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Hello and welcome to The Stand with Eamon Dunphy. The stand is proudly supported by Tesco at Tesco, our exclusive house for over sixty fives. Family carers and extremely medically vulnerable customers are every weekday, Monday to Friday, up to nine a.m. Health care and emergency services have priority access at all other times now, more than ever, every little helps. Yesterday in the special criminal court and the Kinahan organised crime cartels suffered yet another blow when two of its members were sentenced to a total of 17 and a half years between them.
Patrick Curtis was jailed for 10 years, and Mohammed Shmoo was sentenced to seven and a half years, both for their role in the plot to murder Patsy Hodge. This is, of course, part of the canon and feud which has really dominated the lives of people in part of this city in the inner city and for quite some time now, particularly since the Regency Hotel incident in 2016. And the Kinahan cartel is one of the most dangerous and one of the biggest in the world.
And drugs is the game. Drugs and murder is their game last Sunday in the Sunday world.
And there was a superb booklet with the paper and it was titled Daniel Kernahan On the Ropes. The author, Nicola Tarrant, is the investigations editor of The Sunday World. And this is a superb piece of work by Nicola. She is without doubt the crime journalist of the year. But more than that, she is probably the most informed and journalist in the country about her subject and also writes about it superbly. Nicola, thank you very much for joining us on the stand.
It's a superb piece of work that you published in the Sunday World last week because it is tells the story. There is a narrative. All the characters are laid out. And above all, what you get from this booklet is a sense of the world the Kenyans inhabit and, of course, the Huch family, but the Kenyans in particular. And it's as you say in passing in the book, that it's a world that for Daniel Kinahan is growing smaller by the day.
Just let's begin with yesterday's convictions in the special criminal court. Patrick Curtis in particular, grew up in the inner city in HOJ territory.
He did. And I mean, this is classic. Really. What we keep coming back to is the fact that this neighborhood has been divided by something way bigger than it, by something that's started and has yet to finish. And but it started out in Spain and brings in so many threads and strands of boxing and, you know, money laundering and everything just comes together. And really that at the weekend was quite was a lot of work was 20000 words.
Does is really still the tip of the iceberg. I mean, it's such a big story, a vast story of organised crime and and of Dublin, really. Cursus Tarzia from Bellman's Will Conceivable Place was convicted of and directing a criminal organisation and ultimately directing a plot to kill Pazzi hootch and his one time neighbour and the father of Gary Hootch who would have been in and around the same age as Curtius. And they would have they would have grown up together.
Gary Hootch, Patsy's son was was murdered in Spain in twenty fifteen.
And, you know, and he is the brother of Gerry Hoj, the monk. That's Patsy Hutches, Jerry's brother. Yeah. Yeah. And just to give us an idea of the modus operandi here at the murder of Gary Huch and is in itself interesting and why it happened. Can you tell us why it happened? Because there had been a deal between the Huch and Kinahan organisations that Gary Holditch would be OK, but he was a foot soldier for the Kennan's, correct, Gary?
Was way more than that, he would have been at one point an equal to Daniel King and they were in and around the same age. They both came from backgrounds. Thus, Daniel obviously had his father, Chris Christie, kind of senior, the Dapper Don and Gary hootch. Being the nephew of the monk, you had a bit of a swagger to him as well. And they grew up on either sides of the levee in Dublin, but they came together as one drug organization in Spain and hootch, Gary Hootch was listed on extradition documents as one point as the number two to Daniel Kinahan.
So as Kinahan is coming up to on his way to taking over the organization from the father, Gary hootch would be his right hand man, his wingman, essentially, yes. They were best friends. They lived together in Spain. They shared an apartment. They shared everything. And and, you know, Gary, hooches murder in twenty fifteen in the grounds of an apartment complex in Spain would have been unthinkable just a few years previous. Absolutely unthinkable that they would have turned on one another in such a way.
But it all goes back to the boxing, really. And Gary, hutches murder went back to the shooting of a boxing coach called Jamie Moore on the grounds of Daniel Cannon's very luxurious villa in deponent in Spain in twenty fourteen. And Jamie Moore survived. And Jamie Moore is an innocent boxing coach, had nothing to do with organized crime, but was was was shot in the grounds of that villa. And really, it was his shooting that led to to all the problems that ensued because he was shot and killed on the grounds of this house.
It was at a time that Kinahan would have been on his way home. And the general consensus was that this was a case of mistaken identity. So kind of handsaws as the first attack on him. He blames Gary hootch on that. And the fallout had happened between the two of them over money. Daniel Kinahan was rising to Graser places because he's inherited the father's business and was mingling with an Eastern Europeans, South Americans and Dutch big mafiosa and had kind of brought them together as a super mafia.
And they were going to take over the cocaine market in Europe. And the idea of Daniel Kinahan, really, because he believed that if they got together, they could buy their stuff cheaper. It wasn't exactly rocket science. They could come together as a business organization, buy in at the goods cheaper and then make more profits out of them. But in doing so, in doing that deal, I think he probably just left Gary hootch behind. And Gary hootch had invested money and believed he was owed money back and and things just turned dirty.
And that led to Gary Hutches murder there is am I right in believing that the Hutch side of the coin and tired of it had done a deal and which Gary Hodges life would be spared for a payment of two hundred grand?
Well, so the story goes and that is what we believe happens. Thus there is a belief that the elders of both sides of those families, the Christie and Senior and the Jerry, the coach, stepped in to try and settle things. And, you know, there is that older generation would believe that murder and feuds are bad for business. So they got together and it was agreed. Does this shooting had obviously been carried out by the size compensation had to be paid?
And Gary Gary, which is life could be saved as a result. But he was to go off and do his own thing. And basically it was a kind of a bio seen as a buyout by the Hutch. The organization which would take Gary was pay his his dues for the the the nastiness that has occurred. And they'd all go on about their business. But that deal was reneged on when he was killed in twenty fifteen. And really that's the moment that the gloves come off.
Yeah. And there is the trust is gone and that old school Ghanians is destroyed in that moment.
Yes. And then the next definitive moment is the Regency Hotel, which we believe was organised by the Holditch faction and the the. In your book that on Sunday, which I urge everyone to read, if. Can you show how at the Kennan's a change after that and how they invented a story about a propaganda? To suggest that the government and the British economy had conspired with the HUCH faction to take out Daniel and although they didn't get him.
Yeah, and indeed the media is part of that conspiracy theory, too, to follow the line of thinking that's coming from Ken and Kinahan. That moment in the Regency was sanctioned by and it was carried out by criminals who were working hand in hand with the guards and the media and put it all failed. And it was all done because politically there was concerns that Sinn Fein were going to do well in the election. So that is the theory that has been put forward from from the Kinahan side.
And one does Daniel and believed was going to be enough to allow him make the transition from criminal to businessman to power broker within boxing. Yes, he has been pushing this story in this, like most conspiracy theories, utterly ridiculous. And yes, he believes us and he believes that others will believe us now outside Ireland. I think that for a long time there was a sense that this story was being swallowed. Thus, he had painted Ireland as this Wild West where such things could happen.
And we've all heard through the boxing circles recently emerged from the shadows to be seen as Tyson Furies powerbroker and the guy who organised that big bout between Fury and Anthony Joshua, he was hailed by figures in sports and who are major big players in America. He was really seen as a legitimate businessman. He believed, I think, that this tale would get him through. And I do think this outsider fans in certain parts of the world, sometimes there is still this belief.
Does it throw in a little bit of politics, a little bit of. A little bit of Iara story and people still believe those things are the way they used to be way back. I mean, you know, sometimes you can be surprised at the attitude of some Americans and others who still sort of believe Ireland is this quaint little place of existence, you know, hundreds of years ago.
So the the attempt by Daniel Cannon, who has no criminal convictions to his name, the attempt is was being made to become a major player in world boxing. And the key to that, Bob Arum, who had promoted fights involving Muhammad Ali, is 88 now, but he's a huge name in international boxing is the American and the Hurn faction in London, Barry Hearn and his son, who is a very successful boxer for all of these people, were now praising.
Can I have Daniel can, because he had rehabilitated Tyson Fury and and, of course, the dream match between the two best heavyweights in the world and genuinely the best would be a match between Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, both British. It would take place in the Middle East. And Daniel Cannon was given the OK by all concerned to make this match. In other words, to persuade them to make sure the money was there and he had a Pakman that didn't.
The Middle East and people who were government, in fact, who were interested in helping with this.
This is the thing about it is I suppose that all along. So Dublin and gangland and the north inner city and so many things have been affected by what happened within the US. Can an organization what happened between what you can and what happened that day in the Regency? You know, we have seen the murders on the streets. We have seen the the reaction by the guards here, which has really swept up so many, you know, murderer would be murderers, hitmen, you name it, people willing to take money to take out their neighbors.
And we've seen all of and it's changed everything here in Ireland. But at the same time, while all that was being directed from Dubai and funded by the money that was being made from swamping communities with drugs, Daniel Cannon was also on another trajectory, which was behind the scenes getting himself to a position where he was going to step out from those shadows and be the guy that arranged the biggest boxing battles in history. They say with, you know, a purse that is just the biggest ever, ever, ever seen.
And I actually started my story, my lengthy story about all of this with some testimony given by a Mafioso called Salvadore Gravano. And in nineteen ninety three, he was known as well. His name was The Bull when he was working for for John Gotti boss. He was later known as the Rock because he he he became a star witness in America as they began to take down the Mafia. And Gravano gave evidence at a particular committee about the interests of the Mafia in boxing.
And he described really how they intended to launder their funds through as and how they intended to use it. It brings us right back to show us, you know, there has always been that massive interest, an element of criminality within boxing. Yes. And his testimony is quite extraordinary. I mean, it's even it's available even online, how he talks about buying up gems they had intended, buying up gems and laundering funds through coaches and various things like that.
He talks about the person of interest to them and not really fixing the fights because the persons were getting so big because of the pay per view television that exists now, as you know, Nicola, and that's that's what has elevated these fights into the tens of millions rather than even Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. You know, that could only be shown in cinemas and our live television, but it didn't have the revenue generating power of the pay per view. That's that happens now.
I mean, that's the point, I suppose, to back then when the Mafia were interested in in in boxing and they saw us as a place that they could make influential connections with people in the hotel industry and in venue industry and all this stuff. He even named actually in his testimony this they saw it as a way to reach out to Donald Trump. But this was back in 93 three.
But like they're talking at the time that they're interested, the mafia then I know of is inflation, et cetera. But they're talking about this sort of moment that the persons have become five hundred thousand dollars. Now, move on to now when you're talking, I mean, it's five hundred million is the price they're talking about now. So, of course, there's going to be an interest, therefore, in boxing and in a sport that has always been open to a little bit of criminality.
And so, yeah, it's just interesting. This that trajectory was happening at the site and has been happening at the same time. Thus we have been here in Ireland just and in Dublin in particular in. North inner city been subjected to to to this power. Power battle, really, which has caused so many lives and caused so much bloody money, I mean, hundreds of millions have gone into the fight against this organization.
Yes. And you paint a very vivid and grisly picture, Niccola, of D after the Regency Hotel when David Byrne was murdered and Daniel Kinahan escaped after that revenge. And in what you describe as an insatiable desire at to murder people on the other side of this feud, I watch people. And the toll it has taken is incredible in Dublin's inner city in particular. And it's it's that you've described so vividly in your assessment. And one of the things that is of interest is the whistleblower who who you write a chapter about in this book that the whistleblower, I take it, is a hotch.
Maybe the monk himself, who knows, but the whistle blower is a pain for the Kennan's because he can use he or she can use social media, put up rumors at truth and all of that stuff. Tell us about this whistleblower and the significance in terms of tormenting Carnahan that it marks the whistleblower is is a phenomenon of modern crime.
And it's this sort of info war thing. It's this online anonymous being. Thus, in the case of the whistleblower who emerged around 2018 from my own memory in or around then, and started basically essentially Rossing, as they call it, and Guillaume's, you know, whoever this this person is, because this is supposed to be the biggest crime ever to. And yet this is actually quite openly and with with thousands and thousands of followers. It's an extraordinary, interesting arm of warfare.
It's updo if anyone wants to see it. Is it is. It is. It is upon Twitter. And Twitter itself was an interesting arena to use because, you know, there are obviously Instagram and Facebook and all this. But Twitter is the notoriously cranky, crotchety middle class, the type of a place to to get on. And that's what was chosen. But it is it is just it just. Puts out all sorts of stuff, a lot of us is on substance and some of this is not true.
Some of us is what I would see as information coming into an unchecked and re. Published now in crime journalism in the past 10 years or slightly more, that has become incredibly important to improper journalism. I mean, sorry, it I mean journalism. It's become very important to check information, particularly in crime journalism, because of a lot of these anonymous channels that people can now get to on. And there's all sorts of these email addresses that cannot be traced there on the darknet and all the rest of an information which can look bloody juicy a lot of the time.
And certainly you're sitting there trying to get a story together for the weekend and they can it can look great. But you got it has to be checked and over and over again because you're lacking the ability to see who is giving the information, which allows you to ascertain the reason for us. The motivation first is this piece of, you know, who's giving you the information. They might not be the cleanest character in the world that you're able to work out why they're doing this.
And maybe you're able to say, well, actually, I'm OK with that, why they're doing this and I'm happy it's true. So I'm going to run with it or else I'm not running that because that's just going to try and set somebody up for murder. So this very complex situation with the whistleblower, I think that a lot of stuff is coming in and it's just been published. So therefore, some of it isn't true. But I have certainly checked up a lot of the more important information that's been put out on it.
And Italy is very much with intelligence that's held by police forces. So that is really when when it starts in twenty eighteen, a lot of the significant information that was floating forward from us and, you know, it pricked the interest of certainly the guards and others because they were aware that this information was certainly what they believe to be true. And secondly, it could only have been coming from somebody that was once close to Cannon and the gang.
Yes. And the there is a big moment which involves a cavenagh who is and we've covered this on the podcast with you. He was convicted recently. I think he's awaiting sentence in the U.K., but he is a huge figure in the gangland and his apprehension by the UK authorities with cooperation. I think from I'm going to see it coming out of his apprehension. He's fallen, as it were. That is a huge moment, isn't it, in terms of organised crime in this country and in particular in relation to the can an organised crime gang.
I would say that's bombers for bomber. Cavernous fall is probably. Probably the biggest. Moment for law enforcement since maybe the Gilligan gang were taken down. Yes, and obviously that was significant for different reasons. They hadn't grown as big or developed as much, but they had, you know, directed that horrible crime of murdering Veronica Guerin from a national point of view, so significant that they were taken down. And former Kovno described scribes and have written about this before.
But the police is the bomber, Kovno was sold a story by Daniel Kinahan claiming that one of his children was to be kidnapped by a partner of his. He believed as he and he tightened his ties with Kinen because of the information that he came to him with and because he believed that he thought it was a problem for him. And his loyalty to Kinahan was only cemented then because it was his brother in law that was murdered in the Regency when Putin was the target.
So he sort of came forth as the man who was going to, you know, direct the revenge here in Ireland. And he has been totally dismantled, decimated for a once very powerful godfather of crime. He made some, you know, some bad decisions, probably emotional ones that landed him in all sorts of trouble. He was forced to be dismantled because he was the easiest to get his operation around between England and Ireland and his weapons men, all his operators here who he believed were working undercover, have all been and have all been brought before the court.
So if they were already serving sentences, others have still to face trial. And he himself is looking at anything from 20 years when he is sentenced in October in England for directing a criminal organisation.
And he's not a young man. No, he's not. I mean, look, that doesn't he still very was still very powerful when he was taken down.
No, I'm down to 20 years. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Absolutely. I mean, God, I don't know how any of them do one year, to be honest with you, they seem to be able to do this prison time with their hands tied behind their back, including these nine guys have been has been jailed for this whole test, as we spoke about at the beginning of your podcast. And and, you know, they go in and they do their time and they lose so much of their lives. But that doesn't seem to even doesn't seem to register even with them that they lose their occupation.
That's just that's it for it's part of the it's part of the job.
Now, Nic, they just finally the sentence yesterday of 17 years to seven and a half years to man Patrick Curtis and Mohammed Shmoo. These are big fish. But nevertheless, it looks as if the cannon operation here now in terms of where is it? Is it reduced to small time street level drug dealing?
Well, you know, I wrote another piece there at the weekend and whether or not I did. Yes.
On page one of the one of the the last remaining operators here for the kids working directly for the candidates down to organise and is moonlighting as a milkman. Yes. And he's collecting the wages. So that's obviously interesting enough that he's working as a milkman, but only to try and cover up where his real earnings are coming from. He's collecting the wages the Kennan's always have paid in a wage structure. So everyone has a place. It looks slightly civil services and there's a structure.
What you get paid, you get a bonus, a Christmas bonus this summer. And if you do anything else, you know, if you do a hit or whatever, you might either get paid or they will invest your funds into the cartel. That's how it's always worked. So this guy is left collecting the money for them and paying the wages. And there's nothing leaving the country. There's no cash leaving the country. So they were at one point at their height, they were pulling out two million a month profits, clean profits, having paid everybody else.
Now there's nothing. So they're down to those. And I believe that the the wages are also going to distinct and they have to pay. Everyone is in prison. Yes. They have to keep paying them. It's part of the deal. And they have to to to give them enough cash to keep their demand side. And, you know, there's a lot of people in prisons doing nothing for them, but still on the on the wage structure.
And finally, Nicola, Daniel can harm the guards have been very, very successful. Remarkably successful, there appears to have been what didn't seem to be there for a long time, cooperation between the Netherlands and Spain and other police with the British and our own, there have been very, very successful. And they have Unadilla of Roger, as you point out in your book, that Liberata named the Kennan's in the door. Daniel can and now cannot come back to this country.
And I said before, as you said, his world is becoming smaller. He can't come back here of he will be charged and it's been difficult for him. And could he go to Amsterdam or is he stuck for the moment in Dubai? And that may also not be a long term possibility for him.
So he took his so-called race. He left Spain in twenty seventeen and he hasn't returned there since. He is out in Dubai. And as I've sort of described some he's almost become the hunted out there. He's no longer the hunter. Yes. And, you know, he has his his comrades have fallen. His business partners have fallen. There are very few left that we're in within his inner circle.
His boxing his boxing dream is also. Redundant and because the British sporting press and the British press in general gone on high alert, so that option doesn't look too good either.
I don't think we should let our guard down as a media or either, indeed as a police force about the boxing dream, because as is proved before, he can work behind the scenes in boxing and deny that he is and have, you know, have people denied for him that is anything to do with us. I mean, you have to remember that he denied and the company he found it denied for years and years and years, aggressively denied it, anything to do with us until he stepped forward.
And then they agreed that he was actually working as an adviser to a lot of boxers and had been working away. So I don't think we should leave our guard down with I think we should always be open to the possibility that Don McKinnon is still there behind the scenes working in boxing, albeit in the shadows, rather than openly. Yeah, I have to say, I don't think that story has finished.
You know, some of the fighters that they've signed up are really top class fighters. Yeah. And world title contenders, including Tyson Fury. OK, Nicole, we're very grateful to you for talking to us on the stand today. And congratulations on this very fine piece of work. And I know we're going to talk to you later on in the week about an extraordinary story that you've written a book about and has gained international acclaim and attention. But for now, thank you very much indeed.
Nicola Talent is the investigations editor with The Sunday World. She's one of the most respected crime correspondents or journalists of any description in this country. And currently, she is the crime reporter of the year. Thanks to Nicola. Thanks to you for listening and a big thanks to our sponsors. That's all we have time for now. We'll talk to you soon.