Sydney university student Jamie Gao
update 11.30am 26/05/14
Police investigating the suspected murder of Sydney university student Jamie Gao are on their way to the discovery of a body off the coast of Cronulla.
A former NSW detective has been charged with Mr Gao’s murder, and officers attached to the Robbery and Serious Crime Squad are waiting to speak to disgraced former detective Roger Rogerson over the disappearance.
Police arrested Glen McNamara in the Sydney suburb of Kyeemagh last night
Sources close to the investigation have told Fairfax Media the discovery of the body “fits” with the events they allege happened around the time of the Mr Gao’s disappearance.
A police boat locates a body found off the coast of Sydney.
NSW detectives are flying to Queensland on Monday to talk to Mr Rogerson.
Sydney Water Police officers scooped the body, which was wrapped in a blue tarpaulin, from the sea off Cronulla just before 9am on Monday.
The body was floating about 2.5 kilometres off Shelly Beach, said Lachlan Steven, who spotted it at 7.30am while travelling with a friend from Sydney Harbour to Cronulla in a boat.
He said the body was wrapped in a bright blue-coloured tarpaulin held together by white rope. He saw two feet with “white leather runners” on.
Mr Steven, 24, who works in construction, described the body as small, about 150 centimetres in length. “[The body] was pretty short… a very small body,” he said.
He came within two metres of the body.
“It’s pretty sunny out here, and there’s no wind,” he said.
Sydney Water Police officers in San Souci confirmed they sent a boat and recovered the body.
“Police responded to reports of a body in the water off Shelly Beach at Cronulla. A post-mortem will determine the cause of death. The deceased has not been identified,” a police spokesman said.
FORMER Kings Cross detective Glen McNamara has been charged with the murder of missing student Jamie Gao.
Police believe Mr Gao, 20, was kidnapped and allegedly murdered after attending a mystery meeting on Arab Rd, Padstow last Tuesday.
The Sydney University student was last seen getting into a white car after talking to two men.
Disgraced former detective Roger Rogerson is also being sought for questioning over the disappearance of Mr Gao.
Another former detective and a known associate of Rogerson, Glen McNamara, was arrested at 6.30pm last night after a car stop in Kyeemagh.
The 55-year-old Cronulla man was charged at St George Police Station by the Robbery and Serious Crime Squad with murder and large commercial drug supply.
He was refused police bail to appear at Kogarah Local Court today.
Update 7.05pm 26/05/14
Jamie Gao was killed during drug deal with Glen McNamara and Roger Rogerson within an hour of getting in their car.They stole his drugs and McNamara killed him. His body wrapped in a tarp and dumped in the water off Cronulla Beach. Detectives have flown to QLD to get Rogerson. SCUMBAGS all 3, the drug dealer and these 2 ex coppers.
Investigators suspect Mr Rogerson was the second person sitting in a car when Mr Gao, 20, got inside, carrying what they say was $3 million worth of ice.
A security camera in Padstow caught some of the last movements of Mr Gao, showing him walking from his sports car on Arab Street with a bag tightly held in his right hand.
Within an hour police allege he would be killed for the bag’s contents – by former Kings Cross detective Glen McNamara.
The 20-year-old is seen walking away from his white Nissan Silvia at 1.30pm, where he meets up with two other men.
He gets in their car and is driven to a storage unit nearby, where police allege he was murdered before 2.30pm.
Police claim the two men in the car were Mr Rogerson, a disgraced former detective, and Mr McNamara.
Glen McNamara is a former police officer who wrote a book about police corruption in Kings Cross.
Police executed a search warrant at McNamara’s residence in Cronulla, seizing a blue Ford Falcon XR6 and a number of other items of interest to investigators.
Officers also executed search warrants at Rogerson’s Padstow Heights home, seizing a silver Ford Falcon motor vehicle, and a storage unit in Caringbah, where they seized a boat.
A third car, a white Ford Falcon, has also been seized from a location in Cronulla.
Detectives believe this is the vehicle Mr Gao got into on Arab Rd last Tuesday.
Police are still trying to locate 73-year-old Rogerson, who is believed to be in Queensland.
Rogerson was not answering telephone calls last night.
2UE reported its news team had spoken to Rogerson’s wife Anne. She said Rogerson spoke to police about 8pm last night and denied any involvement in Mr Gao’s disappearance.
Robbery and Serious Crime Squad commander Det-Supt Luke Moore said the investigation by Strike Force Album would continue.
“Our inquiries to date have led us to conclude that Mr Gao has been murdered,” Det-Supt Moore said.
“While we have charged a man with murder, this investigation will continue and we may make further arrests.
“We still don’t know where Mr Gao’s body is and are strongly encouraging anyone who can help us locate his remains to contact police.”
McNamara’s lawyer Charles Moschoudis said last night he was unable to comment on the matter.
“I would like to help but I really can’t,’’ he said.
“It might be better if you speak to the police.’’
Former police detective Roger Rogerson.
University student Jamie Gao had been talking excitedly for days about the mystery meeting, which police now believe led to his kidnapping and murder.
Family and friends said the 20-year-old was vague about what the meeting was about except that it was of great significance to him. “Jamie told friends the meeting was really important, was excited about it but wouldn’t say much else,’’ Robbery and Serious Crime Squad head Detective Superintendent Luke Moore said yesterday. “And when he talked to friends he indicated he would be seeing them later in the day.’’
The Hurstville resident was last seen getting into a white car on Arab Rd, Padstow, near a McDonald’s about 1.40pm last Tuesday after chatting to two men.
“What that meeting was about, we don’t know,’’ Supt Moore said.
He has not been heard from since and his phone, keys and wallet were found near his white Nissan Silvia sedan, which was abandoned in Stuart St, Padstow, on the afternoon of that mysterious meeting.
There was nothing in Mr Gao’s background to suggest he was involved in drugs or any other criminal activity.
“But that is not to say he may not have gotten involved in something way above his head,’’ Supt Moore said.
At first police treated Mr Gao’s disappearance as a possible kidnapping for ransom but released details after the investigation led them to believe the motive was related to something else.
Jamie Gao’s motor vehicle, a Nissan Sylvia, was found abandoned in Stuart St, Padstow
Police established there had not been any contact with family members and that Mr Gao’s family did not seem to have the sort of money normally associated with ransoms.
His mother, a Hurstville business owner who was on an overseas holidays at the time, has flown back from Hong Kong to Sydney. “Jamie is an only child and his mother is extremely distraught.”
Mr Gao was born in Sydney and was completing a business degree at the University of Technology, where he was a capable and good student.
Police investigations of friends, family and associates paint a picture of a fairly normal young man who didn’t have lots of money or a lavish lifestyle.
Friend Jessica Yun said on social media: “He hasn’t contacted us or anything, me and my friends are worried sick.”
Robbery and Serious Crime Squad commander Det-Supt Luke Moore addresses the media regarding Jamie Gao’s disappearance.
At the same time the then cop Roger Rogerson was putting criminals behind bars, he was a willing participant in many of the crimes.
After chalking up 13 bravery awards in the ’80s, his world quickly fell apart and he was jailed for a number of offences in the 1990s. In 2005 he and his wife were convicted of lying in 2005 to the Police Integrity Commission in 1999. He served another year in jail.
Glen McNamara was a Kings Cross detective.
BY BEN McCLELLANGLEN McNamara was a police corruption informant and drug detective in Kings Cross.
He published two books, Dirty Work in 2010 and Savage Obsessions in 2012, about his career, including a plot to murder the corruption whistle blower which resulted in his wife miscarrying a child.
McNamara started his policing career at age 19 in the Kogarah and Cronulla areas in the 1980s before moving to the inner-city.
According to background information released about the author to promote Dirty Work McNamara was brought up in the southern suburbs of Sydney as a “real Aussie boy”.
“Free lunches, intimidation, the lack of arrests and criminal investigation rings at Darlinghurst and Kings Cross stations sounded warning bells in McNamara’s mind.”
He claimed to have uncovered a protection racket that involved notorious pedophiles Dolly Dunn and Colin Fisk who were alleged drug suppliers.
McNamara eventually fled to the US where he learnt of a murder plot against him before going to the Internal Police Security Unit.
He provided them with tapes and written evidence but claimed the unit betrayed him.
“Glen’s story is a tale of hard-hitting truth and guts, and the fight for justice by one lone policeman in a sea of corruption and money making,” the book’s press release claimed.
“Glen fails to give in, and clings to what’s right. In bravely sharing his story Glen takes a potential tragedy and turns it into an inspirational lesson of courage and strength.”
McNamara said in 2010, to promote Dirty Work, someone had to act.
“I was worried. Would I do all of the dirty work, like a broom cleaning up a floor, and in the end get locked up in the broom closest — dispensable?,” he said.
“All crime revolves around the financial powerhouse that is the drug trade. And drugs and pedophilia go together like a hand in a glove.”
Savage Obsessions claimed to be “true crime from the streets of Kings Cross”.
“From police violence, police informants and their murders, women who kill their mothers, pedophiles, gang rapists and suicides, this book is a true crime thriller.”
POLICE will allege that Jamie Gao was allegedly shot twice in the chest by two former detectives Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara in a rented storage room.
Earlier today, the state’s most infamous former detective Rogerson limped into the dock at Bankstown Local Court charged with murdering student Gao.
A special late sitting was arranged to get Rogerson, 73, before a court after he was arrested earlier today.
His solicitor Paul Kenny said that he would be making a formal complaint about the “disgraceful” actions of police who turned up at Rogerson’s home this morning despite arrangements having been made with police for him to hand himself in at the Sydney Police Centre in Surry Hills.
He said Rogerson’s arrest was theatrical and staged for the media.
Under arrest … Detectives lead Roger Rogerson away for questioning.
‘Treated like a dog’ … Rogerson’s lawyer was furious at his treatment.
Rogerson, 73, who recently had knee reconstruction surgery, was not required to say anything in court and he did not apply for bail.
Magistrate Elaine Truscott formally refused bail and remanded Rogerson in custody to appear at Central Local Court on July 22, the same day as his co-accused former Kings Cross detective Glen McNamara.
The body found floating off Cronulla yesterday was earlier identified as Gao, the missing Hurstville man.
It was spotted by fishermen early yesterday morning about 1.5km offshore. It was wrapped in a blue tarpaulin.
Detectives storm Rogerson’s property this morning.
And some use the front door.
The 20-year-old University of Technology student had been missing since Wednesday.
An examination of the remains, for the purpose of identification, was conducted a short time ago. A post mortem examination, to determine the cause of Mr Gao’s death, has not yet been completed.
Detectives made the dramatic arrest just before 11am this morning, more than a dozen officers storming Rogerson’s Churchill Road address in Padstow.
Less than 10 minutes later brought out a frail looking Rogerson in handcuffs.
As he was escorted to a waiting police car Rogerson said: “We’re back to the Gestapo days now.
Taken away … Rogerson is driven from his home by detectives.
“On the advice of my solicitor I am saying nothing”.
It is understood Rogerson was due to meet police at 12pm but officers did not wait with several banging on the front door asking his wife Anne to answer. Others raced around the back of the home.
Rogerson’s lawyer Paul Kenny said he was furious at the arrest. He said police treated Rogerson, 73, like an animal.
“He was treated like a dog,” Mr Kenny told reporters, adding he would complain to the police commissioner.
He was treated like a dog. This is like something from a bad TV show
“He’s very distressed. I’ve never seen conduct like this by NSW police. I’ve been in shoot outs. I’ve been bashed. I’ve had everything under the sun done to me.
“I’ve never seen conduct like it’s just occurred here ever.
“What occurred in there is not proper police practice, it’s an absolute disgrace”.
“This is like something from a TV show. But a bad TV show.”
Earlier Mr Kenny turned up at his client’s Padstow Heights home saying he did not want an “OJ Simpson situation”.
“We want things to move smoothly this morning. We don’t want any OJ Simpson situation,” he said, referring to the hysteria surrounding the pursuit and subsequent arrest of the famous sports and TV personality.
“We don’t want some type of American hysteria type situation. Things are totally out of control as it is.”
CONSUMMATE STORYTELLER: MANY ENJOYED A BEER WITH ROGERSON
Lawyer Paul Kenny at Rogerson’s home today
Rogerson pictured with Mark Dixon on Sunday.
Horror find … Gao’s body floating in ocean
Charged … Former detective Glen McNamara yesterday.
Police recover Gao’s body wrapped in plastic and floating in water near Shelly Beach.
Rogerson was photographed with former Chopper Read bodyguard with boxer Mark “Hammer” Dixon on Sunday night. “He seemed on top of the world that day. He had a few beers, sold a few books. He didn’t have a worry in the world,” Mr Dixon said.
Yesterday, another former detective Glen McNamara was charged with Gao’s murder.
Damning CCTV footage allegedly captured the two former officers carrying between them what appears to be the body of Mr Gao.
Police will allege Mr Gao was killed in an alleged $3 million ice deal gone wrong.
The whole sequence of events from Mr Gao’s meeting about an hour earlier when he allegedly got into a car with the two men on a Padstow street was filmed on CCTV at various businesses in the south-western Sydney suburb.
The two experienced former police officers are alleged to have used their own cars. It is claimed that Mr Gao’s body was put in McNamara’s white station wagon, which was followed by Rogerson in his silver Ford Falcon.
Security vision showing a man, believed to be Jamie Gao, and two others getting out of a vehicle.
Gao’s white Nissan Sylvia sedan was found abandoned in Stuart Street, Padstow
Almost at the same time as the arrest, fishermen found a body, believed to be that of Mr Gao, wrapped in a blue tarp with ropes and chains off Cronulla beach, the same suburb where McNamara lives with his wife and family.
As McNamara appeared in Kogarah Local Court charged with murder and supplying 3kg of methamphetamine and was refused bail, two detectives with the Serious Crime and Robbery Squad flew to Brisbane to find Rogerson, 73, and arrest him on the same drug and murder charges.
A post-mortem on Mr Gao, a young Sydney University of Technology student, is expected to be conducted today.
Detectives with the Serious Crime and Robbery Squad formed Strike Force Album and have been working around the clock since early Wednesday morning, following the report of Mr Gao’s disappearance on Tuesday afternoon.
Police will allege Mr Gao met with two young Asian men on Arab St, Padstow.
The two Asian men have not been identified.
Detective Superintendent Luke Moore said police believe Mr Gao was murdered near the Padstow meeting spot.
“The purpose of the meeting we now strongly believe, and we will be putting to the court, was for a drug transaction (for) a substantial quantity of prohibited drug,” he said.
Former detective Glen McNamara’s car being taken away from Kogarah Police Statio Picture Craig Greenhill
Police have seized CCTV footage from Mick’s Meat on Arab St which shows Mr Gao getting out of his white Nissan Silvia sedan and getting into a white Ford Falcon around 1.40pm, Tuesday. It shows him carrying a bag which police allege contained the ice.
A silver Ford Falcon allegedly belonging to Rogerson, who was known during his lengthy police career as “The Dodger”, can be seen in a car park in the foreground.
McNamara, a former Kings Cross detective who quit the force in 1990, was arrested at around 6.30pm on Sunday after his vehicle was stopped in Kyeemagh.
At his home in Cronulla, police seized a blue Ford Falcon XR6 and a number of other “items of interest to investigators”, police said.
McNamara’s white Ford Falcon station wagon was also seized as well as a boat allegedly belonging to him, which was being kept in a storage unit in Caringbah.
Officers searched Rogerson’s home at Padstow Heights and took away a silver Ford Falcon station wagon.
McNamara did not apply for bail during a short appearance before magistrate Christine Haskett in Kogarah Local Court yesterday. He was charged with murdering Jamie Gao between 1.40pm and 2.30pm in Padstow on May 20 and supplying 3kg of methamphetamine at the same time on the same date. He was not required to plea.
Ms Haskett granted a request by McNamara’s lawyer that he be put in protective custody. McNamara smiled at a small group of supporters believed to be his family.
STAFF at the Padstow storage facility where Jamie Gao is believed to have been murdered say there was nothing unusual on the afternoon he was killed.
Detectives contacted the storage business, just 600 metres from where Gao went missing at 1.40pm on Tuesday, May 20, early Thursday morning.
They met with staff at 2.30am and walked around the 510 unit business for 30 minutes before requesting the CCTV hard drive.
Detectives returned later that morning and seized the footage for the previous two weeks.
The business told the Daily Telegraph it had not been contacted since.
A senior manager said he was unaware of forensic officers establishing a crime scene in a unit since Thursday.
He said police had not told them Gao was murdered on their site and detectives were “vague” when they visited the site.
Police said following Glen McNamara’s arrest on Sunday Gao was allegedly killed in a storage unit close to where he was last seen.
The site has more than 30 cameras and between 15 to 50 customers visit it each day.
“They said they were looking into a missing person possibly being held for ransom. We provided the CCTV to police,” the manager said.
“If it (a murder) was done it was without us knowing. There was nothing out of the blue that caught our attention.”
People who rent storage units need to provide government issued photo identification or can rent a unit through a business.
The manager said the sound-proofing of the units was equivalent to a garage.
“If someone was screaming you’d only hear it if you were walking past,” he said.
Investigators also visited a Bansktown storage facility, 2kms north of where Gao was last seen at McDonald’s, on Friday.
“They said they were checking storage facilities and were looking for a body,” a staff member said.
A third storage facility in Revesby refused to say if police had visited them over the last week.
On Monday detectives spent more than an hour inside Mick Meat’s on Arab Rd, where Gao was last seen getting out of his car, talking to staff.
Gao’s car was found by police around the corner on Stuart St after two Asian men who arrived with Gao returned hours after he went missing and moved it.