Police warn sporting world over Kinahan connections as $5million bounty offered

Professional sportspeople and organisations have been sternly warned over being involved with the Kinahan organised crime group, which has been hit with worldwide financial sanctions.

Among those sanctioned is Daniel Kinahan, the founder of MTK Global who has remained active in boxing despite claiming he's no longer involved in the company. Kinahan, 44, was publicly praised by Tyson Fury after playing a pivotal role in sealing a two-fight deal between 'The Gypsy King' and Anthony Joshua in 2020.

The bouts never took place due to legal intervention from Deontay Wilder, but Kinahan's role in negotiations was very apparent. He has also worked with the likes of undisputed light-welterweight champion Josh Taylor and Michael Conlan – although there are no allegations of wrongdoing against any boxers who have worked with Kinahan.

The US Department of State is now offering a reward of up to $5million (£3.8m) for information leading to the "financial disruption" of the Kinahan gang or the arrest of its leaders. In a statement on Tuesday, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E Nelson said: "The Kinahan Organised Crime Group (KOCG) smuggles deadly narcotics, including cocaine, to Europe, and is a threat to the entire licit economy through its role in international money laundering."

And now Irish police commissioner Drew Harris has left the world of sport in no doubt as to the ramifications of being involved with the gang, warning any dealings mean "you are involved in a criminal network". He said in a statement: "On the business of sport, today we have made it very clear through this announcement who and what exactly the Kinahan organised crime group is."

"Individuals, specific individuals, have been sanctioned. It's then for businesses to make a decision, considering the probity of their own business, the probity of all the business that comes from sport, and also then their fans, and even just then the reputation of a sport and whether they should carry on in any business dealings with any of these sanctioned individuals. In fact then, in the US that is in fact prohibited."

Kinahan was most recently spotted with world heavyweight champion Fury during a recent trip to Dubai. The pair toured gyms in the region and publicly posed for photos.

However, Bob Arum, Fury's co-promoter, has now announced they [the Fury camp] would now be ending relations with Kinahan, and insisted it was a move already under consideration prior to developments this week: "We are not going to deal with Daniel," he said.

"We will respect the sanctions. We will deal directly with Tyson [Fury] or his lawyer. I wasn't pleased with a number of things he [Kinahan] was doing in boxing. I was looking to sever ties anyway."

Last year, a BBC investigation alleged that Kinahan was still heavily involved in the sport of boxing. He responded by accusing media outlets of issuing a 'campaign' against him.

As well as businesses and sportspeople, TV and radio broadcasters have also been warned over associating themselves with him. The likes of Sky, BT Sport, BBC Radio 5 live and and TalkSport have also broadcast Fury fights.

In a statement, Sky Sports said it is "aware of recent developments" including the sanctions. It added: "We always scrutinise and act responsibly in our boxing relationships."

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