The UAE has frozen assets related to the Kinahan Organised Crime Group, an Irish drug-trafficking gang whose members have been hit with US sanctions.
The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control placed sanctions on seven senior members of the crime gang to stem their financial operations.
American authorities have also offered a reward of $5 million for information on the gang that leads to the arrest and conviction of its leaders – Christy Kinahan Snr and/or his sons Daniel and Christopher Jnr – as part of a joint action by US, Irish and British authorities.
Kinahan associates Sean McGovern, Ian Dixon, Bernard Clancy and John Morrissey also faced US sanctions.
The UAE government takes “allegations of criminal activity extremely seriously”, it said in a statement.
“The relevant authorities cooperate closely on cases involving foreign elements, in line with the UAE’s international commitments and national legal framework for combating illicit activity,” a UAE government statement provided to The National said.
“In the case of the Kinahan Organised Crime Group, the UAE has been working proactively on its own investigations and as a result of this all relevant assets have been frozen.
“The UAE will continue to pursue its own investigations, and work in close collaboration with relevant authorities in the US, UK, Ireland and Spain on this case.”
Ofac also placed sanctions on three companies associated with the Kinahan operation, including Hoopoe Sports, a sports management and advisory company, and Ducashew General Trading, a business management consulting company.
A UK-based alcoholic beverage company, Nero Drinks, was also penalised.
Dubai-based boxing management company MTK Global, which was co-founded by Daniel Kinahan, this week announced its closure.
The company, which represents hundreds of fighters, said in a statement that as a business it had “faced unprecedented levels of unfair scrutiny and criticism since the sanctioning by the US government of Daniel Joseph Kinahan”.
It said Kinahan’s involvement in MTK had ended in 2017 but “unfounded allegations about his ongoing association with us and our fighters” persisted.
The gang emerged in the late 1990s and early 2000s as the most powerful organised crime group operating in Ireland.