Cash from the cocaine ship MV Matthew was traced to the Kinahan cartel’s stronghold in Dubai

Analysis of the financial transactions further strengthens Garda suspicions that the Kinahan crime gang, whose leadership is based in the Middle Eastern metropolis, made a significant investment in the seized drug shipment.

It came as senior Dubai police officers arrived in Dublin this week to meet with members of the Garda National Drugs and Organized Crime Bureau.

The delegation was invited by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, who himself visited the city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last month to build stronger international ties.

Video: MV Matthew “Mothership” docks in Cobh.

The purpose of this week’s visit is to discuss cooperation between both police forces in tackling cross-border crime, particularly the Kinahan organized crime group.

Although the visit has been planned for some time, a key aspect of the meetings now focuses on financial transactions relating to the 2,253kg of cocaine recovered from the cargo ship MV Matthew off the coast of Cork.

Gardaí investigating the significant seizure have identified certain payments to individuals linked to the suspected drug smuggling network, believed to be based in Dubai.

They are now trying to find out whether the transfer can be directly linked to members of the Kinahan crime group based there.

Senior gardaí said there was some Irish involvement in the criminal enterprise, while Dubai remains the main base for much of the cartel leadership, including Christy Kinahan and his sons Daniel and Christopher Jr.

In total, cocaine worth 157 million euros was seized after the Army Ranger Wing stormed the cargo ship in a multi-agency operation on September 27.

The street value of the drugs, after reduction and resale, would have been up to three times that estimate.

Senior detectives are now liaising with their counterparts in Dubai regarding the financial aspects of the seizure and continue to share intelligence and information.

As part of the investigation, several people were arrested and charged.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said yesterday: “I would like to welcome our colleagues from Dubai Police to Dublin. Dubai Police has already provided us with great assistance in our ongoing investigations into transnational organized crime and the support of this delegation will further advance this cooperation.

“This initiative is further evidence of the value of expanding the international Garda network of liaison officers and the visits that I and other senior officers have undertaken in recent years to the US, Colombia, Dubai, Asia and across Europe.”

“These organized crime gangs cause misery not only in the countries from which they originate, but throughout the world.

“Only through international law enforcement cooperation can these gangs be disrupted and dismantled.

“I would like to thank the Ministry of Justice and Foreign Office for their support in expanding the Garda’s international liaison network, which includes offices in the US, Colombia, Dubai, the UK and Europe. Another office in Thailand will be opening soon. “Mr Harris added.

In July, a comprehensive investigative file was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service recommending that Daniel Kinahan be charged with leading an organized crime gang.

A large part of the case relies on compromising mobile communications – with the crime carrying a maximum penalty of life in prison upon conviction.

Security services continue to monitor the movements of Crumlin man Sean McGovern, who is to be charged here with murder and involvement in the conspiracy to murder Hutch associate James “Mago” Gately.

McGovern, described as Daniel Kinahan’s “close confidante”, is believed to still be in Dubai. Work continues on his return to face charges in the Special Criminal Court.

While Ireland and the United Arab Emirates do not have a formal agreement on the deportation of wanted people, Justice Minister Helen McEntee held talks with her counterpart in the emirate this week about a bilateral extradition agreement.

Ms McEntee also discussed the possibility of this, including future legal aid and prisoner transfers, and described the call as “productive”.

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