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French businessman suspected of being the leader of a squad investigated in the shooting of a British family in the Alps uk news

The suspected leader of a hitman gang being investigated for links to the murder of a British family is a businessman from Annecy in the French Alps – near where they were shot.

Detectives suspect contract killers may have been involved in the murder of Saad al Hilli, 50, his wife Iqbal, 47, and stepmother Suhaila al-Allaf, 74, as well as the French cyclist Sylvain Mollier, 45, on a mountain road in 2012.

The arrest of the gang last year, whose members include former French and serving intelligence agents, could be a breakthrough in a case that has baffled French and British police for nearly a decade.

Family BMW blown away after the 2012 bombing

The al-Hillis, from Claygate in Surrey, were shot at point blank range in their BMWs in a wooded parking lot. Mr. Mollier was shot five times and his body was found nearby.

Mr. and Mrs. al Hillis’ the young girls survived. Zeena, four, hid in the floor, while her sister, Zainab, seven, was shot and beaten.

Police are uncertain whether al Hillis or Mr. Mollier, who worked in the nuclear industry, was the target.

In 2013, Eric Maillaud, then prosecutor in charge of the case, concluded: “We are dealing with a very experienced shooter.”

Now speculation is mounting that criminals linked to a Parisian Freemason lodge could be involved.

Gang members reportedly confessed to spying on, intimidating or assaulting victims.

Some have admitted to being involved in the assassination of a racing driver near Lyon, in eastern France, and in a plot to assassinate a business coach in Paris.

In February, it emerged that bullets compatible with the Luger P06 pistol used in the Alpine killings had been found at the home of one of the suspected gang members – a former senior official with the Central Directorate of Internal Intelligence, an agency French espionage.

Frederick Vaglio, 50, another suspected gang member, was born in Annecy and had business connections there …

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This notice was published: 2021-06-27 10:20:00

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