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'I'M NO GANGSTER' Daniel Kinahan statement ahead of tonight's Panorama Boxing and the Mob expose

ALLEGED international gang boss Daniel Kinahan has issued a public statement denying being involved in organised crime.

The denial came ahead of a BBC Panorama documentary about his involvement in boxing which is due to air tonight (Monday, February 1)

Kinahan, 43, (pictured above right with Tyson Fury) has been alleged to be at the top end of the Kinahan Cartel international drugs network by investigators in his native Ireland and also Spain, the USA, the Netherlands, the Middle East and South America.

Kinahan, his father christy "the Dapper Don" Kinahan, 65, and brother Christopher Kinahan junior, were key targets and among 23 people arrested in Spain, Ireland and the UK as part of a 2010 Operation Shovel international probe into international drug smuggling.

However, Kinahan senior is the only one to have been charged and only in connection with passport fraud.

in 2018 US Homeland Security banned the three and several of their associates from entering the United States saying the posed a threat to law enforcement and national security.

DAPPER DON: Christy Kinahan is banned from the US with his two sons

In High Court papers lodged by the Irish Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) in 2018 as part of an application to seize 1.4m euros of assets said to be connected to cartel members in Ireland, Kinahan junior was described as a leading figure in an international criminal syndicate.

The CAB statement said: "It would appear that (Christopher Kinahan Snr) is now resident in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and that the day-to-day operations of his drug trafficking are managed and controlled by his sons, Christopher Jnr and Daniel Kinahan."

The cartel, which has tentacles from Ireland into the UK, Europe and Dubai, was established by his father, who is said to have taken a back seat after they relocated from Spain to Dubai after investigations in Spain, where they were based.

The cartel has been linked to about 18 gangland murders as part of an ongoing feud with the Hutch crime gang.

This led to a counter attack of February 5 2016 where Daniel Kinahan was the target when gunmen dressed as police stormed a boxing weigh-in at the Regency Hotel in Dublin, which was put on by his boxing management company MGM (now MTK Global).

Kinahan, 43, escaped, but his associate David Byrne, 32, was killed and he officially severed ties with MGM, which became MTK Global in the wake of the shooting.

However, Kinahan junior has been reinventing himself as a promoter within the top echelons of boxing.

Last summer he made international headlines after World heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, who is not involved in crime, thanked him in an Instagram video for arranging his long-awaited bout with Anthony Joshua.

But, the backlash and claim's of KInahan's links to serious organised crime saw him have to take a back seat.

Shortly after Fury's video was released, in the Dáil, then Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar spoke of his shock at Kinahan's involvement in the planned bout.

He urged the sporting world to "have nothing to do with" the fight due to his alleged links to organised crime.

BBC Panorama says it has been investigating Kinahan's involvement in boxing ever since with its documentary due to air this evening.

Kinahan said in a statement at the weekend that he is "a legitimate and respected businessman" and "proud Irishman" committed to the boxing world for the past 15 years.

It said he is "a legitimate businessman who has the trust and respect of leading international figures in his industry."

"Daniel has worked tirelessly over the last decade and a half protecting the interests of the fighters whose trust and respect he treasures," it added.

He said he would never return to Ireland, where he faces investigation by Gardai in connection with drugs, money laundering and several murders, as he could now never get a "fair trial."

The statement said: "Daniel is incapable of receiving a fair trial, not just in Ireland but elsewhere in the world due to the barrage of media accusations and coverage."

He claimed allegations made by the CAB in court were "wholly untrue and unsupported by any evidence."

The statement added: "The opinion of garda, expressed during court proceedings unconnected to Daniel, is routinely presented as fact, absent of scrutiny or context."

It said with no convictions he should be treated as "innocent until proven guilty".

He also attacked the media for the "relentless publication" of articles linking him to organised crime and the murderous feud.

The statement added: "A lie repeated one hundred times is still a lie. My wish, as is my God-given right, is to continue my professional and family life in peace and without continued harassment and I will vigorously defend my right to do so."

Panorama: Boxing and the Mob, presented by Darragh MacIntyre is on BBC1 at 9pm tonight.

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