Gang boss Christopher Kinahan Snr’s luxury lifestyle revealed in Google reviews

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A wanted international crime boss known as the ‘Dapper Don’ has potentially exposed his location to authorities through a series of Google reviews for hotels, jewellery stores and airport lounges posted under an alias.

Information leading to the arrest of Irish gangster Christopher “Christy” Kinahan Sr can fetch up to US$5 million (AU$7.7m) – but it appears he has left a trail of his luxurious lifestyle online.

Kinahan is alleged by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to lead the billion-dollar Kinahan Transnational Criminal Organisation, which authorities say is engaged in drug trafficking, gun supply and murder.

A joint investigation by The Sunday Times and open source intelligence outlet Bellingcat has revealed an email linked to the Google account, under the name Christopher Vincent, belonged to Kinahan.

The account has posted more than 200 reviews in locations such as Dubai, Turkey, South Africa and Hungary since 2019.

Some posts appear to show Kinahan’s reflection in mirrors and windows among the dozens of photos he posted to accompany his appraisals.

In one review, posted in 2022, he wrote that Budapest’s Aurea Ana Palace hotel had “stunning decor” but felt the venue was “not quite finished”.

“If I could rate it 4.5 star I would. But unfortunately I will rate it 4 star,” the review states.

“The ambiance (sic) was good, the food good but the menu was limited but I believe this hotel to be newly opened and this will be developed in the coming months.”

That same year he reviewed a movie cinema in Dubai saying it had offered a “considerably downgraded” experience since his last visit, and complained about the US$77 price for tickets.

“It seems that the new set-up is geared to get you to buy additional items to make an already expensive package all that more expensive,” the post states.

“I feel ripped off and have been coming here with my family for the last six years. This is my last time.”

He awarded five stars to a “chic and plush” restaurant in Turkey, and also had “no hesitation” in giving full marks to a Rolex store in Dubai with “helpful, polite” staff.

Kinahan had been known to be based in Dubai for several years.

Who is Christopher Kinahan Snr?

Kinahan Snr, 67, has served jail time in his homeland, the Netherlands and Belgium for drug offences and his crew is alleged to be at the centre of a gangland war in Ireland.

Authorities allege the Kinahan cartel, founded in Dublin in the 1990s, has trafficked drugs throughout UK and Europe and also engaged in money laundering, gun distribution and murders.

“After initially distributing South American cocaine and heroin in Ireland, the Kinahans later expanded their narcotics trafficking organization to include the United Kingdom and then throughout mainland Europe,” The DEA alleges.

“In addition to narcotics trafficking, the Kinahans have engaged in money laundering, firearms trafficking, and murder.”

Its international operations are estimated to be worth €1 billion (AU$1.66 billion), according to Irish and US government officials.

The group rose to public notoriety in 2016 with the high-profile shooting of Kinahan associate David Byrne at a boxing weigh in at Dublin’s Regency Hotel.

Police believe Daniel Kinahan, Christy Kinahan’s son, was the target of the four shooters, some of whom were disguised as Garda officers and armed with AK47s.

The shooting followed the murder of Gary Hutch, a member of a rival Dublin crime family, a year earlier.

“Although Daniel escaped unharmed, the subsequent and ongoing feud has resulted in 18 homicides, encompassing nearly all members or relatives and associates of the Hutch gang,” the DEA alleges.

“The subsequent police response to the gang violence in Ireland led to gang member arrests and caused the (Kinahan cartel) leadership to shift their transnational organised crime operations to the United Kingdom, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).”

In 2022 the US government announced rewards of US$5 million each for information that could lead to the arrest of Kinahan Snr and his sons Daniel and Christopher Jnr, or disrupt the Kinahan group’s operations.

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