A TOP Kinahan enforcer is led away from his Costa del Sol bolthole in cuffs — with his wife giving the birdie.
Bald Johnny Morrissey was wearing a pair of garish yellow patterned shorts when he was picked up by an international force of cops, including a member of the Gardai.
His arrest is a devastating blow to wanted Daniel Kinahan’s crumbling mob.
The Manchester-raised Irish expat smiled initially after being surrounded by cops and put in handcuffs.
But his grin turned to a grimace as he was led away and he tried to hide his face when he saw press photographers waiting.
Wife Nicola, CEO of a Scottish vodka firm linked by police to organised crime, raised her middle finger as she was walked out by armed Spanish cops.
The pair appeared in court yesterday after spending two nights in police custody.
Spanish police are yet to comment on Monday’s arrests, and are not expected to do so until later today.
But we can reveal former Rochdale doorman Morrissey, nicknamed Johnny Cash when he ran a restaurant in Cork in the 1990s, was held on suspicion of crimes including money laundering after an operation led by Spanish cops and coordinated across two continents.
Yesterday’s court appearance in the holiday resort of Marbella, to determine whether the couple should be granted bail, was held behind closed doors as is customary in Spain.
Morrissey, full name John Francis Morrissey, and his wife were expected to be remanded in custody pending an ongoing criminal probe — although court officials could not be reached for comment late yesterday afternoon to confirm this.
The Irish passport holder, 62, was one of seven alleged Kinahan cartel members hit with sanctions in April and named by the US department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
The US authorities said of Morrissey, who attended Daniel Kinahan’s wedding in Dubai in 2017: “John Morrissey has worked for the Kinahan Organised Crime Group for several years, including as an enforcer, and facilitates international drug shipments for the organisation from South America. He is also involved in money laundering.”
He was included on the list alongside the likes of Daniel Kinahan, described in the same statement as “playing an integral part in organising the supply of drugs in Ireland”, his dad Christopher Kinahan and veteran Dublin-born criminal Bernard Clancy.
The other people named were Christopher Kinahan Jnr, Daniel Kinahan’s “advisor and closest confidant” Sean McGovern and Ian Dixon who was arrested over the 2015 Costa del Sol murder of Gary Hutch but never charged.
Nero Drinks Company Ltd, the Glasgow-based vodka firm, which Scots mum Nicola Morrissey runs with her husband, was one of three companies included in the list and banned from trading in the States.
Johnny, who courted celebrities including models and reality TV stars as the ambassador of his wife’s drinks business, fled Ireland more than 20 years ago after reportedly being involved in a bid to harm an officer from the Criminal Assets Bureau.
Former CAB officer Felix McKenna, who earlier this year linked Morrissey to the attempt to intimidate or even kill a prominent Bureau officer before he left Ireland — having had more than €600,000 of cash and property seized — welcomed his inclusion in the US sanctions list in April.
Speaking to an Irish Sunday newspaper he said: “He fell into a group of criminals who left Ireland following the formation of CAB and made a lot of money abroad and still make a lot of money in the narcotics business.
“Hopefully, these men are all incarcerated in the forthcoming years and locked away for a long time.”
Morrissey opened up a restaurant called Annalise after moving to Cork from England, where officials say he had gained a reputation as a hitman for gangsters.
Morrissey is the first of the men named and sanctioned by US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to face arrest since the list of the Kinahan Organised Crime Group’s seven “key players” was made public.
One well-placed source said last night: “Although he’s the first we don’t expect him to be the last and are working on making sure others fall soon.”
Source: The Sun