Flamur Beqiri was shot dead in front of his screaming wife as she shielded their two-year-old son.
A Swedish hitman has been found guilty of murdering a reality television star’s brother in a bloody tit-for-tat gang war.
Beqiri, the brother of The Real Housewives Of Cheshire star, Misse Beqiri, was a kingpin in an international drugs gang.
He was targeted as part of a feud with a rival organised crime group headed by Amir Mekky, 24.
Gunman Anis Hemissi, 24, disguised in a latex mask, opened fire 10 times with a pistol, hitting Beqiri with eight bullets from behind.
Professional kickboxer Hemissi, who had earlier disguised himself as a litter picker to carry out renaissance, was found guilty of murder and possession of a firearm at Southwark Crown Court on Friday after a two-month trial.
The jury was not told that he had previously been a suspect in the murder of a man shot dead near Hemissi’s father’s house in Malmo but never charged.
The court heard three other Swedes had also flown to the capital in the weeks and days before the shooting, which had been meticulously planned for up to six months.
Estevan Pino-Munizaga, 35, was acquitted of murder but found guilty of an alternative charge of manslaughter.
Tobias Andersson, 32, and Bawer Karaer, 23, also from Sweden, were acquitted of both charges.
Clifford Rollox, 31, from Islington, north London, and Dutch national, Claude Isaac Castor, 31, from Sint Maarten in the Caribbean, were found guilty of perverting the course of justice after being hired locally to clean up the flat where the killers had stayed.
They were seen removing a large suitcase on Christmas Day, but police were on the scene before they could finish the job and evidence recovered included a ripped up flight ticket stub including Hemissi’s name.
Karaer’s cousin, Ahmet Karaer, suspected of helping to finance, plan and organise the murder, is wanted by police, having disappeared after being deported from Egypt where he was arrested for drug smuggling.
Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb said she will sentence those found guilty next Friday.
Senior Crown Prosecution Service prosecutor, Louise Attrill, said the murder was part of a “a tit-for-tat rivalry between two very significant organised crime groups”.
“It is an international assassination which required meticulous planning and involved a group of organised criminals recruiting a team to carry out this shocking and brutal murder.”
Mr Beqiri married Debora Krasniqi in Cernobbio, by Lake Como, Italy, and she told the Grace Ormonde Wedding Style magazine they “fell deeply in love” at the wedding of his sister, Misse.
Beqiri, who had joint Swedish and Albanian nationality, claimed to be in the music business but had had been involved in the international drugs trade since 2007 as part of a gang led by Daniel Petrovski, 38.
His close associate and friend, Naief Adawi, 37, who was jailed for eight years in Denmark over one of the country’s biggest ever heists, was targeted by gunmen outside his Malmo apartment, dropping his newborn baby daughter while running away.
They both survived but his partner, Karolin Hakim, 31, was shot multiple times and killed in a murder linked to associates of crime boss Mekky, who was also involved in large-scale trafficking of cocaine and cannabis.
Adawi and Petrovski have both recently been charged over an alleged plot to kill the Mekky associates believed to be behind the shooting.
Beqiri had also been a target since the summer of 2019 and, by November, the gang’s planning stepped up as Pino-Munizaga travelled to London for around 14 hours.
He rented a flat in Oyster Wharf, visited Mr Beqiri’s house nearby and bought a distinctive ladies’ bicycle with a basket, while Andersson bought a litter picker on a later trip to the capital.
The bike was used by Hemissi to carry out reconnaissance on three days prior to the murder, once dressed as a street cleaner, wearing a latex mask, sunglasses and high-vis work clothes, while holding the litter picker and black bin bag.
The outfit and bike were abandoned when local resident Jeremy Lyons became suspicious after seeing Hemissi working on both public and private streets, telling the hitman: “Get away from this estate please.”
Karaer bought a replacement bike when he came to London, which Hemissi parked on the Thames path and used to make his getaway after carrying out the shooting.
Hemissi, who flew into London on December 20, left the country to go to Copenhagen, Denmark, in the early hours of Christmas Day.
He was arrested on his return following a holiday in Thailand.
He, along with the other three Swedes, were extradited to the UK to stand trial.
Detective Sergeant Brett Skowron said: “This murder was meticulously planned by the suspects and involved a number of different men travelling to the UK in the months leading up to Mr Beqiri being fatally shot.”