Kinahan cartel extraditions a step closer as Helen McEntee asks Cabinet to approve talks with UAE

New extradition deal with UAE sets its sights on Kinahans

Philip Ryan

Garda efforts to bring senior Kinahan cartel members to justice are advancing, with Justice Minister Helen McEntee expected to seek cabinet approval to begin formal extradition negotiations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Brothers Daniel Kinahan and Christy Kinahan Jr, along with other senior gang members, are believed to be running their international drug-dealing operation out of Dubai.

There have been on going talks between Ireland and the UAE about extraditing the gang leaders back to Ireland, where they can be brought before the courts.

In a further escalation in the State’s attempt to bring the Kinahans to trial, the Ms McEntee is to ask her cabinet colleagues for approval to open formal negotiations on new extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties with the UAE.

The latest move from Ms McEntee comes on the day of a Dáil vote on her future, after Sinn Féin tabled a motion of no confidence in the minister amid the political fallout from the Dublin riots.

However, it is expected Ms McEntee will survive the motion.

Talks with the UAE on agreeing an extradition pact could last more than a year but arrests can be made while negotiations are ongoing.

It follows Ms McEntee meeting her UAE counterpart Abdullah bin sultan bin Awad Al Nuaimi and also comes after Garda Commissioner Drew Harris met police chief Lieutenant General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri in Dubai.

The minister is expected to tell the Cabinet bilateral treaties between Ireland and the UAE on mutual legal assistance and extradition would be of “significant support” to gardaí in tackling organised crime and drug-trafficking gangs. She will also say it is “important that criminals see there can be no hiding place from the law” and add that the State “will do everything in its power to bring those who spread misery in our communities to justice”.

Ms McEntee will tell cabinet colleagues criminals are hiding in the UAE and gardaí need powers to bring them home to face charges for the crimes they have committed.

Other EU member states already have extradition treaties in place with the UAE and the Government intends to draw from the experience of other EU countries when drafting a deal with the Middle Eastern state.

“The experience of EU partners has been that bilateral co-operation on existing individual cases can continue on a reciprocal basis while the treaties are being negotiated,” a government source said.

“This process is about putting those at the top of organised crime behind bars and holding them responsible for their actions.

“Tackling organised crime is a key priority for Government and is central to building safer, stronger communities,” the source added.

Last year, the Government approved the expansion of the Garda Liaison Officer Network, following a request from Mr Harris.

The US government last year offered a $5m (€4.6m) reward for any person who provides information on the Kinahan cartel leaders that could lead to their arrest.