The net is “net is closing in” on Daniel Kinahan, who is currently thought to be in Iran, Kieran Cunningham of the Irish Daily Star has said.
Last year, US authorities announced a $5 million reward for information that leads to the arrest or conviction of the Kinahans.
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris predicted the bounty would be "a heavy, if not crippling blow” to the cartel and Mr Cunningham said he is inclined to agree.
“I’d be fairly confident they will be brought to justice,” he told The Hard Shoulder .
“I think the US getting involved changed the game; that press conference was so dramatic.
“When you see somebody with ‘Reward $5 million’ for someone’s head at a public press conference, I think that was unprecedented.
“Behind the scenes, it had been building up for years and there’s still stuff going on behind the scenes for the last year that we don’t know about.
“But it will come to light.”
Reward of up to $5,000,000.00 USD for information leading to the Financial Disruption of the Kinahan Criminal Organisation or the arrest and/or conviction of:
Christy Kinahan Sr
Christy Kinahan Jr
Submit Tips via email to KinahanTCOTips@dea.gov pic.twitter.com/PEafbJkJ8a
— Garda Info (@gardainfo) April 12, 2022
It is thought Kinahan was previously in Dubai but Mr Cunningham said his location is “hard to say with 100% certainty”.
Wherever he is, he is likely to have chosen a country that is hostile to the United States.
“[US sanctions] narrowed the world and made the world very small for the Kinahans and where they could go,” Mr Cunningham said.
“There are Iranian links to the Kinahans; they’ve laundered money through Iran.
“It was reported five or six months ago, Christy Kinahan was involved with Iran and trying to source fighter jets for them.
“So, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise.”
Oman, Kazakhstan, Qatar are other possible options - but no matter where he flees, Mr Cunningham believes international pressure will see him handed over in the end.
“One thing you do hear consistently is the net is closing in on him and on the Kinahans as a whole,” he said.
“A lot of the mid-ranking members of the cartel have already gone on to South America but I don’t think that’s a runner for the people at the very top.
“The Gardaí have sent people out to Dubai, the Americans have people in Dubai.
“If he is in Iran, I think pressure will come on Iran.
“Iran are often slow to give in to international pressure - particularly from the Americans - but I don’t think it would be the brightest idea to harbour the Kinahans.”
Kinahan has been identified by the High Court as a senior figure in the Kinahan Organised Crime Group which smuggles drugs and guns into Ireland, Britain and mainland Europe.
An Garda Síochána's Special Crime Operations Unit describe him as a "person of interest" and would arrest him should he ever step foot in Ireland again.
Main image: Daniel Kinahan.