1 Apr, 2024 @ 14:35
4 mins read

Revealed: The dining secrets of Irish mafia boss Christy Kinahan after his prolific history of Google restaurant reviews in Spain, Dubai and beyond is exposed

THE leader of one of the most violent drug trafficking cartels in the world may have revealed his movements by posting a slew of restaurant reviews from around the world.

Christy ‘the Dapper Don’ Kinahan Sr, the founder of the notorious Kinahan Irish mafia clan, has seemingly spent the past five years giving his thoughts on a dozens of establishments around the world, including ones in Barcelona, Madrid and the Costa del Sol.

Across some 200 Google reviews the ‘Level 7 local guide’ has dished out thoughtful, helpful – and often mundane – tips on a variety of restaurants and hotels for both tourists and business travellers alike.

This is according to an investigation by open source investigators Bellingcat and Irish newspaper the Sunday Times, who linked an email address known to belong to Kinahan Sr to a Google account. 

Christopher Kinahan Sr, known as the Dapper Don, has been hiding out in Dubai since he fled the Costa del Sol

READ MORE: Irish ‘crime lord’ Daniel Kinahan recommended to be charged with murder of brother of Gerry ‘the Monk’ Hutch in…

They were then able to identify the elusive ‘the Dapper Don’ – monikered supposedly for his impeccable dress sense – thanks to the photos he posted to accompany his reviews.

While he never posted selfies or posed for photos, he was identifiable in reflections or even in photos posted by other reviewers or the restaurant in question.

The mundane, every-day nature of his reviews are a far cry from the bloody gang war between the Kinahan gang and the rival Hutch clan which saw multiple murders on the Costa del Sol.

The fallout forced Kinahan Sr and his two sons, Daniel and Christopher Junior, to flee to the United Arab Emirates a number of years ago.

The UAE has no extradition treaty with either Spain or the USA, and the Emirati authorities have chosen to let the Kinahans live freely.

Since then the trio have been hiding out from the long arm of US law enforcement while enjoying the good life in Dubai, where they reportedly continue to run their narco empire.

But they were at least thought to be laying low after having a €15 million bounty placed on their collective heads in April 2022.

Kinahan Sr and his two sons, Daniel and Christopher Jr, were placed on an FBI most wanted list in April 2022

READ MORE: Alleged ‘trusted member’ of Irish Kinahan cartel is extradited from Spain to Britain to face firearms charges

So it has come as a shock to many that the on-the-run mob boss still has still been able to enjoy the jet-set lifestyle, embarking on a number of international trips that have coincided with his suspected criminal activity.

These include a trip to South Africa and Zimbabwe, allegedly to buy gold to help them launder their drug profits back in Dubai.

Since 2019, Kinahan Sr, under the alias ‘Christopher Vincent’, has posted reviews from destinations as far flung as Hungary, Turkey, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Egypt, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Before these trips, he had made Marbella and the Costa del Sol the headquarters of his €1 billion drug and arms trafficking empire. 

His gang even teamed up with the Iranian regime to help them avoid international sanctions as part of their efforts to launder their criminal proceeds.

The extensive reviews show that Kinahan Sr was active in Spain as little as two years ago, just around the time he was sanctioned by the US Treasury and his international assets frozen.

An image taken from the social media pages of a Dubai restaurant shows Christopher Kinahan Jr (left) meeting with his father in May 2023. Credit: Bellingcat

READ MORE: Spain is Europe’s cocaine gateway of choice for the Kinahans and Europe’s new ‘super cartels’, according to Europol conference

Over the course of his extensive reviews he has been a generous critic, doling out four and five star reviews to the majority of the establishments he has patronised.

The crime lord has also given helpful pointers for other customers when he has felt it necessary, including warning travellers that, in 2021, taxi drivers did not know the name of the building that housed the Hyatt Regency in Barcelona. 

Despite this gripe, he called the hotel ‘very clean’ and the rooms ‘well thought out and comfortable.’ 

“However, the location (in my opinion) is better suited to business community than the tourist travellers (although I would stay here again for tourist break as I believe it offers good facilities for a reasonable price).”

An unwitting hotel employee thanked the mafia don for his feedback and promised to ‘follow up on the name topic with local taxi companies in order to make it easier for our guests to find the hotel.’

‘Buzzing’ Cheri restaurant in Barcelona was praised for its ‘super’ ambience when ‘one is enjoying the company of one’s friends or family.’

“Please book on the weekends if you wish to get a table inside or outside,” he helpfully advises.

A photo taken in the Aurea Ana Palace hotel in Budapest, Hungary, posted to the Christopher Vincent appears to show a man in a beige jacket, who can be seen in zoomed in version of the centre image (right) suspected of being Christy Kinahan. Credit: Bellingcat

But by far the largest number of his reviews in Spain are found in the Costa del Sol between Estepona and Marbella, which the Kinahan clan terrorised in the mid-noughties.

Tricky Ricky’s is an ‘old English style cafe in Guadalmina’ with staff ‘friendly but businesslike.’ 

The waiters of Asador Tehuelche Grill Argentino’ (Argentine Grill Restaurant) should be able to breathe easy after Kinahan Sr called them ‘friendly, efficient and helpful’ and the service ‘very good.’ 

“I give this establishment a resounding 5 star rating, without second thoughts or hesitation,” he declared.

But the managers at the Lancet Laboratories Covid testing centre in Johannesburg may want to watch their backs – Kinahan Sr spared his greatest wrath for them. 

A Google image showing Tasha’s restaurant in Dubai (left). The same restaurant can be seen in a picture from Kinahan’s reviews (centre). Kinahan’s face can be seen in the reflection of the window in a zoomed in version of the image. Credit: Bellingcat

In a near 400-word screed he lambasted the management of the company as ‘only have contempt’ for its customers.

He was most irked by the lack of tables or facilities to fill out the paperwork – in the end he had to walk back to his car and write against the bonnet of his car.

“The lady that appeared to be the supervisor seemed less interested in the injustice of it all and more interested in why I was taking the photos.

“I give this testing centre an abysmal 1 star rating,” he stormed, “mainly due to the contempt that the management appear to hold us sheep in!”

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