Rise of the Footsoldier, and the Fall of Bulldog Morrissey? Now Caged, in a Spanish Jail. Follow the Money, Trail?

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EXCLUSIVE

GANGSTER’S PARADISE 

Inside Kinahan Cartel enforcer’s party lifestyle hanging out with unsuspecting household names as he laundered millions

  • 8:00, 17 Sep 2022

JOHNNY Morrissey lived a quite extraordinary double life — hanging out with celebrities while also laundering millions in cash for the Kinahan cartel, The Irish Sun can reveal.

The gangland fixer, 62, was arrested in Spain last week on suspicion of laundering over €200million over the last 18 months.

Johnny Morrissey was arrested in Spain last week
Johnny Morrissey was arrested in Spain last weekCredit: Solarpix
Johnny Morrissey with actor Terry Stone
Johnny Morrissey with actor Terry Stone
Morrissey was arrested on suspicion of laundering over €200million over the last 18 months
Morrissey was arrested on suspicion of laundering over €200million over the last 18 months

We reveal today how he used unwitting stars to promote his vodka business and posted photos and video clips boasting about his lavish lifestyle in Spain’s Costa del Sol.

The Irish Sun’s exclusive clip from one video shows heavyweight boxing champ Tyson Fury playing with Morrissey’s young son in the MTK gym in Marbella.

Although not involved in boxing, Morrissey was given exclusive access to the gym because of his key role within Daniel Kinahan’s cartel.

Fury — who was rebuilding his career at the time of the video in 2019 — was unaware of Morrissey’s criminal activities and has no involvement in crime although he has publicly praised Daniel Kinahan in the past.

Kinahan Cartel enforcer led from  Costa del Sol bolthole & wife gives finger

Kinahan enforcer Morrissey 'laundered massive €350k a DAY' as wife 'bailed'

One investigator told us: “The video shows just how much access Morrissey had to major sports stars.

“He was given free access to the gym on the orders of Daniel Kinahan and would have met with a lot of fighters.”

And taking a dig at Morrissey’s less than athletic build, the source added: “He obviously didn’t use the gym much himself and was more interested in fine dining and partying.

Morrissey used social media to give the impression that he was a wealthy businessman when in reality his real passion was laundering cash for the Kinahan Organised Crime Group.”

In another clip posted online, the Manchester-born fixer who has an Irish passport showed soap star Will Mellor promoting his company Nero Vodka.

The video shows Mellor promoting a party in Manchester in 2019 that was being promoted by Morrissey’s company.

Like Fury, Mellor — known for his roles in Hollyoaks and Coronation Street — was also unaware of any of Morrissey’s shady background.

Three years after the video appeared online, Morrissey’s company was listed by the US Treasury Department as a front for the Kinahan cartel.

Other videos found by The Irish Sun show Morrissey sponsoring the premiere in Spain of the Rise of the Foot Soldiers 4 movie.

One photo shows him posing with actor Terry Stone while other stars from the movie, including former Eastenders actor Craig Fairbrass, are seen enjoying the premiere.

There is no suggestion anyone in the videos knew of Morrissey’s criminal activities.

PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL

Instead the videos formed part of the thug’s attempt to portray himself as a legitimate businessman.

The senior Kinahan cartel member constantly used his social media to promote Nero Vodka.

Actor Will Mellor had no idea about Morrissey's shady background - but appeared on his YouTube channel promoting Nero vodka
Actor Will Mellor had no idea about Morrissey’s shady background – but appeared on his YouTube channel promoting Nero vodka
The Irish Sun’s exclusive clip from one video shows heavyweight boxing champ Tyson Fury in the MTK gym in Marbella
The Irish Sun’s exclusive clip from one video shows heavyweight boxing champ Tyson Fury in the MTK gym in Marbella

He also showed off how his company was being advertised on billboards at Scottish Premiership games when Rangers were playing Hamilton Academicals.

And his promotional material also included videos of his wife, Nicola, who remains on bail after her arrest by the Spanish authorities at the same time as Morrissey.

Other videos show him playing golf with pals, enjoying drinking games and showing off Nero branded towels and cushions.

VIDEOS

The cartel fixer also published three videos of himself showing off his shooting skills at a firing range in Southern Spain.

Another video shows his wife being interviewed at Hamilton Academicals’ football ground talking about how their company was supporting charity initiatives.

Unknown to Morrissey at the time, the Garda National Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau were building relationships with the Drugs Enforcement Administration, the US Treasury Department, the National Crime Agency in the UK and law enforcement agencies across Europe with a view to smashing the Kinahan empire.

As the investigations continued, Morrisey was quickly identified as one of the gang’s key lieutenants.

And when the US Treasury Department announced in April that it was sanctioning senior members of the cartel, Morrissey was one of the seven men publicly named.

US SANCTIONS

Christy Kinahan and his two sons had $5 million rewards placed on their heads and Morrissey’s company was named as a front for the Kinahan crime group.

He was also branded as an “enforcer” for the gang who engaged in “money laundering” and facilitated shipments of drugs from South America.

But his life of luxury is now at an end after his arrest last week.

If convicted of laundering more than €200m for the gang, he could be hit with a 10-year sentence.

A long prison sentence would also mean he would not be free again until he is a pensioner.

HAWALA METHOD

His arrest this week has also caused serious disruption to the gang’s money laundering network.

Spanish detectives revealed they believed the cash had not been physically moved out of Spain but spread throughout the world using Hawala.

The informal method of moving money, originating from an Arabic term for transfer or trust and involving a network of brokers, is known to have been adopted by criminal gangs who use code numbers or tokens like torn-in-half banknotes to prove cash is due.

Spanish police said this week: “The main target in Spain devoted himself to collecting large amounts of money in cash from criminal organisations operating in our country and handing it through the Hawala system to organised criminal groups in other countries and vice-versa.

“Investigators were able to corroborate that during the time the investigation lasted, he allegedly managed to transfer more than €200million.

“The principal members of the organisation in Spain allegedly created a luxury vodka brand promoted at shows, parties and events at nightclubs and restaurants in luxury Costa del Sol environments, presenting it as a successful drinks brand.

“This couldn’t be further from reality because according to information from tax authorities, it couldn’t be funding the lifestyle of the people arrested.

“Similarly they allegedly created another firm in the UK which was dependent on another company created in Gibraltar, with the aim of hiding the true identity of the directors of the firms that were used to launder the money coming from the Hawala system.”

Johnny Morrissey with wife Nicola
Johnny Morrissey with wife Nicola
Terry Stone in the movie Rise of the Foot Soldier 4 which Morrissey helped promote
Terry Stone in the movie Rise of the Foot Soldier 4 which Morrissey helped promote
Rise of the Foot Soldier 4 movie poster
Rise of the Foot Soldier 4 mo

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