The European Commission has vowed to go after the kinahan cartel and seize their assets in Europe — under a newly proposed law.
Following crippling sanctions imposed upon the Kinahans by the United States and United Arab Emirates governments, it has now emerged that the EU is set to also crack down on the multinational cartel, and the “highest bosses” within it.
Details of the game-changing proposal, which will effectively give police forces around Europe the same powers as our Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), were announced before the Commission yesterday.
Read more: Thomas ‘Bomber’ Kavanagh moved to UK’s toughest prison for ‘security’ reasons
And in announcing those details, Ylva Johansson, the EU’s Commissioner for Home Affairs, specifically called out the Kinahan cartel as a target of the proposed asset seizure.
“Now we make it possible in cases for example like the Kinahan cartel, where we have a huge cartel where the bosses we have been unable to really go after.
“They are acting in Dubai, in Spain, in Ireland, in a lot of other countries,” she said.
“They have been involved in drug trafficking, in firearms trafficking, in murders.”
And the proposals could spell more bad news for sanctioned mob bosses Christy Kinahan SR and his sons daniel and Christy Jr — as Ms Johansson said the new proposals would make it possible to confiscate the assets of top criminals even if they haven’t been charged with any criminal offence.
“And with this new proposal it is possible to do the confiscation even without the conviction if the property is frozen, based on suspicion of crimes committed within the framework of organised crime,” she said.
“If the court is convinced a frozen property comes from this organised crime then we also now have a real new tool to go after the highest bosses in these multinational, international organised criminal groups.”
The unprecedented move could see the Kinahans losing many of their properties across Europe — including in Spain, where they own a portfolio of luxury villas across Estepona and Marbella.
Tweeting her speech yesterday, Ms Johansson added: “Today I presented an @EU_Commission proposal that allows us to more efficiently trace, freeze and confiscate the assets of crime bosses and criminal organisations like the #Kinahan cartel.”
In a statement, the European Commission said it was proposing “new reinforced rules on asset recovery and confiscation.”
“Today’s proposals aim to ensure that the assets of individuals and entities that violate the restrictive measures can be effectively confiscated in the future.”
Effectively, the EU hopes to bring about what it calls a “basic standard” on criminal offences and penalties among member states.
The EU says this will “make it easier to investigate, prosecute and punish violations of restrictive measures in all Member States alike”.
And in a similar manner to the UAE and US, the Kinahans could also face wide-ranging sanctions from the EU, under the new proposals.
Once the EU member states agree upon the proposals, it will then form a piece of legislation that will be voted upon.
In a further statement, the Commision states the “core objective is to ensure that crime does not pay by depriving criminals of their ill-gotten gains and limiting their capacity to commit further crimes”.
The development comes as Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said Europe could learn from sanctions imposed by the US — and the same could be implemented on the continent.
“Well, the question of the strength for the sanctions and the established regime that they have in the US was obviously the preferred route for us to proceed because in working with the US authorities, they had a lot of experience to bring and established legislation to do this.
“[It’s] not the same within Europe and so we used the established process. I do think there is learning for us,” he said.
“This in effect is the first in effect, organised crime group which has had its base, or has a significant amount of its memberships are Europeans to receive this sanction.
“And so there is learning for us, I think, as a country, but also within the European Union as how we may proceed as well because hopefully we could bring the same tactics and tools to bear as well,” he said.
The proposal comes after the UAE and United States governments heavily sanctioned the Kinahans — freezing bank accounts, and businesses associated with them.
The US Treasury Department also issued a $5million reward for any information that would lead to the arrest and prosecution of Christy Kinahan Sr, Daniel Kinahan and Christy Kinahan Jr.
Read more: Secret wife of crime lord Christy Kinahan has died
Read more: Kinahans stuck in Dubai and can’t escape, gardai say
Sign up to the Dublin Live Newsletter to get all the latest Dublin news straight to your inbox.