Probellum Entertainment Announced It Will Sever Kinahan Ties
In an expected move, Probellum Entertainment has acted quickly in response to the U.S. Government sanctioning what they termed the “Kinahan Organized Crime Group” and specifically Daniel Kinahan. With the entertainment company announcing they’ve retained U.S. lawyers and are severing all ties with Kinahan.
They released their statement online and through social media on Wednesday afternoon,
“Probellum takes the sanctions made by the US Treasury extremely seriously and the business and its employees will be fully compliant with them.
We have retained counsel in the US to ensure that we fully comply with all rules, regulations and requirements related to this matter, including not working with any individual or company that has been placed under US sanctions.
This includes Daniel Kinahan and we can confirm that we will not have any business relationship or communication with him whatsoever.
Bob Arum’s comments implying that Top Rank has ceased a business relationship with Probellum are baseless.
Top Rank is a competitor and since Probellum’s inception, Top Rank has never worked directly with us. Any suggestions that Daniel Kinahan is a shareholder or owner of Probellum are false and defamatory.”
As our Dan Rafael wrote Tuesday, the U.S. Attorney’s office injunction with authorities in Ireland, etc. is seeking to break up the Kinahan crime group and potentially, arrest all of those involved.
“The Kinahan Organized Crime Group smuggles deadly narcotics, including cocaine, to Europe, and is a threat to the entire licit economy through its role in international money laundering,” Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson said in a statement.
“Criminal groups like the KOCG prey on the most vulnerable in society and bring drug-related crime and violence, including murder, to the countries in which they operate. Treasury is proud to have coordinated so closely with our international counterparts, and the U.S. government will continue to use every available resource to dismantle these criminal networks.”
According to the U.S. government, the KOCG, which it says operates in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Spain and the United Arab Emirates, was designated as a significant transnational criminal organization. The KOCG emerged in the late 1990s and early 2000s as “the most powerful organized crime group operating in Ireland. Since then, Irish courts have concluded that the KOCG is a murderous organization involved in the international trafficking of drugs and firearms,” the U.S. government statement said.
“Criminal activities of the KOCG, including international money laundering, generate proceeds in the United Kingdom, which are then pooled together and passed to local criminals before being handed to Irish organized crime group members and laundered out of the United Kingdom. The KOCG also frequently uses Dubai as a facilitation hub for its illicit activities. Since February 2016, the KOCG has been involved in a gang war with another group in Ireland and Spain, resulting in numerous murders, including of two innocent bystanders.”
The sanctions mean that all property and interests in property of those sanctioned “that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC,” the statement said. “OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or persons within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.”
That means anyone in the U.S. found to be doing business with any of those who were sanctioned faces civil or criminal penalties.
The U.S. government announcement did not mention anything about Kinahan’s boxing dealings but in 2012 he co-founded the powerful management and promotional company MTK Global (originally called MGM) with former middleweight contender and friend Matthew Macklin, who sold his portion of the company in 2017 to Sandra Vaughan. A few years later, Vaughan said Kinahan was no longer involved in the company, which is now based in Dubai but promotes cards regularly in the U.K. Kinahan is also alleged to have involvement in upstart promoter Probellum, which has signed a slew of fighters in recent months.
In June 2020, Fury publicly thanked Kinahan for his role in helping make a deal for him to face then-unified titlist Anthony Joshua for the undisputed heavyweight title in a bout that ultimately did not come off, because Deontay Wilder won an arbitration case against Fury that forced him into their third fight last October.
“Big shout-out Dan, he got this done, literally over the line, two-fight deal, Tyson Fury versus Anthony Joshua next year,” Fur said at the time.
Boxers besides Fury that Kinahan has been involved with are Josh Taylor, Michael Conlan and Billy Joe Saunders, among others.
Kinahan remains a mainstay in boxing circles as he wields considerable influence behind the scenes. In Dubai, he mingled with those involved in a March card Probellum put on there and has also been seen in photos of him with boxing people they posted to social media during their visits with him.
The Probellum comments about Bob Arum are in response to Arum saying to several media outlets on Tuesday that he will no longer have any dealings with Probellum due to the U.S. Government sanctions and investigation. And, Probellum also has an obvious public relations problem due to their association with Daniel Kinahan.