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Saturday, 27 November, 1999, 11:13 GMT
Detectives renew appeal for hitman
map of London

by BBC News Online' Chris Summers

When Solly Nahome arrived home from work on 27 November 1998 his killer was waiting for him.

As he got out of his car and strode towards his home in the affluent north London suburb of Finchley he was hit four times by a gunman who had been lurking nearby.

The killer jumped onto a motorbike parked nearby and raced off.

Mr Nahome left behind a wife, Joanna, and an 11-month-old daughter.

The murder of Saul "Solly" Nahome reverberated through not only the Jewish community but also London's underworld, to which he was inextricably linked.

Mr Nahome's brother Joe, who lives in Israel, was quick to dismiss reports that Solly was linked to the underworld.

He told the Jewish Chronicle: "He was never associated, not in a million years."

'He had connections'

But police believe otherwise.

Detective Chief Inspector David Cater, who took over the investigation three days after Mr Nahome was killed, told BBC News Online: "He certainly had connections with people who have been described as criminals.

"We are looking into all of his connections as part of the investigation."

Underworld sources say Mr Nahome worked for London's most notorious crime family.

The family, five brothers who are based in Islington, north London, heads up a multi-million pound criminal empire.

Like many London gangsters they started off in petty crime and graduated to armed robbery before diversifying into a more lucrative and less risky trade - drug trafficking.

The brothers, one of whom runs his operations from Spain's Costa Del Sol, control much of the capital's cannabis and cocaine supply and have made millions of pounds worth of profit.

This is where Solly Nahome comes in.

A jeweller by profession, who emigrated to the UK from Burma in 1961, he used to run a business in London's Hatton Garden district.

Money laundering

It is unclear how he first got to know the family - he may have started by buying stolen gems from them.

But by the time of his death it is thought Mr Nahome was responsible for laundering much of the family's drug profits.

One figure Mr Nahome was known to have contact with was the family's "enforcer", Gilbert Wynter.

The 37-year-old was acquitted of killing former British high jump champion Claude Moseley in 1994 after a key prosecution witness refused to give evidence.

Mr Wynter disappeared in March 1998 and underworld sources say he may have been killed after "double-crossing" the family.

Mr Cater says: "The name Gilbert Wynter has cropped up in the inquiry and he was known to Mr Nahome but his disappearance predates the killing."

There are various theories in circulation about why Mr Nahome was killed.

'No death threats'

Simon Rocker, a reporter on the Jewish Chronicle, says: "One of the rumours is that he was not being straight with his 'employers' and they found out; another theory is that their enemies killed him."

Mr Cater will not comment on the speculation but he says the killing came as a surprise and Mr Nahome had apparently not received any threats prior to the shooting.

"We are keeping an open mind and are exploring a number of possibilites, " he says.

His immediate task is tracking down the hitman, who is variously described as being black or of Mediterranean appearance.

Mr Cater says: "He escaped on a small J-reg motorbike, possibly a Kawasaki or Yamaha 125, which was dark in colour and had an orange flash or stripe down the fairing."

He says the murder came as a "terrible blow" to Mr Nahome's wife and she was still struggling to come to terms with it.

He says if anyone has any information about Mr Nahome's murder they should contact the incident room at Hendon on 0181 358 1864 or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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