Kinahan money launderer Johnny Morrissey and wife Nicola flashed their wealth in lifestyle magazine

The couple posed for photographs for the Marbella’s ‘Exclusive Life’ Magazine and showed off their mansion, sports cars and even their young son as they talked about plans to bring Nero Vodka to the US in 2022.

The couple posed for photographs for the Marbella’s ‘Exclusive Life’ Magazine and showed off their mansion, sports cars and even their young son as they talked about plans to bring Nero Vodka to the US in 2022.

The glamorous photo shoot was a far cry from images of the couple this week, handcuffed and being led to court by police in a significant development in the plan to dismantle the billion dollar Kinahan empire.

In an article entitled ‘At Home With Nicola Morrissey’, the wife of the Kinahan money launderer and enforcer Johnny described how their potato-based vodka had been awarded eight gold industry gongs since it was launched at a glittering extravaganza in Marbella’s most exclusive hotel, Puente Romano, in December 2021.

Asked if the Covid pandemic had affected the business, raven-haired Nicola said hard work had paid off and named some of the Costa’s most exclusive eateries, clubs and even the famed Gourmet Club at El Corte Ingles in Puerto Banus as being key to the success .

Hailed an iconic businesswoman who juggled family life and her corporate commitments with finesse, she revealed plans for Nero. “A busy year for sure!” she said of 2022.

“Nero Drinks Company will continue to support and work with local venues, adding more to our client list as well as launching in Mallorca, Tenerife, the UK and we are finalising plans to launch in America.

“We are also opening an exclusive, five-star wellness retreat overlooking the sea in La Cala. We have been busy overseeing the luxury building project, gathering an expert team to deliver the latest therapies and treatments. We have a full-time nutritionist, in-house yoga and meditation specialist, colonic hydrotherapy, cryotherapy and lots more.”

As she gushed about striking a balance with family life and securing a future for her and Johnny Morrissey’s young son, the DEA, Europol and other police forces were watching on.

What is simply extraordinary is how the Kinahan organisation believed they could get away with washing €350,000 a day of drugs money through Nero Vodka.

Why the mob considered they could do that in plain sight and with a company linked to a man suspected of involvement in over 30 gangland hits, who had already been targeted by the Criminal Assets Bureau in Ireland, beggars belief.

Johnny Morrissey was a larger-than-life character around Marbella and along with his Scottish wife regularly hosted long, Champagne-fuelled lunches for the C-list celebs that knock around the bars and restaurants of Puerto Banus and Estepona.

The pair went out of their way to court celebrity and to be photographed and interviewed in society magazines.

At the same time, Johnny Morrissey was operating as an enforcer for the Kinahan mob and pushing out its propaganda. He was behind the ill-considered Blood Feudbook that was the first of a series of marketing ploys by Kinahan to clean up his image and paint himself as a victim of the Irish media, Government and gardai.

It was Morrissey who first published the online book on his social media and later launched a website aimed at identifying ‘rats’ in the criminal underworld.

He was a prolific user of Facebook, Instagram and other platforms where he would regularly treat his followers to videos of his lunches, new cars and lifestyle on the Costa.

Nicola mixed with editors, socialites, reality TV stars and business people and regularly posed for selfies with glasses of champagne.

“Everything John and I do is to provide a happy and secure life for [Sean] and our family. I love our business but my favourite job is being a mum to Sean….

“Like many couples with businesses, John and I sometimes disagree but we respect each other’s opinion and understand that we are both working towards the same goal of success,” she told a magazine.

When the vodka launched, editor of EuroWeeklya Costa-based news site, Michel Euesden, gave a speech about female empowerment before welcoming Nicola to the stage.

Dramatic footage released by Spain’s Guardia Civil saw the Morrisseys under arrest in their home while cops from the Netherlands, Spain, Ireland and the US searched for documents, cash and luxury items.

Police say Nero Vodka was at the centre of the most important money laundering operation in Spain and that €350,000 a day was washed through it.

They estimate that Morrissey may have laundered more than €200 million in the past 18 months for the Kinahan organisation.

Authorities believe the cash has not physically moved out of Spain but is spread throughout the world using the ancient money transfer system called Hawala, which originated in the Middle East as a transfer or trust system.

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