The ‘key member’ of the Kinahan gang arrested at the Costa Del Sol on Monday is accused of helping his crime bosses launder a staggering £170m over 18 months.
Johnny Morrissey, a former Rochdale doorman with an Irish passport, was detained after a raid on his private home while he was sitting topless in tropical shorts, footage from the Civil Guard shows .
Officers were also filmed passing the confiscated cash through a counter and searching cars at a separate address believed to be used to transfer money and drugs into hidden compartments.
Detectives say they have smashed the most important international criminal organization operating in Spain with his arrest, which is believed to have laundered £300,000 a day.
Morrissey’s wife Nicola was the CEO of a Glasgow-based vodka company called Nero Drinks, which was allegedly used as a front for the gang, although she was released after being released. appeared in court yesterday.
Spanish detectives revealed that they believe the cash was not moved out of Spain but spread around the world using an ancient money transfer system called Hawala.
Johnny Morrissey arrested in Costa del Sol topless after a Civil Guard raid
Detectives from six different police forces, including the Spanish Civil Guard, Garda, and the powerful US law enforcement agency DEA, were involved in the operation that trapped Johnny Morrissey , center photo
His wife Nicola, the CEO of a Scotland-based vodka company linked to organized crime by police, raised her middle finger as armed Spanish police walked out from behind. The couple appeared in court yesterday after spending two nights in police custody
An informal method of money transfer, derived from an Arabic term for wire transfer or trust and involving a network of brokers, is known to have been used by criminal gangs or Tokens are like banknotes torn in half to prove the money is due.
The system is widely used in the Middle East, transferring payments through a trusted network of agents operating outside the bank without leaving a trace on paper.
Two of his associates were also arrested in Spain, including his wife Nicola, and one in the United Kingdom.
A spokesman for the Civil Guard said: ‘The Civil Guard, through an operation called Whitewall, has smashed the most important international criminal organization operating in Spain. specializes in money laundering.
‘In just over a short year and a half, they may have laundered more than £173m through a system known as Hawala.’
It emerged the night Morrissey, identified by US authorities in April as a key aide to the Kinahan organized crime gang, was detained on suspicion of money laundering at his home in Costa del Sol.
Last year, Spanish police seized 200kg of cocaine and 500,000 Euros stored in cars with ‘sophisticated concealment systems’
One of the alleged members of the crime syndicate vandalized by the police ran a used car dealership.
Who is the Kinahan gang?
The Kinahan gang is said to have emerged in the late 1990s and early 2000s as the ‘most powerful organized crime group’ operating in Ireland, founded by Christy Kinahan.
His criminal history dates back to the 1970s and includes housebreaking, car theft, burglary, handling stolen goods, and forgery.
Irish police say the gang has switched from dealing in heroin and cocaine in Dublin to operating across Europe.
Irish courts have declared that the Kinahan gang is a ‘murder organization’ involved in the international drug and gun trade.
Criminal activities include international money laundering, which generates proceeds in the UK, which are then aggregated together and passed on to local criminals before being handed off to members of a criminal group with known Irish organization and is washed out of the UK.
The Kinahans also frequently use Dubai as a support center for their ‘illegal activities’.
Since February 2016, the criminal gang has been engaged in a gang war with another group in Ireland and Spain, resulting in numerous murders, including two innocent witnesses.
A series of crimes, including more than a dozen murders, are estimated to have caused more than a billion euros.
In April of this year, the United States offered a reward of $5 million for helping to arrest leaders of human trafficking gangs.
Daniel Kinahan, one of three leaders named by the US authorities, has participated in organizing famous boxing matches in recent years.
He was credited by world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury for helping broker a potential unification bout two years ago.
Nicola is believed to have been released on bail and remains under investigation although officials could not be reached early this morning for comment.
The pair were handcuffed after being taken into custody, in which Morrissey tried to cover her face and Nicola held out her middle finger at the photographers as she was led away.
Monday’s arrest follows a lengthy investigation led by the elite Central Operations Unit of the Civil Guard Unit, which is responsible for investigating and prosecuting the most serious forms of crime and organized crime.
Officers from Garda, the UK’s National Crime Agency, Europe and the powerful US law enforcement agency DEA, participated in the pinnacle of police activity.
Detectives say the starting point for the Spanish police investigation was early last year when 200kg of cocaine and 500,000 euros (£430,000) in cash were hidden in the vehicle with a ‘sophisticated concealment system’ .
One of the alleged members of the police vandalized criminal organization runs a used car dealership.
As well as the three arrests in Spain, a former Irishman of Costa del Sol origin was also arrested in the UK.
Nearly a dozen searches of businesses and homes have taken place in Spain as well as the UK, including two locations in Glasgow believed to be linked to Nero Drinks and one at Heywood in Rochdale, Greater Manchester .
Referring to Johnny Morrissey although he was not named in a statement from the Spanish police about the operation, the Civil Guard said: ‘The main target in Spain has been dedicated to collecting a large amount of cash from criminal organizations operating in our country and deliver it. through the Hawala system to organized crime groups in other countries and vice versa.
‘Investigators were able to attest that during the lengthy investigation he allegedly transferred more than two hundred million euros (£173 million).’
Outlining the role Nero Drinks allegedly played, the Civil Guard said in a statement: ‘Principal members of the organization in Spain allegedly created a luxury vodka brand advertised at concerts, parties and events at nightclubs and restaurants in the luxury Costa del Sol environment, presenting it as a successful beverage brand.
Police are pictured searching a car depot, where drugs were found in the car
‘This couldn’t be further from the truth because, according to information from the tax authorities, it is not possible to finance the lifestyles of those arrested.
‘Similarly, they are accused of setting up another company in the UK, dependent on another company incorporated in Gibraltar, with the aim of concealing the real identities of the directors of the companies used to money laundering from Hawala.’
Johnny Morrissey, full name John Francis Morrissey, was one of seven people sanctioned in April and named by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
US authorities said of Morrissey, being so close to alleged conglomerate boss Daniel Kinahan, he was invited to his wedding in Dubai in the summer of 2017: ‘John Morrissey worked for the Crime Group organized the Kinahan Organization (KOCG) for several years, including as an enforcer, and facilitated international drug shipments to the organization from South America. John Morrissey is also involved in money laundering.
He was listed alongside the likes of Daniel, described in the same statement as ‘playing an integral part in organizing the drug supply in Ireland’, his father Christopher and the criminal Dublin-born veteran, Bernard Clancy.
Others named in the $5 million appeal for information are Christopher Kinahan Jnr, Daniel Kinahan’s ‘advisor and confidant’, Sean McGovern and Ian Dixon, who was arrested over the case. murdered Gary Hutch in the Costa del Sol in 2015 but has never been charged.
Nearly a dozen searches for businesses and homes have taken place in Spain as well as the UK
Morrissey is the first person on the list to be arrested since it became public.
Nero Drinks Company Ltd is one of three companies on the banned list from doing business in the United States.
Johnny, who has flirted with celebrities including models and reality TV stars as his wife’s beverage business ambassador, left Ireland more than 20 years ago after reportedly joining in an attempt to harm an employee of the Criminal Property Department in Ireland.
The Kinahan gang has become known around the world for its feud with rival gang Hutch that has resulted in the deaths of at least 18 people in Ireland and Spain.
Fugitive boss Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch was arrested last August near his pothole in Fuengirola’s Costa del Sol resort and will go on trial later this year for the murder of David Byrne in September. 2 2016 at the Regency Hotel in Dublin.
The BBC’s Big Picture exposed Daniel Kinahan’s influence on world boxing in a documentary last year, leading to calls for tighter regulations on the sport.
Two-time world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury is said to have dropped the Irishman as his negotiator after his ‘instrumental’ role in brokering a two-way deal with rival Anthony Joshua was announced. describe. Fury previously thanked Kinahan on Instagram.
The 45-year-old Dubliner, now living in Dubai, confirmed after the Panorama program: ‘I am not part of a criminal gang or any conspiracy. I have no criminal record. Not available. Not just in Ireland but anywhere in the world. ‘