The chief arrested in a wheelchair of a mob that is believed to have sent the deceased murderer Imre Arakas to Ireland has declared: "I am not an angel, but I do not traffic or kill."
Sergejus Beglikas, 47, was arrested in Marbella when he underwent regular physiotherapy for injuries received in an accident more than 20 years ago.
The arrest in Spain was part of a series of raids across Europe, codenamed Operation Icebreaker, in which investigators picked up 22 alleged gang members involved in the illegal trafficking of drugs and cigarettes on a large scale, killing and laundering money.
One of those arrested, a Pole who worked as a mule, carried in cash a value of more than a quarter of a million euros at that time.
Two others were the right-hand man of the Lithuanian Beglikas in his drug smuggling operation and another man in the Spanish police believes he led a group of assassins who attacked the gang.
8 million euros were also seized in cash, diamonds, gold bars, jewelery and luxury vehicles in Britain, Spain, Lithuania and Poland. Europol has described the operation as the largest of its kind ever made in Europe.
It started in Lithuania in 2016 and then spread to Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom.
However, Europol decided to launch coordinated raids after the mail was arrested in the Polish city of Gdansk in mid-May.
A Polish court issued an arrest warrant for the head of the Lithuanian Mafia, Beglikas.
& # 39; I AM NOT AN ANGEL & # 39;
The order accuses him specifically of working with the Kinahans and the Spaniard believes that he not only provided Arakas for the failed blow to Gary Hutch's friend, James & # 39; Mago & # 39; Gately, but also cooperated with the Kinahans in drug trafficking.
Beglikas has been subjected to an official investigation by a Spanish magistrate for drug trafficking, criminal associations and money laundering and released on bail of € 15,000.
However, he told a Spanish newspaper that he called his mansion in Marbella: "I'm not an angel, but I do not traffic or kill."
Instead, Beglikas claimed that he earned his fortune by trading the bitcoin online currency and through a coffee import company.
He added: "I know that in my country they want to kill me." I was never an angel or very innocent. I like money very much, I do not hide it.
"However, in Spain I can relax, I do not need protection, in Lithuania yes, because they want my head".
When asked who wanted to kill him, Beglikas declared: "Those who envy me." When asked about the accusations against him, Beglikas replied: "I know it's a serious matter."
"But I do not kill or traffic with drugs."
TELEPHONES, JEWELRY A & GOLD BARS IN SAFES BEHIND THE FALSE WALL
The hitman Beglikas allegedly sent to Ireland, Arakas, is serving six years after pleading guilty to conspiring to assassinate Gately near Belfast in April 2017.
An exhaustive search in the village of Beglikas in Marbella discovered three safes behind a false wall.
When the cops managed to open them, they found 90 mobile phones still encrypted in their packaging, 3 million euros in jewelry, some of which still had their price tags attached, and several gold bars.
The Mafia boss, who also carried an encrypted mobile device, was later placed under official investigation for drug trafficking and money laundering.
The drug dealer on his right hand was picked up in a matter of hours near the city of Cádiz, about three hours drive west of the border with Portugal.
The driver of his assassins was arrested while flying to Alicante from Great Britain.
No charges have yet been filed in connection with the failed plan to kill Gately.
The gang organized the import of cocaine from South America and the hashish from Morocco to Spain before trafficking it in cars with specially converted compartments.
The method was the same as the Kinahans used to smuggle drugs from their power base on the Costa del Sol before they were forced to move to Dubai due to the ongoing dispute.
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In a statement, Europol said: "The magnitude of the damage caused by this group of organized crime is significant; it is believed that these criminals acquired approximately 680 million euros as a result of their criminal activities only for the period 2017-2019. "
Arakas' trial at the Special Criminal Court heard that Gardai had followed him as he was walking through Dublin and buying a wig.
When Armed Gardai burst into his quarters, they discovered a telephone with instructions that they believed were sent personally by Daniel Kinahan.
A quick thinking garda took photos on his phone of the messages before they were remotely erased.