Don his holidays
Christy Kinahan used name of homeless man to travel world on fake passport as new picture emerges of ageing gangster
- 5 Oct 2020, 7:30 Up Dated by Fred Basset
EXILED gangster Christy ‘Dapper Don’ Kinahan once used the name of a homeless man to travel the world, the Irish Sun can reveal.
The drugs kingpin used the ‘fraudulently obtained passport’ before the Policia Nacional swooped against his mob in a series of dawn raids under ‘Operation Shovel’ in May 2010.
Fearing that he would be caught using the illegal travel document costing €500 as he travelled to South America in early 2010, he later used a British passport in the name of ‘Michael Leslie Swift’.
But Spanish police — who described the veteran gangster as head of ‘La Organizacion’ — caught him using the British passport as he boarded a flight to Brazil at Madrid Airport in April 2010.
And his decision to fly on the bogus passport came back to haunt him last week after he was charged with passport fraud by the Spanish police.
Although Spanish cops recovered hundreds of documents linked to the cartel’s money laundering networks during their probe, they never recovered Kinahan’s passport featuring the identity of the vulnerable man.
One investigator told us: “It was a common tactic by Christy Kinahan and others to use the identities of homeless people to obtain passports.
“They would pay vulnerable people to provide their details so people like Kinahan could travel freely.
“The suspicion is that he only used it for a few months before he moved on to the British passport.
“But Kinahan made the mistake of using his British passport just a month before his arrest in May 2010 by the Spanish and that’s why he has now been charged.”
As part of our latest revelations on the man who once ran a €1billion crime empire before passing control of his gang to his eldest son Daniel, we also show the latest image of the ageing gangster.
It was taken as Kinahan travelled to Spain with his new Dutch-born wife in the middle of his gang’s feud with Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch’s mob.
DON ‘MINGLED WITH PASSENGERS’
On this occasion, gardai believe he travelled on his real passport because he had no charges against him from ‘Operation Shovel’ and had effectively retired from his 40-year career in organised crime.
A source added: “He just looks like any other respectable person in the picture travelling on holiday with their family.
“The image was taken a few years ago in the middle of the feud but he had passed over control by that stage to his eldest son.
“He mingled alongside other passengers without a care in the world and not many people would have recognised him.”
During the cartel’s reign of terror in Spain’s Costa del Sol, authorities believe every member of the mob used bogus travel documents.
This included convicted killer Fat Freddie Thompson — now serving life for the murder of Daithi Douglas — who used the name ‘Rory Whelan’ on an Irish passport.
That travel document was recovered when officers under ‘Operation Thistle’ — established to crack down on gangsters in south inner city Dublin after David Byrne’s murder at the Regency Hotel in February 2016 — raided a number of safe houses in the capital.
And officers also recovered the fake driving licence Thompson was using when he was directing his campaign of terror against the Hutch family and their associates.
The phoney document shows Thompson’s image under the name John Roe and states how it was issued in 2010.
And like his dodgy passport, where he claims to have been born on January 31, 1978, it also uses a fake birthday of June 4, 1981.
Another member of the deadly crime gang caught travelling with a fake passport was Christopher Kinahan Jnr.
On that occasion, he was caught with the bogus item in Germany.
The item was destroyed and he faced no prosecution. As he currently faces no charges, he’s entitled to travel on his legitimate passport.
His older brother — described in the High Court as the “director” of the organised crime group — also isn’t facing any charges and can use his own travel document.
But the mob boss remains a “person of interest” to gardai over the plot to murder James ‘Mago’ Gately in 2017 by Estonian hitman Imre Arakas.
If he travels to Ireland, he could be arrested on suspicion of directing the activities of an organised crime gang.
At present, the ‘Dapper Don’ remains in Dubai with his two sons. We contacted Daniel Kinahan’s legal team for a comment on the charge against his father but they did not make any.
Also living in the UAE are Ross Browning — a close pal of evil cartel hitman Eamonn Cumberton.
Browning has been charged in Spain with unlawful possession of a weapon.
The Glock pistol was recovered when officers swooped on his pad in the Costa del Sol in May 2010.
FLED TO MIDDLE EAST
In secret Spanish files obtained by the Irish Sun, investigators there claimed the weapon was “in good condition” and was “equipped with a safety on the trigger, which adequately carries out its function”.
They also established how the gun’s “mechanical operation while empty is good. It is ready to fire. The weapon has been modified, consisted with the elimination of its serial number”.
If convicted, Browning could expect to serve between one and three years in prison. But if his sentence was less than two, it’s automatically suspended for first time offences.
Others living in the UAE included trusted cartel lieutenant Sean McGovern, whose former home in Crumlin was torched last week.
And cartel associates who have visited the region include one of the killers of Gareth Hutch in May 2016 and a notorious INLA double killer.
Christy Kinahan and his two sons fled to the Middle East in 2016 after the killing spree waged by his younger associates in the deadly feud.
Since then, he has travelled to the Netherlands on his legitimate passport to stay with his new wife and younger family.
It’s not clear if the Spanish authorities will seek his extradition over the 2010 passport charge.
If convicted, he could face a three-year sentence and a fine. The minimum sentence under Spanish law is six months.
But Kinahan received a boost after it emerged he will not face trial for money laundering or membership of an organised crime gang.
His long time associate John ‘The Colonel’ Cunningham is one of 24 suspects who won’t be charged as part of the probe.
The ‘Dapper Don’s two sons also won’t face any charges under Operation Shovel.
As part of the huge probe, suspected cartel money man Jasvinder Singh Kamoo has been charged with using fake number plates on a Mercedes C180.
At the time of ‘Operation Shovel’, Kamoo ran a company called ‘Negocio Nexo’, which described itself as an “exporter of sugar and sweeteners”.
Officers believe his firms were linked to the cartel’s money laundering network.
We can also reveal a tax identification number linked to Christy Kinahan’s passport was registered to Kamoo’s address.
Also charged with passport fraud are Robert Edward Phillips and James Gregory Naughton.
According to the files, Naughton was considered a cartel gofer whose nickname was ‘Boppo’.