A businessman who was closely linked to members of the Kinahan cartel is at the centre of a dispute over a loan to one of the richest men in Britain.
Maurice Sines (60) was named by the Criminal Assets Bureau (Cab) in High Court evidence as being linked to members of the wider Kinahan cartel network in Ireland and Britain. Mr Sines, who has now built a holiday home and caravan park empire in the UK, was regarded by gardaí as being very close to Liam Byrne, the Dubliner who once headed the Byrne organised crime group in the Republic and which was effectively the Kinahans’ Irish operation.
Mr Sines, who has changed his name to Fred Doe in an apparent bid to distance himself from his former Irish associates, has applied to put some companies owned by Robert Bull (46) into administration in Britain after a dispute over a £2 million loan. And it appears that action has prompted some of Mr Bull’s lenders to move against him in the same way.
Mr Bull, who specialises in supplying prefabricated dwellings to middle-aged people in Britain, appeared in the Sunday Times rich list for the first time this year. He was estimated to be worth £4 billion, saying he was bankrupt as recently as 2016 but explaining he had recovered and regrown his business RoyaleLife. However, just weeks before the rich list was published, a company called Sines Parks Holdings Limited applied to put several RoyaleLife units into administration. Sines Parks is ultimately majority owned by a man called Fred Doe, who recently changed his name from Maurice Sines.
The action of Mr Doe related to a loan of £2 million he extended to RoyaleLife in April and which, it was claimed, was not repaid on time. Mr Doe’s action has triggered a series of events that leave the future of RoyaleLife uncertain. The application of Sines Parks to place some of Mr Bull’s firms into administration, a form of insolvency, set off a rush for its lenders to do the same. Investment firm Intermediate Capital Group Plc, which is claiming around £500 million, appointed administrators to some entities and other lenders have since followed suit.
“More than 200+ legal entities comprise the RoyaleGroup and these remain unaffected,” Mr Bull said in a statement to Bloomberg News. “I therefore want to reassure our funders, suppliers, residents, and employees that it is very much business as usual.”
Mr Sines once provided high-value luxury vehicles on loan, from a UK car sales business, to Liam Byrne and his brother David in Dublin. Though gardaí regularly stopped the brothers in the cars – often valued at over €100,000 – the vehicles could not be seized as suspected proceeds of crime because they were owned by a third party.
Mr Sines also provided Liam Byrne with a house to live in in Birmingham when he fled Ireland as Cab was pursuing his assets from around 2016, resulting in the seizure of his home on Raleigh Square, Crumlin, Dublin. Byrne (42) was arrested in Mallorca in June on foot of an extradition request from the authorities in Britain, where he is wanted to face trial on firearms charges.
When Byrne’s brother David (34) was shot dead by the Hutch crime group at the Regency Hotel, north Dublin, in 2016, Mr Sines spent a period in Dublin supporting the Byrne family.
The Garda also claims Mr Sines was close to Thomas “Bomber” Kavanagh, who is Liam Byrne’s brother-in-law and ran the Kinahans’ operation in Britain from his base in Birmingham. Kavanagh was jailed for 21 years last year for smuggling drugs valued at €35 million into Britain.