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UAE freezes assets of Kinahan drug trafficking gang - FT


Reuters Wire Services


The United Arab Emirates has frozen the assets of Ireland's Kinahan drug trafficking gang, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.


The United States, which earlier this month offered a $5 million reward for help arresting the leaders of the gang, has likened it to some of the world's most notorious crime networks.


Daniel Kinahan, one of the three leaders named, has been involved in organizing high-profile boxing fights in recent years.


The UAE is continuing to investigate the gang, the Gulf state said in a statement to the FT.


"The relevant authorities co-operate closely on cases involving foreign elements, in line with the UAE's international commitments and national legal framework for combating illicit activity," the government told FT.


The gang had gone from dealing heroin and cocaine in Dublin in the 1990s to operating across Europe, according to the Irish police.


The Dubai Media Office did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.


The asset freeze includes all personal and corporate bank accounts, a person briefed on the matter told FT.


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Sanctioned Kinahan gangster Ian Dixon was listed as manager of Dubai firm Probellum MMA Sports




BT Sport are reviewing their past boxing dealings amid claims alleged gangster Daniel Kinahan made millions in consultancy fees from Tyson Fury fights, with the broadcaster having screened the Gypsy King's bouts in the UK




Kinahan cartel mobster John Morrissey linked to 38 gangland murders




WBC President calls Dubai meeting with Daniel Kinahan ‘innocent mistake’




Kinahan crime gang: United Arab Emirates freezes assets after US sanctions



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Whether mere guilt by association - however unfair - Probellum may find itself in the same spot as MTK. If no other promoters or any broadcasters will touch you, you got nothing. Probellum has a problem.
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  • 3 weeks later...

Next order of business is to find out who's on that list. It started with Macklin being turned back from a flight to Vegas to cover Shakur-Valdez. Warren may be next if he has designs on attending upcoming fights of his charges. Conlan says nothing's changed, but it doesn't seem those on the list are being told they're on it. We may only find out and - as in the case of Macklin - those on the list may only find out at their point of departure.


This smacks of what the AELTC is doing in disqualifying Russian and Belarusian tennis players from Wimby. The LTA is also barring those players from ATP and WTA events in England. Are they unfairly casting too wide a net? Is it legal to deny a professional athlete from competing in America? Tennis players are weighing their legal options with respect to Great Britain. Unlike tennis, the boxing scenario would extend to promoters who have contracts with boxers to deliver them fights, perhaps specifically in America.


So authorities are likely trying to strong-arm anyone even tangentially linked to Kinahan in order to get them to spill the beans. Every individual case is different, but in both the boxing and tennis situations, the burden is being shifted from the authorities having to prove the individual's connection to the wrongdoing to the individual having to prove there is none.


No one's on the Kinahan side of this argument, of course - just as no one's siding with Russia - but we'll see what kind of pushback there is from the athletes and their management for interference with their business and ability to pursue their livelihood.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Any boxer who wants to appear on Sky Sports must sign a document to confirm they have no ties to companies previously linked to accused Irish crime lord Daniel Kinahan.


A one-page code of ethics distributed by Boxxer Limited—featuring the company’s logo and address in the header—explains in detail the company’s working relationship with Sky Sports and the standard to which athletes are held under such an agreement. The letter—a copy of which was obtained by BS.com—requires each participant to deny working in any capacity with promotional outfit Probellum or the now-defunct managerial conglomerate MTK Global.


Both companies are named in the second of three conditions under which participants are required to meet in entering said agreement. The letter does not mention Kinahan by name, though his alleged ties to both companies were reported at length in the wake of sanctions imposed by the U.S. Department of Treasury against the controversial figure and several members of a group identified by international authorities as the Kinahan Organized Crime Group on April 13.


The U.S. Treasury Department offered up to a $5,000,000 reward for information leading to the financial disruption of the KOCG and all business ties, or the arrest and/or conviction of Kinahan, his younger brother Christy Sr. and father Christy Sr. The matter quickly grew into an international investigation, with Ireland, the U.K., Spain and even the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—which doesn’t have an extradition treaty with any of the aforementioned nations—joining the U.S. in applying pressure on Kinahan and any affiliated business.


According to the letter, participants must confirm that they “do not employ, engage or work with any individual or entity which is subject to any embargoes, sanctions, trade controls or investment restrictions imposed, administered, or enforced by OFAC, the U.S. Commerce Department, the U.S. State Department, Executive Orders by the President of the United States, the United Nations Security Council, the United Kingdom; nor will I transfer any monies that Boxxer has paid to you in connection with the attendance at the Event(s); and/or the Sky Agreement to any such individual or entity.”


Said parties are also required to verify that they “do not employ, engage or work with MTK Global or Probellum, nor will I transfer any monies, including any monies that Boxxer has paid to you in connection with the attendance at the Event(s) and/or the Sky Agreement, to either such entity.” Nor are they permitted to ““transfer any monies, including any monies that Boxxer has paid to you in connection with the attendance at the Event(s) and/or the Sky Agreement, to either [Probellum or MTK]” prior to signing the document to work with Boxxer and Sky.”


Neither Probellum nor MTK Global were named in the U.S. sanctions as companies directly tied to Kinahan and his alleged crime organization. However, there existed industry-wide speculation of Kinahan’s—or at least MTK’s—direct involvement with Probellum since its inception last September. The company went on a massive signing spree, with most of its fighters already fighting under the MTK banner.


Both companies are headquartered in Dubai, where Kinahan has lived since at least 2016.


Further speculation was fueled of ties between Probellum and Kinahan this past March, when Rai Taimoor Khan, the Provincial Minister of Punjab for Youth Affairs, Sports, Archaeology and Tourism, tweeted pictures he took with Kinahan and Sandra Vaughan, though specifying a meeting with “Probellum on aligning vision on boxing for Punjab & how to make this sport bigger for our youth. Looking forward to hosting Daniel in Lahore to discuss Pakistan’s first International fight with foreign world class boxers InshAllah. Will share more info in the upcoming weeks.”


The matter was chalked up by Probellum officials as a mistaken classification, and again after Top Rank founder and chairman Bob Arum insisted that Kinahan “100 percent” still runs both Probellum and MTK.


Probellum has since threatened legal action against Top Rank, claiming that “any suggestions that Daniel Kinahan is a shareholder or owner of Probellum are false and defamatory.”


A report from The Daily Mail in the UK suggests similar actions will be taken against Boxxer—an upstart promotional company founded and run by the UK’s youngest licensed promoter Ben Shalom—based on discovery of the letter in question.


BS,com has learned that the letter has been in circulation since at least mid-May, shortly after MTK Global disbanded in the wake of growing scrutiny. The company was co-founded by Kinahan and former middleweight title challenger Matthew Macklin—who is not involved in crime and was not named in any sanctions— as MGM (Macklins Gym Marbella) in 2012, though Kinahan’s departure from the outfit was announced in 2017. The company was rebranded as MTK Global soon thereafter, shifting ownership to Sandra Vaughan.


Kinahan’s name resurfaced through the media in 2020, though again with the insistence through several MTK members that he no longer played an active role in the company.


BS.com has learned that several MTK fighters who signed with Boxxer last fall were instructed during a signee unveiling to not mention the managerial company by name. The instructions came as Sky confirmed a four-year deal with Boxxer, filling the void left behind by Matchroom Boxing upon the U.K. launch of global sports streaming app DAZN.


Sky has avoided securing TV rights to boxing shows tied to either company. Along with its four-year pact with Boxxer in the U.K., Sky has an equally long agreement in place with Top Rank. However, noticeably absent from its schedule is the three-belt bantamweight championship rematch between WBA/IBF champ Naoya Inoue and WBC titilist Nonito Donaire, which takes place June 7 in Saitama, Japan. Top Rank is the U.S. promoter for Inoue, while Donaire was among the first signees with Probellum last fall.


Probellum’s logo does not appear on the official fight poster nor was the company mentioned by name in Top Rank’s press release formally announcing its securing U.S. rights to stream the event on ESPN+. Probellum issued its own press release, taking pride in the fight as promoter Richard Schaefer played an integral role in securing the fight with Teiken Promotions and Amazon Prime Video, which will air the event live in Japan.

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Similar to the plan AELTC first considered in requiring Russian and Belarusian players to sign a statement denouncing Putin in order to play at Wimbledon. The plan was rejected as potentially placing family members in danger were players to take such a public stance. But apples and oranges with the Kinahan situation.


Ben Davison's absence ringside from Devin Haney's fight in Melbourne is Kinahan related.

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