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International hotel chain 'unwittingly accepted millions of euro in Irish drug money'

The hotel owners had no idea the money potentially came from criminality.

Image: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie

AN INTERNATIONAL HOTEL chain is cooperating with international police forces, as well as the Criminal Assets Bureau over allegations that it may have unwittingly accepted drug money from Irish criminals as an investment in new properties.

The hotel group received significant investment from a corporation which appeared to be legitimate. However, it is suspected that the corporation served as a conduit for money laundering linked to the Kinahan drug cartel.

It is understood the firm unwittingly accepted money from a foreign consortium and is now working with authorities. No formal investigation has started.

TheJournal.ie understands that the Criminal Assets Bureau has been made aware of the suspicions surrounding the consortium. It is understood that Irish authorities will have to work closely with a number of foreign police forces if a full investigation into the investment is to be launched.

It is understood that the investment ran into millions of euro. It was made using a number of transactions through various bank accounts belonging to shell corporations which are suspected to be used by the Kinahan cartel to launder cash.

The Kinahan cartel has been attempting to move its money into a number of shell corporations and legitimate businesses in an attempt to hide its cash.

A number of high-profile seizures, arrests and charges in relation to organised criminal activity has significantly reduced the number of places the gang can safely hide its money.

In recent times, members of the gang have been trying to establish new business partners based in different countries in a bid to move their money.

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Tensions between the Hutch and Kinahan gangs has once again reached boiling point after the murders of Derek Hutch Coakley and Jason Buda Molyneux.

Hutch was shot dead in Clondalkin nearly three weeks ago. His close friend Jason ‘Buda’ Molyneux, who was due to carry Hutch’s coffin, was shot dead last week near the Five Lamps in Dublin’s north inner city.

While gardaí are not convinced that either murder was directly connected to the Kinahan/Hutch feud, they are wary that the spike in gun attacks in the capital, and especially in the north inner city, leaves senior members of the Hutch gang in a precarious position.

Both men last year received Garda Information Messages (GIM) which is an official document issued to inform people of a legitimate threat to their lives.

Read: Family and friends of murdered Derek Coakley Hutch turn out for vigil in Dublin’s north inner city >

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