‘Goldfinger’ earned his nickname after his acquittal of handling gold bullion in the £26 million Brink’s-Mat raid in 1983
Police in the UK are convinced that the murder of John ‘Goldfinger’ Palmer, the legendary timeshare fraudster with links to the Brink’s Mat and Hatton Garden raids, was carried out by a Kinahan hitman.
International assassin Imre Arakas, Dublin hitman James Quinn and another Kinahan gun for hire from Ireland are now the prime suspects for the unsolved murder which was carried out with sniper precision as Palmer mowed the lawn.
Palmer’s murder at the grounds of his home in Essex in 2015 came as he enjoyed retirement from an extraordinary criminal career. Such was the accuracy of the hit that his death was not immediately processed as murder and officers believed he had died of a heart attack or natural causes.
However, it was soon discovered that a contract killer had tracked him for days through a ‘spy hole’ in the fence, with the murder taking place in the only area of the garden not covered by CCTV.
In the weeks leading up to his death, Palmer and 10 others, including his sidekick Richard Cashman were all due to stand trial over real-estate fraud in Tenerife, with speculation that Palmer was seeking a deal with prosecutors.
Cashman, a long time associate of Christy Kinahan Snr, was one of those who attended the 2017 wedding of Daniel Kinahan and Caoimhe Robinson in the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai which Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officers from the UK had under secret surveillance. Cashman was seen with his wife, Leanne, at the plush ceremony.
‘Goldfinger’ earned his nickname after his acquittal of handling gold bullion in the £26 million Brink’s-Mat raid in 1983 and was associated with some of those convicted over the £14 million Hatton Garden raid in 2015.
International hitman Imre Arakas is understood to have been in the UK in the weeks prior to the murder while Quinn and another suspected Kinahan shooter have also been placed in the frame by officers in the UK as they were moving in and out of the country and travelling on false passports at the time.
Cashman had moved from his base in Spain to Dubai after UK police quizzed him in connection with the murder of his former boss.
‘Goldfinger’ was once reported to be worth £300 million but was 64 and retired from crime.
Arakas was arrested in Dublin as he plotted to kill Kinahan target James ‘Mago’ Gately in 2017.
Details of the attempted murder were given to the court which suggested that Arakas would work alone and use a target gun and silencer.
He planned to kill Gately with ‘one shot to the head’ in a car park near the apartment where he was staying in Northern Ireland.
Before his arrest Arakas was tracked by officers who followed him from Dublin airport to the city centre where he purchased a number of items including a wig.
He then took a stroll around the north inner city and viewed the home of Kinahan target Patsy Hutch before visiting the scene where Gareth Hutch had been murdered the previous May.
When he was arrested the following morning he had been sending messages to two encrypted phones understood to belong to wanted killer Sean McGovern and crime boss Daniel Kinahan.
The first time the Kinahan mob were linked to the murder of Palmer was on an anonymous Twitter site set up following the Regency Hotel incident.
The site known as ‘The Whistleblower’ indicated that the Kinahan group had murdered Palmer as a favour to an associate and that one of the three men currently on the suspect list carried it out.