ended his professional relationship with the Irishman.
However, Arum added that Fury “loves, admires and respects” Kinahan.
The deal between Fury and Joshua was later scrapped after a decision meant Fury had to face American boxer Deontay Wilder.
‘Dangerous’ Kinahan brings ‘terror’ to boxing
Former Irish boxing world champion Barry McGuigan has publicly expressed serious concerns about Kinahan’s role in the sport.
McGuigan called Kinahan a “dangerous man” whose role in boxing had brought an “element of dread” to the sport.
He told a BBC Panorama documentary last year: “There’s no doubt there’s an intimidating effect, there’s no doubt about it.
“If we were to believe what we believe, he is a very dangerous man.
“There is an element of fear and dread around that name.
“Someone has to be careful about this sport. They really have to look at this situation very carefully, because it’s damn dangerous.”
After the show aired, the BBC said a Panorama crew had been threatened by anonymous criminal elements in Northern Ireland in connection with the show.
Kinahan denies links to criminal gangs
Following the Panorama program, Kinahan released a statement insisting that he was not connected to a criminal gang.
He also said he was still putting on “record world title fights” despite claims from broadcasters and boxing promoters that they weren’t dealing with him.
“I can’t be any clearer on the fundamental insult – I’m not part of a criminal gang or conspiracy,” he told TalkSport.
“I have no convictions. None. Not just in Ireland but all over the world.”
Fury pictured with Kinahan in Dubai as the boxing chief offers his support
In February this year, Fury was pictured with his arm wrapped around a smiling Kinahan in Dubai.
A month later, World Boxing Council president Mauricio Sulaiman offered his support to Kinahan after meeting the Irishman.
Writing an op-ed for The Herald of Mexico, Sulaiman said Kinahan faced “prejudice” after being “labeled as someone linked to criminal groups.”
He added: “I am no one to judge anyone, and it is the policy of our organization to fight against all types of discrimination and abuse of power, before anyone and any group.”
Kinahan “sources cocaine in large quantities in South America”
On Tuesday, the US government announced a $5m (£3.8m) reward for information leading to the arrest or conviction of Daniel Kinahan, his father Christy and his brother Christopher Jnr.
The US Treasury Department has described the Kinahan criminal gang as a “significant transnational criminal organization”.
It read, “Every member of the KOCG (Kinahan Organized Crime Group) reports to Daniel Kinahan, who is supposed to direct the day-to-day operations of the organization.”
Kinahan asked members of the Kinahan crime group to send money to people serving prison sentences, including those convicted of murder and attempted murder, according to the US Treasury Department.
Kinahan also “sources large quantities of cocaine from South America” and “plays a vital role in organizing the drug supply in Ireland, and attempts to facilitate the importation of cocaine into the UK”, he added.
Some of boxing’s biggest figures – including Fury – have now been asked to cut ties with Kinahan.
Irish Police Commissioner Drew Harris said: “If you are dealing with these individuals who have been sanctioned, or these entities who are being sanctioned, you are involved in a criminal network.
“I would ask them to look at their own business, the probity of their own business and the relationship with their fans and, really, is that something they want to be involved in in terms of their legitimate business. I think the answer to that is a resounding no.”
You Can Read Also