The Irish Sun has reported on an interview published by the “Kuuuurija” show of Estonia’s Kanal 2 television with Imre Arakas, a 65-year-old Estonian who delved into his life following the period after he was jailed by a Dublin court for six years in December 2018 after admitting to conspiring with others to murder an alleged gang boss in Northern Ireland.
In the interview, made by Estonian journalist Katrin Lust online with Arakas speaking from a prison in Vilnius, Lithuania, Arakas claims he had been made a five million US dollar cash offer to turn on Daniel Kinahan, as Lithuanian police continue to investigate him on another attempted murder and one killing.
Arakas claimed he rejected the deal to admit his involvement in the attempted murder and another killer, allowing him to be free in January 2025.
He said: “This is a strange proposal — it’s abnormal. They want me to give up the Kinahan clan.”
The Estonian is currently being held in a Lithuanian jail charged in connection with the murder of Deimantas “The Diamond” Bugavicius, who was shot dead in front of his pop star partner Vita Jakutiene in Nov. 6, 2015.
In the interview, the Estonian claims that Lithuanian police asked him to give evidence against Daniel Kinahan, his brother Christopher and their father Christy Snr so they could share the 15 million dollar reward posted by investigative authorities in the US for information on the cartel leadership.
“Of course the sums are big and they also promised me a new identity to go and live in the US with my family,” he said, according to the article by Crime Editor Stephen Breen, who contacted the Estonian journalist for the story.
Arakas, who received a six-year prison term over a plot to kill James “Mago” Gately in April 2017, denies that he was in Ireland for the hit.
“Everyone thinks I am an international killer but I was in Ireland for camping. Look at the things I had in my bag. I wasn’t going to kill anyone,” he said.
The prison in Vilnius allows inmates 20-minute calls with the media.
“Prison wasn’t dangerous because I was friends with the Kinahans and I knew some of them in jail. Most of the time you can walk around freely in prison and the gym is like one of the gyms in Estonia,” Arakas said. “During COVID I also had a mobile phone. The prison in Ireland is a bit different to Lithuania where I have fleas and bed bugs.”
Lust, the Estonian journalist, told the Irish Sun: “When I asked him if he was a member of the Kinahan organization his answers were vague. He also claims there is not enough evidence to convict him of the current accusation against him.”
“We can’t believe everything he says but after a few conversations he actually sounded normal. He also told me he wasn’t going to answer some of the questions about the Kinahans because of his case,” the journalist added.
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