A hitman who murdered a reality television star’s brother in a “tit-for-tat gang war” has been sentence to life in prison with a minimum term of 35 years.
The Met described the case as one of the most complex murder investigations in recent history.
Flamur Beqiri, 36, was shot dead on the doorstep of his £1.7m home in Battersea, south-west London, in front of his wife as she shielded their two-year-old son on Christmas Eve 2019.
Beqiri, the brother of The Real Housewives of Cheshire star Misse Beqiri, was a kingpin in an international drugs gang, Southwark crown court was told during the trial which concluded last week.
Anis Hemissi, 24, a professional kickboxer from Sweden, was hired as an assassin to fly into London to carry out the murder, which the trial heard was meticulously planned for up to six months.
Estevan Pino-Munizaga, an accomplice, rented a flat in Oyster Wharf, visited Beqiri’s house nearby and bought a distinctive ladies’ bicycle with a basket. Another associate bought a litter picker on a later trip to London.
The bike was used by Hemissi to carry out reconnaissance three days before the murder, once dressed as a street cleaner, wearing a latex mask, sunglasses and hi-vis work clothes, while holding the litter picker and a black bin bag.
The outfit and bike were abandoned when a local resident, Jeremy Lyons, became suspicious after seeing Hemissi working on public and private streets, telling him: “Get away from this estate please.”
The Swede acquired a replacement bike, which he parked on the Thames path and used to make his getaway after carrying out the shooting.
Hemissi, who flew into London on 20 December, left the country to go to Copenhagen in the early hours of Christmas Day. He was arrested on his return after a holiday in Thailand.
He was sentenced on Friday after being found guilty of murder and possession of a firearm.
Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb described the murder as “international crime at its most brutal”.
She said: “Flamur Beqiri, a Swedish citizen with Albanian origins, was suspected of involvement in international drug dealing and other serious crime. He was also a son, a partner and a father. His children will never know him and nothing the court does can comfort them, or reconcile those who loved him to their loss.
“Anis Hemissi, on the evidence there is no doubt that, aged just 22, with no previous convictions, in 2019 you were a gun for hire. The intricate planning that enabled you to arrive in London just a few days before shooting that man dead in front of his family as they were walking to their front door on Christmas Eve, also enabled you to leave the country within hours of his death.
“This was international crime at its most brutal.”
Pino-Munizaga, 35, visited London for about 14 hours in November 2019 to rent the flat where Hemissi stayed, visit Beqiri’s house nearby and buy the bicycle.
He was jailed for 15 years, of which he will serve two-thirds, after being acquitted of murder but found guilty of manslaughter.
Clifford Rollox, 31, from Islington, north London, and Dutch national Claude Isaac Castor, 31, from Sint Maarten in the Caribbean, were each jailed for three years after being found guilty of perverting the course of justice, having been hired locally to clean up and remove evidence, including the gun, from the flat.