Man held in Denmark over London murder of Flamur Beqiri

Damien Gayle
Photograph: Metropolitan police/PA

A 22-year-old man has been arrested at Copenhagen airport on suspicion of murdering Flamur Beqiri, a Swedish record label executive, outside his home in London on Christmas Eve.

The suspect was held by Danish police just before 7pm on Monday after flying in from Thailand, according to Kvällsposten, a Swedish newspaper. Danish authorities were acting on an European arrest warrant circulated by Scotland Yard.

He remains in custody in Denmark pending proceedings for extradition to the UK.

Beqiri, 36, was with his wife, Debora Krasniqi, and their child outside their home in Battersea, south-west London, when he was gunned down on 24 December. Neighbours said they heard up to 10 shots.

Beqiri was pronounced dead at the scene. DI Jamie Stevenson said he was shot multiple times by a lone attacker who fled on foot.

The Metropolitan police said a 22-year-old man was arrested at Copenhagen airport on 20 January on suspicion of murder. “He remains in custody in Denmark pending extradition proceedings back to the UK,” a spokeswoman said.

Once one of Sweden’s most-wanted men, Beqiri – known as Alex – came to the UK four or five years ago, reportedly leaving Sweden after receiving death threats. He had previously run a record label in Malmö, and last September had set up the 20/20 Music Ltd label in London.

He had previously been implicated in a £2m cannabis smuggling ring. Reports claimed Beqiri, an Albanian-born Swedish national, was involved in the Swedish criminal underworld. He was connected to a convicted gun runner serving a jail sentence in Sweden for trying to sell pistols and shotguns that he had smuggled into the country.

Tamer Zahran, who was jailed in 2017 for four years and five months for his part in smuggling 235 weapons from Slovakia, was included in Beqiri’s list of Facebook friends, according to a 4,100-page indictment from Malmö district court.

Sweden’s prosecution service also previously confirmed that Beqiri was friends with the boyfriend of Karolin Hakim, who was shot dead in Malmö in August when the couple were walking with their baby in broad daylight. Gunmen thought to be targeting her boyfriend shot her in the head and she died at the scene.

Stevenson said: “We believe Flamur may possibly have been involved in some criminality in Sweden, and are in liaison with our Swedish counterparts to try to understand what, if any, incidents there may have been that might have led to someone seeking retribution against Flamur in the UK.”

In a statement released through Scotland Yard after his death, Beqiri’s family said: “Our family are in a state of shock and are grieving. To have so much sadness at this time of the year is heartbreaking.”

Neighbours living near the scene of the shooting described hearing multiple gunshots followed by a woman screaming for help.