Illegal Sports Betting Linked to Murder of Aussie Gangster John Macris, Shot in Cold Blood in Athens

Posted on: November 6, 2018, 10:05h. 

Last updated on: November 6, 2018, 10:27h.

Police investigating the murder of Greco-Australian gangster John Macris are working on the theory that he was killed because of links to an illegal sports betting operation.

John Macris
John Macris and his model wife, Victoria Karyda, celebrate their wedding day on the Greek island of Mykonos in 2016. On Monday, Greek media released footage of his gangland execution. (Image: Facebook)

Macris was shot dead by a gunman last Wednesday outside his home in a wealthy Athens suburb as he sat in a Smart car owned by his wife — the Ukrainian reality TV star and former Playboy Playmate Victoria Karyda.

Shocking footage released by Greek media on Monday from security cameras outside Macris’ house show the moment a lone gunman fired multiple shots through the car’s right passenger window before walking around to the driver’s door and firing again.

Macris, who was alone in the car, was hit four times in the stomach, chest, and shoulder blade and died at the scene.

Illegal Gambling Probe

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Greek police are piecing together bank accounts and scrutinizing money transfers to ascertain whether Macris was involved in gambling with other people’s money through an illegal online betting company based in Asia. They believe it’s possible he had accumulated a debt that he couldn’t pay.

The 46-year-old nightclub owner was a prominent figure in the Sydney underworld for many years, according to reports in the Australian media. He was imprisoned in 2005 on drug trafficking charges and, in 2009, police uncovered and thwarted an attempt on his life by a former business associate.

Macris had been splitting his time between Australia and Greece, where he was in the process of setting up a security firm.

Albanian Hitman?

Police said the killer may never be caught. There has been a spate of similar murders in Athens in recent years, part of a turf war between Greek Mafia clans. The killings are typically carried out by hitmen from Albania who slip back across the border immediately after the crime, never to return.

Police added they are working to discover whether Macris was a member of the Greek Mafia and had become embroiled in the war.

Karyda was on the catwalk at an Athens fashion show when she was notified of her husband’s death. She told police they had were living “a quiet life” in Greece and did not know of anyone who wished her husband harm.

But Athens security officer Stefanos Karafotias told The Australian that Macris was involved in money laundering and drugs operations in Mykonos and southern Athens and was not shy about flaunting his wealth.