A millionaire businessman who was close to the stars of reality TV series TOWIE and partied with the likes of Mohamed Al Fayed, has been shot dead outside his luxury Costa del Sol home.
Marco Yaqout was gunned down in the early hours of this morning as he drove into his garage in his trademark UK-plated Bentley.
His killer was waiting for him outside his villa on a quiet residential street in an upmarket neighbourhood in San Pedro de Alcantara near Marbella called Las Petunias.
Marco was shot at more than 20 times and hit around 12 times.
Police believe the killer could have hid behind a wheelie bin outside the victim’s property.
The gruesome murder is the latest in a string of violent incidents on the Costa del Sol in recent months.
They have included two attacks on Brits, the shooting of a Dutchman in a sushi restaurant in the popular resort of Benalmadena and the machine-gun murder of a Frenchman outside his home in Marbella.
The victim of the latest incident, which happened around 3am this morning has been named locally as Marco Yaqout, a Spaniard of Moroccan origin.
The English-speaking entrepreneur was described as the owner of at least five well-known nightspots in Puerto Banus, including the TOWIE favourite TIBU which he is understood to have run with two partners, and Linekers.
Mark Wright hosted a boat party and club night at the Brit-popular club in 2014 and the cast of the reality TV show always try to ensure TIBU Banus is on their list of venues to visit when they are in the area.
Professor Green has also played at the nightspot, which bills itself on its website as ‘by far the most exciting nightspot to go clubbing.’
Lina Hodgkins, star of ITVBe’s LifeOnMarbs and now a marketing manager at Linekers Group in Puerto Banus which Gary Lineker’s brother Wayne used to be heavily involved in, posted a picture of her on social media alongside the dead man which said: ‘The phone call at 5am this morning will stay with me for ever.
‘My boss of 14 years Marco was killed. We argued like husband and wife over the years.
‘Today remembering the good times of which there were many. Heartfelt sympathy to all the family. God bless.’
Police have not officially named the 49-year-old, whose real first name is believed to be Abdelhadi, and have confirmed they have not yet made any arrests.
Video footage taken at the scene showed his black left-hand-drive car riddled with bullets.
An eyewitness who asked not to be named reported hearing two bursts of automatic fire and a getaway car the assassin is thought to have jumped into after the murder, speeding off.
The Costa del Sol has been rocked by a series of shocking crimes including a number of murders in recent months.
Last month a Frenchman with links to drugs trafficking was shot outside his home in an upmarket area of Marbella by a killer who fled on a motorbike.
On October 27 a Dutch gangster was shot dead in front of other diners at a sushi restaurant in the resort of Benalmadena.
Last September a 24-year-old Brit was stabbed twice in the legs by an assailant who attacked him in the street without warning in the popular resort of Puerto Banus.
The violent crime occurred ten days after a 35-year-old Brit was shot, stabbed, beaten and given a Glasgow Smile close to the same area after being abducted by a gang of criminals over a drug deal.
The torture victim was later identified as Craig Moran, jailed for 13 years for his part in a September 2003 armed raid on a jeweller’s in Nottingham in which shop owner Marian Bates was killed.
In October two bombs went off within minutes of each other outside a Costa del Sol luxury car business and the nearby home of its owner.
No-one was hurt in the blasts but they caused structural damage to both buildings.
Spanish police released extraordinary footage last month showing the moment a hooded bomber lit up the fuse on a powerful explosive device outside the luxury car business. agen domino qiu qiu
Other images released by police at the same time showed a criminal believed to be the same person creeping up to the front door of the home in Benahavis where the business owner lived before leaving a similar-looking bomb outside and racing away on foot before it exploded.
Police confirmed at the time three people had been held over the explosions, one in Marbella and two in the Swedish city of Malmo.
They said the bombing incidents were being linked to a ‘criminal organisation of contract killers based in Sweden.’
Earlier this month police said they were investigating the discovery of a stash of weapons including two submachine guns and two hand grenades in a stolen UK-plated car.
The weapons were found inside the abandoned Volkswagen Golf after it was towed away from a residential street in Benahavis near Marbella.
An acquaintance of the latest shooting victim, who also had a well-known shisha lounge in Puerto Banus: ‘He was one of three business partners known as the men who ran most of Banus.
‘They were key players in the Banus nightlife scene.
‘They had big links to the TOWIE crowd. People like Professor Green and So Solid Crew had played at Tibu. It’s known as one of the top places to go among British expats and holidaymakers in Puerto Banus.
‘Everyone knew Marco. That’s why people have been stunned by this killing because it takes it to another level.
‘If it is an escalation of what’s been going on and someone is having a crack at the nightclub scene, then it’s very worrying.’