THE murder of Britain’s most notorious gangster, John ‘Goldfinger’ Palmer, has been linked to a Spanish hitman.
The timeshare crook, who operated out of Tenerife for decades, was shot dead in his Essex garden, although his death was initially attributed to natural courses.
Police have now launched a murder investigation into the man once dubbed Britain’s richest crook thanks to a €350 million fortune, much of it made in Spain.
Palmer, 65, was reportedly due to stand trial in Spain for fraud, firearm possession and money laundering this year.
He had only just learnt that he faced a possible 15 years in jail in the Canaries, where he had multiple homes and luxury yachts.
Palmer made millions from his timeshare operations in Tenerife, many of them fraudulent and involving high pressure selling tactics.
He also had links to timeshare companies in mainland Spain and was a regular visitor to the Costa del Sol.
“I met him a couple of times down here,” said one leading businessman. “He had various businesses here, but he was always really surly, not a nice chap.”
His downfall is believed to have come after the fall out of the infamous Securitas robbery in 2006, in Kent, over which he earned his nickname ‘Goldfinger’.
Some €60 million of gold bars were stolen when 14 members of staff were tied up.
However, there was a huge fall-out between the British and Eastern European gangsters involved and detectives believe this led to Palmer’s death.
It is now believed he may have been executed by the same hitmen implicated in the killing of Great Train robber Charlie Wilson, in Marbella in 1990.
Detectives are apparently probing a list of suspects for Wilson’s killing due to similarities between the cases.
Specifically, they were murdered in their own gardens, clearly by an experienced assassin.