Wrestler turned hitman for the Kinahan Cartel fighting extradition to Lithuania

Imre Arakas, 62, is a former wrestler, actor and Estonian separatist who fought against the Soviet Union. As of late, Arakas, who the press…

By: Tim Bissell | 3 years ago
Wrestler turned hitman for the Kinahan Cartel fighting extradition to Lithuania
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Imre Arakas, 62, is a former wrestler, actor and Estonian separatist who fought against the Soviet Union. As of late, Arakas, who the press have nicknamed ‘the butcher’, has been accused of working as a hitman.

Arakas’ suspected criminal activity allegedly began after he was released from prison in the late 80s. He had been serving time in a Russian jail for his freedom fighting activities. When the Soviet Union fell, Arakas reportedly turned to organized crime.

In Europe Arakas’ is accused of being involved in a brutal gang war between Estonian and Russian gangs that raged throughout the 1990s and killed over a hundred people. In 1998 Arakas moved to Spain, where he survived an assassination attempt. Two Estonians were jailed for that attempted killing.

After that assassination attempt it is alleged that Arakas became a professional hitman.

Arakas is currently in jail in Ireland. In 2018 Irish authorities arrested him on suspicion of being hired by the Kinahan Organised Crime Group (aka The Kinahan Cartel) to assassinate rivals in the Hutch Gang.

According to police a list of names of supposed Hutch gang members was found on Arakas’ person. Police also discovered encrypted text messages between Arakas and suspected Kinahan kingpin Daniel Kinahan. In one of the messages Arakas boasted that he would kill his target, James Gately, with ‘one shot to the head’.

A year prior Gately, an alleged member of the Hutch Gang, survived a previous assassination attempt by suspected Kinahan gunmen in north Dublin. In that attempt Gately was shot five times, but survived because he was wearing a bulletproof vest.

Arakas plead guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced to six years in prison.

However, according to breakingnews.ie Arakas may not see out his sentence in Ireland. That outlet reports that Lithuanian authorities have ordered that Arakas be extradited to their country to face charges on a separate murder-for-hire plot.

Lithuanian police allege that Arakas was part of a three man team that shot and killed Deimantas Bugavicius in 2015. Bugavicius was the lover of Lithuanian pop star Vita Jakutiene.

Arakas is contesting the extradition.

Daniel Kinahan, who is accused of leading the Kinahan group, relocated to Dubai after surviving an assassination attempt. It is believed he was the intended target of the 2016 Regency Hotel shooting in Dublin. That shooting happened at an MGM boxing weigh-in show and was carried out by suspected Hutch Gang members.

The shooting is believed to be in response to the Kinahan group killing a number of Hutch Gang members, as well as their attempted assassination of alleged Hutch Gang leader Gerry Hutch in Lanzarote, Spain a year earlier.

MGM, the company Kinahan founded, is now known at MTK Global. MTK, which is now one of the world’s most powerful boxing promoters and management companies, claims Kinahan is no longer associated with the company.

Despite MTK’s claims that Kinahan stopped working with them after the Regency Hotel shooting, plenty of evidence has suggested otherwise. Chief among that evidence is Tyson Fury, who is managed by MTK, revealing last year that Kinahan had negotiated his deals to fight Anthony Joshua.

Last year, after Irish politicians expressed their outrage at Kinahan’s involvement in Fury vs. Joshua, MTK announced that Kinahan was stepping away from boxing altogether.

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About the author
Tim Bissell
Tim Bissell

Tim Bissell is a writer, editor and deputy site manager for Bloody Elbow. He has covered combat sports since 2015. Tim covers news and events and has also written longform and investigative pieces. Among Tim's specialties are the intersections between crime and combat sports. Tim has also covered head trauma, concussions and CTE in great detail.

Tim is also BE's lead (only) sumo reporter. He blogs about that sport here and on his own substack, Sumo Stomp!

Email me at tim@bloodyelbow.com. Nice messages will get a response.

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