Berrimah jail’s most famous residents and criminals

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Bradley John Murdoch arrives under police escort at Darwin Airport. Picture: PATRINA MALO

Bradley John Murdoch arrives under police escort at Darwin Airport. Picture: PATRINA MALONE

BERRIMAH prison, described in 2011 as “only fit for a bulldozer”, is finally closing, with the last prisoners transferred on Friday.

Since it was built in 1979, the prison has been home to some of the Territory’s most notorious criminals.

Originally built for about 100 prisoners, the jail’s population swelled to nearly 800 as successive governments took hard-line approaches to crime and sentencing.

In its 35 years, the prison became increasingly dilapidated and overcrowded. Prisoners complained of rotten food and hot, overcrowded, rat-infested cells.

By the time the former Labor government announced the $500 million prison in Holtze, the legal community, human rights advocates and prisoners were heaping criticism on the jail.

In its final years, it saw repeated breakouts, riots and deaths.

NT Ombudsman Carolyn Richards, noted in 2011 that the rat problem was so bad that one inmate was bitten on the scrotum in his sleep.

Former NT Supreme Court Chief Justice Dean Mildren said in 2011 that the prison failed to meet international standards, with Correctional Services Commissioner Ken Middlebrook saying it should be bulldozed.

Instead, the prison will be refitted at a cost of $800,000 and transformed into a detention centre for the NT’s juvenile offenders.

1. Bradley Murdoch

CONVICTED in 2005 of the 2001 execution-style murder of British traveller Peter Falconio, Bradley Murdoch is serving a life sentence with a 28-year non-parole period.

Previously convicted in WA for firing a rifle at a group of Aborigines in Fitzroy Crossing, and with racist insignia tattooed on his arms, Murdoch will be at least 74 when he is released, and has been moved back and forth between Berrimah and Alice Springs prisons.

2. Lindy Chamberlain

THE Chamberlain trial was the most publicised in Australian history.

When Lindy and Michael Chamberlain’s two-month-old daughter Azaria was taken by a dingo at Uluru in 1980, police launched a murder investigation, claiming that Lindy slit her daughter’s throat and left the body in nearby scrub.

The jury found her guilty and sentenced her to life, with appeals going all the way to the High Court. The chance discovery of further evidence near Uluru led to her release in 1986.

3. Douglas Scott

DOUGLAS Scott was 26 when he was found hanged in his cell on July 5, 1985.

His widow, Letty, spent decades pushing for a proper investigation into his death, which sparked the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

A coronial inquiry and the Royal Commission both found that Scott had committed suicide, a claim Letty rejected until her death in 2009.

4. Douglas Crabbe

IN AUGUST 1983, Douglas Crabbe, then 36, drove his 25-tonne truck into a crowded bar near Uluru, killing five.

After two trials in Darwin, Crabbe was sentenced to mandatory life in prison, and married his wife, Mary, in a secret wedding ceremony inside Berrimah in 1988.

5. The Pine Gap 4

THE group of four Christian pacifists staged an illegal “citizen’s inspection” of the US/Australia spy facility at Pine Gap, in 2005, and were charged under obscure national security legislation dating back to the 1950s.

Bryan Law, Donna Mulhearn, Jim Dowling and Adele Goldie trekked for seven hours to reach Pine Gap, sneaked in and took photos of themselves on the roof. They were issued fines and spent a week in Berrimah after refusing to pay.

6. Andy Albury

ALBURY, the closest thing Australia has to Hannibal Lecter, was convicted of the gruesome murder of Gloria Pindan on Mitchell St in November 1983. One of only two men in the NT who will never be released from prison, the former abattoir worker is the prime suspect in 14 unsolved murders in Queensland.

7. Martin Leach

IN JUNE 1983, Leach stabbed and raped Charmaine Ariet and killed her cousin Janice Carnegie near Berry Springs. Along with Andy Albury, Leach will never be released.

In Berrimah prison in 1988, he tried to kill pedophile John Michael Knox with a garden hoe. He was found not guilty on grounds of insanity.

8. Daniel Heiss

HEISS served 23 years in jail, mostly in Berrimah, for shooting dead Peter Robinson in 1990, after Robinson first fired at Heiss. He was known for two audacious escapes.

9. Shonky

NICHOLAS “Shonky” Cassidy, a former Hells Angel, hit Andy Griffiths with his ute, before dumping the body in June 2011. He was sentenced to two years with a 14-month non-parole period, and will have to serve an additional 15 months because the crime was committed while on parole.

10. Ben McLean and Phu Ngoc Trinh

The childhood friends were found guilty of murder after throwing two sex workers off the Adelaide River bridge, into croc-infested waters in 2004. They were sentenced to life, with non-parole periods of 25 years.

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Four men arrested over shooting attack at Sydney Rebels clubhouse


Tue 25 Nov 2014, 6:45pm

Man arrested at Bringelly

A 39-year-old man was arrested at Bringelly, in Sydney’s west. (Supplied: NSW Police)

 What a fine specimen, but who cares, it is what they get up to that matters. One by one let them be put away!
Related Story: Rebels clubhouse raided over Minchinbury shooting

Four members of the Rebels bikie gang have been arrested over the shooting and assault of a fellow gang member in Sydney earlier this year, police say.

Detectives allege the men were involved in shooting a man three times in the leg outside a Rebels clubhouse in Minchinbury, in Sydney’s west, in July.

The 33-year-old victim was then allegedly attacked after he tried to run away.

This morning, a 39-year-old man was arrested at his Bringelly home and charged with discharging a firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and participating in a criminal group.

Police said they also seized Rebels paraphernalia, cash and a vehicle from the man’s home.

Later, two men, aged 24 and 25, were arrested at Silverwater and charged with the same offences.

They were refused bail to appear at Parramatta Local Court tomorrow.

Another man, 37, was arrested during a car stop at Penrith and taken to Penrith police station, where he remains in custody.

The arrests follow the formation of Strike Force Rooftop within the State Crime Command to investigate the attack.

“All those arrested are members of the Rebels,” NSW Police said in a statement.

“Strike Force Rooftop investigations are continuing and further arrests are anticipated.”


Rebels member charged over shooting of another member – Gangs Squad

Tuesday, 25 November 2014 12:36:46 PM

Gangs Squad detectives have now charged a member of Rebels with the shooting and assault of another member in Minchinbury earlier this year.

Police will allege that shortly after 8pm on Monday 7 July 2014, a 33-year-old member of the Rebels was shot as he walked into an industrial unit on Grex Avenue, Minchinbury – the clubhouse of the Rebels Mt Druitt chapter.

After being shot three times in the leg, the man attempted to flee the location but was chased down by three men and attacked as he lay on the roadway on Grex Avenue, Minchinbury.

Police and emergency services were called to the location and the 33-year-old was taken to hospital where he was treated for his injuries. He has since been released.

Detectives from State Crime Command’s Gangs Squad formed Strike Force Rooftop to investigate the incident and this morning (Tuesday 25 November 2014) arrested a 39-year-old man at a home at Bringelly.

During a search warrant, officers seized cash, Rebels paraphernalia and a vehicle for further examination.

The senior member of the Mt Druitt chapter of the Rebels was taken to Green Valley Police Station and charged with discharge firearm with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and participate in a criminal group.

He was refused bail to appear at Liverpool Local Court today.

Strike Force Rooftop investigations are continuing and further arrests are anticipated.

Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/ Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind people they should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Rebels clubhouse raided over Minchinbury shooting

9:20amTue 8 Jul 2014, 9:20am

A man with links to the Rebels bikie gang has been shot in an attack at Minchinbury in Sydney’s west.

The 33-year-old was found with several bullet wounds to his thigh, outside the Rebels clubhouse in Grex Avenue about 8:30pm (AEST) on Monday.

Police said he was shot after entering the clubhouse then bashed by a group of men.

He has been taken to Westmead Hospital where he is in a serious condition.

As a result of the shooting, heavily armed police from the Tactical Operations Unit raided the clubhouse just after 11pm but no arrests were made.

Police said anyone with information about the shooting, or anyone who witnessed the attack, should contact them.

This morning, an ABC News crew that turned up to film the crime scene was threatened by gang members.

Police reporter Lucy Carter said they were told to stop filming.

“Several men are guarding the entrance to the Rebels clubhouse, telling me and my ABC camera crew to f*** off and switch off our equipment or else,” she said.

She said two police cars, including the dog squad had now arrived.

Rebels torture own member mirroring Bikie TV show


This is how to deal with problems is it? Well stuff that, throw these ass-holes in jail long-term one after the other, and along with new the anti Bikie laws and we may actually get somewhere.

The justice handed out by these bottom dwellers  is not how we want our society to be judged by. Make sure you read further down, this is not a one-off, it is a way of dealing with life in bikie clubs and unless we do something nothing will change and folks will be maimed, tortured, killed in the presence of family (or whoever)  on a weekly basis…

Scroll to bottom of page to see descriptions of the major (and minor) Bikie Gangs in Australia


Rebels torture own member Sons of Anarchy style

November 16, 2014

rebels

 It was said to be a Sons of Anarchy-inspired torture in which nipples were sliced, skin was seared and bones were broken.

But the eight Rebels bikie members who allegedly tortured a former president of their group never dreamed he would talk to police.   

The leader of a local chapter was allegedly hog-tied with cable leads and tortured until he lost consciousness during a 36-hour kidnapping by fellow members.

Police allege the torture is part of a violent ritual for members who leave the outlawed bikie club on bad terms.

The arrest of the eight senior members was a huge blow to the gang, at a time when their national president, Alex Vella, remained stranded in Malta after his visa was revoked.

Details of the alleged torture session emerged during a Supreme Court bail application for lifelong member Andrew Lloyd Hughes on Friday.

Other members charged with the kidnapping included sergeant-at-arms of the Liverpool chapter Khaldoun Al Majid, Matthew Rymer, Jamie Saliba, Ram Lafta and Darrell Pologa.

The court heard  the 45-year-old victim was first confronted by up to 10 masked men in the driveway of his Castlereagh home on May 8.

He was knocked unconscious and woke up in his kitchen where he was allegedly bashed and burned for the next two days.

The group allegedly seared his palms and the top of his feet repeatedly with a knife that had been heated up by a blowtorch.

His right arm was smashed with such force that surgery was required to replace a metal plate that was broken.

He was beaten unconscious several times after being punched repeatedly in the face and body.

Police allege some members of the group held him down while others sliced open both his nipples.

The group, who are attached to the Liverpool and Penrith chapters,  then left him unconscious and took off with three of his cars, a quad bike and a yellow ski boat.

When the victim regained consciousness two days after he was first taken captive, there was no one left in his house.

He managed to free himself with a knife and ran to a neighbouring house before a friend drove him to Nepean hospital.

The NSW Supreme court heard on Friday that many of the accused were captured on footage obtained from an intercom system at the front of the house.

Police allege Hughes was present after finding a fingerprint of his on a banister inside the house.

But barrister John Korn said his client was in no way involved in the kidnapping and had left a fingerprint at the house on a previous occasion.

“All the Crown has is a fingerprint,” he said.

Justice Robert Hulme refused Hughes bail, citing concerns he would engage in similar activities if released from custody.

Outside court, solicitor Warwick Korn said his client Hughes  had nothing to do with the violent kidnapping.

“We call the Crown case abysmally weak,” Mr Korn said.

All eight members are before the courts charged with special aggravated kidnapping and participating in a criminal group.

The arrests were made after gang squad detectives set up strikeforce Salsola.


Bikie gangs increasingly seeing Victoria as safe haven, police association says

Mon 17 Nov 2014, 11:42am

Tough anti-bikie laws being implemented in many Australian states have led outlaw motorcycle gangs to see Victoria as a haven, the Victorian Police Association says.

Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia introduced anti-consorting and control laws, but Victorian legislation has not gone as far.

Police Association secretary Ron Iddles said the Mongols‘ growing presence in Victoria added to concerns that bikie groups now saw Victoria as “a safe haven”.

“I think what we saw on the weekend with the Mongols coming to Victoria was around that fact,” Mr Iddles told the ABC, referring to a reported gathering of members in Melbourne.

“They were a Queensland-based group and now they want to base themselves here in Victoria.”

He said the gangs were very well structured groups and knew “exactly what they were doing”.

“Recently, the Rebels were going to have a function at Wagga (in NSW), but they decided to come into Victoria because they considered it was less obtrusive to operate here in Victoria,” he said.

“I think if you look at a lot of the statistics and intelligence that is around, there is no doubt that organised motorcycle groups are behind a lot of the major drug trafficking, including ice.

Mr Iddles said the current Victorian legislation was clunky and hard to operate.

“It needs to be totally overhauled and we need to look at something like Queensland, otherwise we’ll have every major group working out of Melbourne,” he said.

Victoria to consider tougher laws after ruling: Clark

Attorney-General Robert Clark said Victoria would look at Queensland’s anti-association laws after the High Court rejected a challenged to them last week.

The United Motorcycle Council (UMC) had launched the challenge on behalf of 17 clubs against the state’s Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment (VLAD) laws.

It argued the laws, designed to disrupt the activities of 26 outlaw motorcycle clubs, were an attack on the judiciary, freedom of speech, and the right to associate.

The UMC said the laws enlisted the courts to carry out Parliament’s intention to destroy their organisations, which was at odds with the Constitution.

But the High Court found the laws did not require the courts to do any more than exercise their judicial power in the usual way.

“It’s not really practical to legislate when you don’t know what the High Court is going to rule so now we can look at opportunities to strengthen Victoria’s consorting laws,” Mr Clark said.

“We brought in a further round of strengthening those laws that came into operation from 1 October.

“Wherever we’ve had the opportunity we’ve been willing to act and now that we’ve had these two High Court rulings, we’ll look at what further opportunities that opens up.”

 Bikies jailed after ‘night of terror’ where ex-clubmate was tortured

January 31, 2014

Steve Butcher

Taniora Tangaloa (left), Jack Vaotangi and Jasmin Destanovic.

Taniora Tangaloa (left), Jack Vaotangi and Jasmin Destanovic.

Three bikies who subjected a former clubmate to a “night of terror” and torture have been jailed by a Melbourne judge who warned such conduct would not be tolerated.

Stephen Jones, 47, had a handgun shoved in his mouth and the trigger pulled, his ear was sliced with a knife, and he was stabbed, cut and bashed before being kicked in the face.

One of the Harley Davidson motorcycles that were stolen.One of the Harley Davidson motorcycles that were stolen.

A guitar was also smashed over his head before the men stole his two Harley-Davidson motorcycles, his car, a laptop, telescope and other items valued at more than $100,000.

Mr Jones sustained injuries that included a broken left cheek and eye socket, stab wounds and cuts to his face, nose and forehead that left permanent scarring and a cracked tooth. His ear was sewn back on.

A Melbourne County Court jury last year found Taniora Tangaloa, 38, Jack Vaotangi, 35, and Jasmin Destanovic, 36, guilty of armed robbery, aggravated burglary and intentionally causing serious injury.

They could not reach a verdict on a fourth man whose prosecution was later discontinued by the Crown.

The men claimed they had not been in Mr Jones’ Epping house on January 15, 2009, when he was attacked about 7.30pm.

Judge Bill Stuart on Friday described the mens’ conduct as “brazen” and which “cannot be tolerated”.

In his sentencing remarks, Judge Stuart said that “everyone in our community is entitled to feel safe and secure in their own homes”.

Mr Jones had been a member of the Rebels and later the Bandidos outlaw motorcycle clubs but had wanted a change of lifestyle.

He told the jury he met Tangaloa at the Rebels in 2001, with Vaotangi and Destanovic, and later he was invited to the Bandidos where they resumed a friendship.

In November 2008, he phoned Tangaloa, who was upset to hear of his plans to quit the group.

The emotional trauma from that “night of terror”, he wrote in a victim impact statement, caused extreme anxiety, recurring nightmares and “living in fear for the rest of my life”.

Prosecutor Alex Albert had submitted that the viciousness and “mental torture” seemed unnecessary, and that all three – despite Tangaloa wielding the gun, articulating threats and smashing the guitar and Vaotangi slitting the ear – supported, assisted and encouraged the other with little distinction in their culpability.

Mr Jones told Michael Sharpley, for Tangaloa, that his client would “put the fear of God into me, saying he was gunna kill me if we spoke to the police”.

Mr Jones rejected the suggestion from Destanovic’s barrister Wayne Toohey he was a “cunning liar” and that his client was not present.

Tangaloa, a “pallet technician” and father of 11 from three relationships, who has no prior convictions, was described by supporters as a generous family man, charitable, and one who “gives of himself to his friends”.

Destanovic, a father of five and a painter and decorator who has criminal convictions that include assault, seemed, said Mr Toohey, “like a normal, run of the mill fellow”.

Barrister James McQuillan said Vaotangi, a married father of three, had convictions for violence, but was “essentially a family man” from a good Christian family who at the time of the incident was “out of control” on ice when associating with the “wrong crowd”.

Judge Stuart found the purpose of beating Mr Jones was “principally to terrify him” and so ensure he did not identify his attackers.

While the three had initially succeeded in that endeavour, two weeks after the attack Mr Jones identified each man.

“You underestimated him,” Judge Stuart told the men.

Judge Stuart said the five year delay from offence to sentence was a “powerful mitigating circumstance” and he also regarded that each man had good prospects for rehabilitation.

Tangaloa and Destanovic were jailed for eight years with a minimum of five years, less 307 days each for pre-sentence detention.

Vaotangi was jailed for seven-and-a-half years with a minimum of four-and-a-half years, less 258 days pre sentence detention.


Bikie beating fells ex-Bandidos member

Date
December 29, 2013

This Bandidos member never thought leaving would unleash the hell it did.

Stephen Jones simply didn’t want to be an outlaw motorcycle gang member any more.

He’d been with the Rebels and later the Bandidos but got ”fed up” with the lifestyle and wanted to go straight.

Mr Jones, 47, aimed to spend time with his young daughter, run a family business and be ”happy to have a few friends who had Harleys and go for a ride”.

Although adamant there was no ”bad blood” on quitting the Bandidos, he knew the bond was over. But he never imagined that the parting would unleash hell.

January 15, 2009, had been hot, and as evening simmered towards sunset, life in Earlybird Way, Epping, appeared normal and neighbourly.

Mr Jones had woken from a nap and was on the phone to a friend about 6.30pm to arrange a ride when the doorbell rang.

He peered out and saw former clubmates Jack Vaotangi and Jasmin Destanovic at the front door, which had been bashed in.

Mr Jones, wearing only underpants, cowered in his en suite and dialled 000, but before he could push the ”send” button they, now with Taniora Tangaloa, had him.

A handgun was shoved in his mouth and the trigger pulled, his ear was sliced with a knife, and he was stabbed, cut and bashed before being viciously kicked in the face. A guitar was smashed over his head.

And in a final indignity, especially for a biker, the men rode off on his prized possessions – two Harley-Davidson motorcycles. They also stole his car, a laptop, telescope and other items, the plunder valued at more than $100,000.

A Melbourne County Court jury found Tangaloa, 38, Vaotangi, 35, and Destanovic, 36, guilty of armed robbery, aggravated burglary and intentionally causing serious injury, but could not reach a verdict on a fourth man whose prosecution was later discontinued by the Crown.

After numerous delayed trials, the jury, by their verdicts, didn’t accept the men’s defence that they simply weren’t at the house.

Mr Jones listed injuries in his victim impact statement that included a broken left cheek and eye socket, stab wounds and cuts to his face, nose and forehead that left permanent scarring and a cracked tooth. His ear was sewn back on.

The emotional trauma from that ”night of terror”, he wrote, caused extreme anxiety, recurring nightmares and ” living in fear for the rest of my life”.

Why was he subjected to such vicious treatment?

Rather than retribution for leaving the club, Judge Bill Stuart regarded the men’s motivation as an apparent ”desire … to steal whatever they could”.

Judge Stuart also said the ”extreme beating” was to ”terrify him such that he will not report the thefts from his home”.

Prosecutor Alex Albert agreed, submitting that the viciousness and ”mental torture” seemed unnecessary, and that all three – despite Tangaloa wielding the gun, articulating threats and smashing the guitar and Vaotangi slitting the ear – supported, assisted and encouraged the other with little distinction in their culpability.

Mr Jones told the jury he met Tangaloa at the Rebels in 2001, with Vaotangi and Destanovic, and later he was invited to the Bandidos where they resumed a friendship, but there was ”bad blood” when some left that club.

In November 2008, he phoned Tangaloa, who was upset to hear him say ”I don’t want to be part of your group any more” because ”they like to keep the hard-core group together”.

”These blokes used to hug me and kiss me and say, ‘We love, brother,”’ he said.

The last words Tangaloa offered, Mr Jones recalled, were ”just keep in touch, take it easy”.

The next ones he heard from Tangaloa were on January 15 while he was on his knees – with Vaotangi and Destanovic holding his shoulders – after he had put a gun to his mouth: ”I want all the keys to your Harley-Davidsons, all the money you’ve got in the house, and today you’re gunna die.”

After the beating, Mr Jones remembered saying to himself, ”You’re still alive, you’re still alive” then the sound of his Harleys ”start up and go”.

He agreed with Michael Sharpley, for Tangaloa, that he first refused to identify his attackers, but later did.

”I had enough, I was fed up,” he said. ”I was in a bike club, I had nothing to do with bike clubs any more.

”Being in the bike clubs they grind into you that you’re not allowed to talk to police, you’re not allowed to identify anyone if you ever spoke to police. Joe [Tangaloa] would put the fear of God into me, saying he was gunna kill me if we spoke to the police.”

Mr Jones rejected the suggestion from Destanovic’s barrister Wayne Toohey he was a ”cunning liar” and that his client was not present.

He also denied he feared outside his door the husband of a Tony Mokbel associate whose wife he’d earlier had an affair with, or that Bandidos were responsible.

In pleas for mitigation that ended this week, Tangaloa, a ”pallet technician” and father of 11 from three relationships, who has no prior convictions, was described by supporters as a generous family man, charitable, and one who ”gives of himself to his friends”.

Destanovic, a father of five and a painter and decorator who has criminal convictions that include assault, seemed, said Mr Toohey, ”like a normal, run of the mill fellow” who had ”no great problem with the world”.

Barrister James McQuillan said Vaotangi, a married father of three, had convictions for violence, but was ”essentially a family man” from a good Christian family who at the time of the incident was ”out of control” on ice when associating with the ”wrong crowd”.

Now drug free, employed and back with his family, Vaotangi, said Mr McQuillan, ”wants to rectify his past”.

Judge Stuart, who will sentence the men next month, has acknowledged that the delay in finalising the charges was a significant factor.

By their colours: Outlaw motorcycle gang identification guide

According to the Australian Crime Commission, outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCGs) are among the most identifiable components of Australia’s criminal landscape.

The ACC says OCMGs are active in all states and territories and lists 44 as being of interest, with a total of 179 chapters and 4,483 members.

The Rebels gang boasts by far the biggest membership, at 25 per cent of the total, while the Bandidos have 7 per cent, the Outlaws and Hells Angels 6 per cent, Lone Wolf 5 per cent and Comancheros 5 per cent.

There has been a 48 per cent increase of OMCG chapters since 2007, according to the ACC.

The joint National Attero Task Force was set up in 2012 to target the Rebels, considered one of Australia’s highest risk criminal threats, and claimed success by recovering $1.7 million owed to the Australian Taxation Office.

The authorities also laid 1,200 charges for such offences ranging from serious assault and kidnapping, to firearms, weapons, drugs, property and traffic offences.

Along with firearms, they recovered Tasers, machetes, knuckle dusters, throwing stars and illegal knives and batons.

Among the OMCGs of interest to Australian authorities, many have links with notorious overseas gangs.

Rebels

The Rebels are the only major home-grown gang and were formed in Brisbane several decades ago. They boast the country’s biggest membership and have been tied to various execution-style killings over the past decade, including the murder of three members of rival club the Bandidos.

The ongoing war has seen the clubhouse of the Rebels’ “mother” chapter in the inner-Brisbane suburb of Albion torched and shot at.

The Rebels have added suspected counterfeiting activities, tax evasion and trafficking stolen goods to their known involvement in drug manufacture and supply.

Bandidos

The Australian offshoot of the group formed in San Leon, Texas, claims to have formed in August 1983 when ex-members of the Comanchero club met and were “greatly impressed” by members of the American gang.

They were so impressed they split with Comanchero, causing an ongoing rift that culminated in the 1984 “Milperra Massacre” south-west of Sydney that left seven dead and 28 injured.

The Bandidos have been targeted by US law enforcement as one of the “big four” gangs involved in the drug trade, as well as arms dealing, money laundering, murder and extortion.

The US justice department regards them as a “growing criminal threat” to the country.

Hells Angels

The Hells Angels originated in California in the US and are easily the most notorious of the “1 per cent” bikie clubs – the ones that give 99 per cent of motorcyclists a bad name.

The gang operates in as many as 27 countries and poses a criminal threat on six continents, according to the US Department of Justice.

The club’s criminal activities are known to include drug production, transportation and distribution, as well as extortion, murder, money laundering and motorcycle theft.

Membership in the US is limited to white males who cannot be into child molestation, and the club’s website boasts that each of its members rides, on average, 20,000 miles a year.

In Australia, the club says it has 10 active chapters in all states except WA and Tasmania and also in the Northern Territory. Recent reports suggest that the Angels are trying to widen their footholds in the drug trade, bringing them in direct conflict with rivals such as the Comancheros.

Mongols

Formed in California in the 1970s, the Mongols Motorcycle Club is inspired (in name) by the empire of Genghis Khan and is believed to have about 70 chapters nationwide.

Many US members are former members of Los Angeles-area street gangs, leading the powerful US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to consider it the “most violent and dangerous” bikie gang operating there.

The Mongols, sworn enemies of the Hells Angels, boast of having chapters in the US, Mexico, Germany, Norway, France, Spain, Italy, Israel, Thailand and now Australia. Recent reports in the Fairfax media indicate the club has been scoping out territory for the club in Sydney and on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

A patched member from the Mongols’ France-based chapter had moved to the Gold Coast and aligned himself with the Finks, Fairfax reported last week, in an expansion bid.

Finks

The Finks arguably made their name in Australia after the “Ballroom Blitz”, a gang fight with Hells Angels members at a Gold Coast kickboxing tournament in 2006 featuring guns, knives, knuckledusters and chairs.

According to recent reports, the Finks are planning to patch over their whole group to the international powerhouse Mongols in a bid to become the most-feared outlaw club in Australia and circumvent moves by authorities to have the club declared a criminal organisation under controversial anti-association laws.

The news comes in the wake of three public bikie brawls on the Gold Coast.

It is believed to also have prompted the Federal Government to send a new federal anti-gang squad to Queensland’s Gold Coast to help the State Government in its crackdown on bikie gangs.

The patchover would involve the Finks swapping club support gear with Mongols “colours” and removing Finks club tattoos.

Comancheros

Thought to have instigated the Milperra massacre, the Comancheros are seen as encouraging a growing trend among bikie gangs to allow non-bikies to join.

The Daily Telegraph reported in August that the self-proclaimed national leader of the gang, Mark Buddle, had neither a motorcycle licence nor a bike.

“Show a modern Comanchero a motorbike and he wouldn’t know how to ride it,” former detective Duncan McNab told the paper.

“They are criminal gangs who sometimes get on a bike.” The phenomenon has even spawned the phrase “Nike bikie”, the paper wrote, as other bikie gangs look to recruit members to beef up their criminal activities.

The Victorian police earlier this month charged five members of the Comancheros over a recent spate of shootings in Melbourne’s south-east.

All but one of the Comancheros were accused of running a debt-collecting syndicate which allegedly uses violent standover tactics to get money from victims.

Other prominent OMCGs

  • Gypsy Jokers
  • Black Uhlans
  • Nomads
  • Rock Machine
  • Odin’s Warriors
  • Tramps (Wangaratta)
  • Satan’s Soldiers
  • Diablos (Bandidos)
  • Notorious
  • Vikings
  • Red Devils
  • Coffin Cheaters
  • Satan’s Riders
  • Devil’s Henchmen
  • Outlaws

Brothers 4 Life- Four gang members charged with Mahmoud Hamzy’s murder

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Brothers 4 life: Four gang members to be charged with Mahmoud Hamzy’s shooting murder

Mon 27 Oct 2014, 11:03am

Three men and a woman from the Brothers 4 Life gang will be charged with murder, New South Wales police say.

Fellow gang member Mahmoud Hamzy was shot dead at a Revesby Heights home about 12:30am on October 29 last year.

Mahmoud Hamzy (left), a member of the Brothers 4 Life gang, was shot dead in 2013.

Mahmoud Hamzy (left), a member of the Brothers 4 Life gang, was shot dead in 2013.

A 32-year-old woman was arrested at her Dulwich Hill home in Sydney’s inner west early this morning.

She is in the process of being charged with murder and other offences relating to Hamzy’s shooting and another man who survived.

Three men, aged 22, 29 and 32, will also be charged with Hamzy’s murder when they each appear in Burwood Local Court today.

New South Wales Police Homicide Commander Mick Willing said all four are known gang members.

“The woman and those others that are charged comprise a core group of Brothers for Life associates and members,” he said.

Two to be charged over Joe Antoun shooting

The 32-year-old and 29-year-old men will also be charged with the shooting murder of convicted standover man Joe Antoun at his Strathfield home last December.

To date, Commander Willing said, four people had been charged in relation to the killing of Hamzy and four had been charged in relation to the killing of Antoun.

“Rest assured, more charges will be laid in the future as we intend to hunt down and bring to justice anyone who was involved in these ruthless crimes,” he said.


Four charged with murders of Mahmoud Hamzy and Joe Antoun

Police visit the Sydney address where they arrested the woman, 32, this morning. Picture:

Police visit the Sydney address where they arrested the woman, 32, this morning. Picture: Police Media

A WOMAN and three men associated with the Brothers for Life gang will today be charged with the 2013 shooting murders of Mahmoud Hamzy and Joe Antoun.

The woman — a 32-year-old from Dulwich Hill — was arrested at her home around 6am.

Detectives escort the woman into the police station after her arrest. Picture: Police Med

Detectives escort the woman into the police station after her arrest. Picture: Police Media

She is in the process of being charged with murder and other offences relating to the shooting death of Hamzy at Bardo Circuit, Revesby Heights, on October 29 last year.

She will be refused bail and is expected to appear in Burwood Local Court today.

Bardo Circuit, Revesby Heights: The scene of Mahmoud Hamzy’s execution. Picture: Bill Hea

Bardo Circuit, Revesby Heights: The scene of Mahmoud Hamzy’s execution. Picture: Bill Hearne

Three other men — a 32-year-old, a 29-year-old and a 22-year-old — will also be charged with murder and other offences relating to the Revesby Heights shooting when they appear in Burwood Local Court on other matters later today.

Jersey Rd, Strathfield: The scene of Joe Antoun’s execution.

Jersey Rd, Strathfield: The scene of Joe Antoun’s execution.

The 32-year-old man and the 29-year-old man will also be charged with an additional count of murder for the roles they allegedly played in the fatal shooting of Joe Antoun at his home on Jersey Road, Strathfield, on December 16.

Botched gangland execution: Hamzy’s downfall

The arrests follow police ramping up their investigation into Hamzy’s death earlier this year.

In February, CCTV of three gunmen was released. They were filmed walking up to a suburban garage as they are about to execute Brothers for Life associate Hamzy.

A gun-flash can be seen as the three, each armed, unleashed a volley of bullets into Hamzy, who was inside the Revesby Heights home on October 29 last year.

Three people move up Bardo Circuit to the house they are targeting. Picture: NSW Police M

Three people move up Bardo Circuit to the house they are targeting. Picture: NSW Police Media

The actual target of the attack was Mahmoud’s cousin Mohammed, the leader of the Bankstown chapter of Brothers for Life. Mohammed fled the garage after the attack, leaving his cousin dying.

Police used the CCTV footage gathered from nearby residencies and information from the public to piece together a time line leading up to and after the murder.

The Nissan Tida police believe to be the getaway vehicle. Picture: NSW Police Media

The Nissan Tida police believe to be the getaway vehicle. Picture: NSW Police Media

One of the gunmen is believed to have been dropped off at Hurstville railway station not long after the murder.

“We believe the man at the railway station is one of the three seen getting out of a vehicle and walking to the residence where the victim was shot,’’ said Detective Superintendent Mick Willing.

“We are confident the person in this CCTV footage is also seen at the murder about 30 minutes before.’’

Police scour the scene in Bardo Circuit for evidence in the Hamzy execution.

Police scour the scene in Bardo Circuit for evidence in the Hamzy execution.

Just after the shooting a white Nissan Tida is seen to pull up in Bardo Circuit before the killers get in and leave the scene.

Police believe a burnt out Nissan Tida found in Jamison Park at Penrith two hours later was used to transport the shooters to the Revesby Heights shooting.

Who got Joe? Killers line up…

Police were forced to launch another investigation several weeks later when construction industry identity Antoun was gunned down at his front door as one of his six-year-old twin daughters clung to his leg.

Sydney career criminal Joe Antoun, aged 50, pictured here with his partner Teagan Mullens

Sydney career criminal Joe Antoun, aged 50, pictured here with his partner Teagan Mullens before his death. Picture: Supplied

Antoun, 50, was executed when he opened the door about 9.45pm and was shot four or five times in the head and chest.

His partner Teagan Mullens tried desperately to revive him before police and paramedics arrived

The father-of-two had been in and out of jail over the past three decades.

Joe Antoun’s twin daughters Lilly and Layla were at home when he was shot dead at his front door.

In 2001 he and his brother Antoine were charged with attempting to extort a Darling Harbour cafe owner before the conviction was quashed in 2006.

At the time police and crooks said a lot of people had reason to kill the known standover man.

Joe Antoun, pictured here with his family, was shot at least four times in the head and c

Joe Antoun, pictured here with his family, was shot at least four times in the head and chest.

Navid Khalili, 25, and Kasim Ali Khan, 24 — allegedly members of the street gang Brothers For Life — have already been charged over the Antoun hit.

The latest charges bring the people involved now to four.

Homicide Squad Commander Michael Willing has commended the police involved in the two mur

Homicide Squad Commander Michael Willing has commended the police involved in the two murder investigations.

Det-Supt Willing said today’s charges stemmed from outstanding police work.

“Their investigative nous and unyielding commitment has resulted in numerous people being charged with murder and other major criminal offences,” he said.

“To date, four people have been charged in relation to the murder of Mahmoud Hamzy and four have been charged in relation to the murder of Joe Antoun.

“Rest assured, more charges will be laid in the future as we intend to hunt down and bring to justice anyone who was involved in these ruthless crimes.”


‘Top Brothers 4 Life member’ Amanda Crowe stays under virtual house arrest over alleged hit bid

October 9, 2014

Court Reporter

Brothers 4 Life founder: Bassam Hamzy.
Brothers 4 Life founder: Bassam Hamzy. Photo: Supplied

A Sydney woman, charged with masterminding and orchestrating the attempted murder of three men during the Brothers 4 Life internal war last year, will remain under virtual house arrest after failing to have her bail conditions relaxed.

Amanda Crowe, 32, has been described by police in court documents as an unlikely right-hand woman to the violent gang‘s Blacktown chapter leader, Farhad Qaumi.

Qaumi, who was appointed “general” by gang founder and Supermax inmate Bassam Hamzy in 2012, is in custody on a string of firearms, drugs and gang-related charges.

Ms Crowe is accused of ordering Mobin Mirzaei, Mohammed Kalal and a third man who cannot be named for legal reasons to shoot Abdul Abu-Mahmoud on November 7 last year.

Mr Abu-Mahmoud was apparently targeted because his perceived links to a real estate agency meant he could find out where Qaumi lived.

On Thursday, Ms Crowe’s barrister Greg James, QC, said his client was caring for her elderly, infirm mother and needed some respite from being with her in their house around the clock.

He asked Supreme Court Justice Michael Adams to vary her bail conditions to allow her to leave the property during daylight hours as she was “under virtual house arrest”.

Justice Adams refused, saying Ms Crowe was accused of being either a leader of, or affiliated with, a “frightening criminal gang” .

Mr James said the case against Ms Crowe turned on a rollover witness who was in protective custody and “she is on the periphery” of the gang’s alleged activities.

Justice Adams said he was not in a position to assess the strength of the Crown case because a number of people had become Crown witnesses and would give evidence at trial about the gang and how it operated.

However, telephone intercepts showed Ms Crowe had “at the very least a sense of loyalty and submission to one or more members of the group”, Justice Adams said.

“The extent to which she is a leader is uncertain but, as a woman, it’s probably not great.”

He said that, given the seriousness of the charges – including three counts of causing wounding to a person with intent to murder, and the “character” of her co-accused gang members – the risk to the community was too great should her bail conditions be relaxed.

During an earlier court hearing, police alleged that, just after midnight on November 7, Mirzaei, Kalal and a third man stormed Mr Abu-Mahmoud’s car outside the Chokolatta Cafe in Bankstown with machine guns, firing through its windows so ferociously they destroyed a headrest.

Miraculously, the three men inside – Mr Abu-Mahmoud, Khalil Khalil and Hassan Soueid – survived.

Ms Crowe will appear in Burwood Local Court later this month.


Police unravel underworld shooting spree

Date

October 24, 2014

Drug cook Roy Yaghi, right, and his friend Jamie Grover.Drug cook Roy Yaghi, right, and his friend Jamie Grover. Photo: ABC Images

It began with a spray of bullets fired into a ute parked outside a home in the city’s south-west one night in August 2012, and what followed was three bloody months in Sydney.

There were five men dead by December and others lucky to be alive following a series of brazen shootings that were carried out at any time of day in car parks, outside family homes and even one as guests left a wedding.

But two years on, and following one of the largest police investigations carried out in recent years, homicide detectives are one by one closing in on those responsible.

Bachir Arja.Bachir Arja. Photo: ABC Images

Detectives involved in the major operation, known as Strike Force Earp, believe all five murders and a series of other shootings were carried out by the one criminal group based in the city’s west.

A key member of that group, a 28-year-old man who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested and charged with murder when homicide detectives visited him at Silverwater jail on Friday.

It followed the dramatic arrest of another member, a 27-year-old, as he walked out of a Sydney courtroom on unrelated drugs charges on Tuesday.

Shooting victim Ali Eid.Shooting victim Ali Eid. Photo: ABC Images

Both men have been charged with the murder of father-of-four Ali Eid, who was shot dead in a brazen daylight execution at Punchbowl in November 2012. Mr Eid was doing tiling work on the half-finished property he was building for his young family in Lumeah Avenue.

The men have also been charged with attempted murder relating to an electrician who also was working on the home. Mohammed Hanouf was shot but survived the attack.

Head of the homicide squad Detective Superintendent Mick Willing said the investigation, which has involved thousands of hours of reviewing security footage and interviewing unco-operative witnesses, was “far from over”.

Victim: Commanchero bikie member Faalau Pisu.Victim: Commanchero bikie member Faalau Pisu.

“We believe the same criminal group is responsible for all five shooting incidents and we plan to make more arrests and lay more charges in the near future,” Mr Willing said.

Those other incidents include

  • the fatal shooting of known drug cook Roy Yaghi, 32, and Jamie Grover, 26, as they sat in a ute at Wentworthville on August 30, 2012;
  • the fatal shooting of Commanchero bikie member Faalau Pisu 23, and the wounding of two others as they left the wedding of another gang member at the Serbian National Defence Council at Canley Vale on November 5, 2012; and
  • the fatal shooting of Mr Eid’s relative, Bachir Ajra, 28, outside his family home in Punchbowl on December 18, 2012.

The members of this crime group have spent the best part of their adult lives in and out of jail, convicted of offences such as manslaughter, large-scale drug deals and armed robberies. Senior police have described them as more deadly and daring than the infamous Sydney crime group Brothers 4 Life.

While police believe the same group is behind all five murders, they do not believe the incidents are directly linked. The court was told on Tuesday that Mr Eid was killed over a drug debt.

It is understood that Mr Pisu was randomly hit when a gunman opened fire on a party leaving the wedding after someone was bad-mouthed during the celebrations.

Mr Yaghi, who had links to bikie gangs, was allegedly shot over a long-running dispute but his associate sitting in the car with him that night, Mr Grover, was collateral damage.

“This is a complex and challenging investigation but the detectives working on Strike Force Earp are some of the most tenacious police officers you will find,” Mr Willing said.

“I have every confidence in the work they are doing and know that they will bring more people to justice in the months ahead.”

The 28-year-old arrested on Friday will appear in Burwood Local Court on Monday.

His co-accused returns to court next month


 Related articles

Mick Featherstone, ex Queensland police detective, investigated over alleged fraud, links to bikies


15 years as a copper earning better than most was not enough for this snake.

Greedy people cannot help themselves to the big pie it seems. Including coppers who are supposed to fight against this stuff. “Mike Featherstone” might sound like a new Hollywood Cop comedy film that might of been played by the late great Robin Williams…but this ex copper is a crim, a traitor and a grub, a liar, informant and insider.

Have a lot more but needed to see it mainstream first for legal reasons folks…

Michael Featherstone, former senior Queensland police detective, investigated over alleged fraud, links to bikies

Tue 2 Sep 2014, 6:46pm

Former senior police detective Michael Featherstone

Photo: Michael Featherstone is at the centre of a major corruption and money laundering investigation. (Tony Phillips)

A former senior police detective is at the centre of a major corruption and money laundering investigation by Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC).

Investigators are probing Michael Featherstone’s links to senior serving and former police officers on the Gold Coast and elsewhere, his possible connections to bikies and his role in cold-calling companies alleged to be involved in fraud.

The companies, which advertise horse-racing betting software and other investments, are alleged to have defrauded hundreds of people across Australia in scams worth millions of dollars.

The ABC can reveal that officers from the Queensland police anti-bikie taskforce Maxima found suspected links to Mr Featherstone, a former fraud squad detective and one-time head of Surfers Paradise CIB, while investigating fraud allegations against members of the Black Uhlans and Bandidos outlaw motorcycle clubs earlier this year.

Do you know more about this story? Email investigations@abc.net.au

Police raided a number of premises including the Southport offices of Mr Featherstone’s private investigations company Phoenix Global, taking away computer equipment.

They referred the matter to the CCC because of the body’s forensic accounting expertise and the possible involvement of police officers in protecting Mr Featherstone, his clients and associates.

One senior police officer told the ABC: “We realised we can’t have police officers investigating his links with other police.”

I naturally asked, ‘what’s this money for?’ and they said it was ‘just wages, we’re just lining it up before Christmas and this is just wages for staff and profits from the horse racing software’.

UKHBB director Johnny Kane

The CCC has set up an operation called Lima Violin II to investigate fraud allegations involving three companies: UK Home Based Business (UKHBB), Lay Trading Solutions and Pegasus Trader.

However, a parallel investigation by the ABC’s 7.30 program has uncovered evidence of the involvement of Mr Featherstone and Phoenix Global, not only with two of these companies but a range of alleged Gold Coast scams dating back almost 10 years.

They are linked to the Gold Coast private investigator in various ways – through his involvement in recruiting and managing patsy directors on behalf of others, by his own direct role as a director or shareholder, or by his providing advice on how to set up, run and protect such operations.

The ABC has identified dozens of customers of UKHBB who between them lost almost $4 million.

Several have told the ABC they received emails earlier this year saying their accounts had been suspended because of a “software problem”.

But the ABC has established that there was no software problem: the order to close UKHBB came late last year from Phoenix Global.

Correspondence obtained by the ABC shows Phoenix Global recruited and gave day-to-day instructions to the directors of UKHBB and Pegasus Trader to carry out banking and other administrative jobs.

Security guard recruited as UKHBB frontman

Johnny Kane, who works as a security guard, was recruited to be the director of UKHBB.

Security guard Johnny Kane

Security guard Johnny Kane

He has described to the ABC how Mr Featherstone convinced him to be the front-man for UKHBB and other companies, though Mr Featherstone had no official links with these companies and was not part of their management.

Mr Kane said his duties had also included picking up large quantities of cash from the bank and delivering it to the offices of UKHBB and Phoenix Global.

“Before Christmas I was asked to do that for about four days,” Mr Kane said.

“We’re talking $40,000 per cheque, three times a day, for about a week.

“I naturally asked, ‘what’s this money for?’ and they said it was ‘just wages, we’re just lining it up before Christmas and this is just wages for staff and profits from the horse racing software’.”

 

Extract of UKHBB bank statement showing cheque withdrawals Infographic: An extract of a bank statement for UKHBB, showing cheque withdrawals.

In an email from Phoenix Global to Mr Kane dated December 12, Mr Featherstone’s son Zach asked him to “be available to close the UKHB bank accounts on the 24th of December 2013″.

Bank statements show UKHBB collected at least $4 million in fees for trading licences in the second half of last year. More than a quarter of this was received in December.

Almost $500,000 was immediately withdrawn from the account by cheque in round amounts of between $5,000 and $40,000. A few weeks later the account was empty.

Separately, the ABC has established Mr Featherstone and Phoenix Global have played a central role in a series of other race-betting syndicates with a network of associates in Australia and overseas, one of whom is a convicted fraudster.

In an email discussing one such venture, Mr Featherstone wrote earlier this year: “This initiative should raise a lot of $$, but it is important that it is coordinated professionally… you will also need to consider timing and the medium of delivery, so that it doesn’t appear to be a scam or cash grab.”

Other documents show Phoenix Global used the name of someone who never worked at the company to create fake payslips that were used this year to obtain $150,000 of car finance as well as credit cards for one of these race-betting syndicates.

In a statement issued by his lawyers, Mr Featherstone denied any involvement in the running or management of UKHBB or any other race betting or software operation.

He acknowledged the instruction to close the UKHBB account had come from his office but said it was a “risk management” measure because of a “security breach”, without providing further details.

Asked about the fake payslips, Mr Featherstone’s lawyer said his client had provided a statement to police that “a person or persons had unlawfully used its brand to create a false document and forged our client’s signature to gain an advantage

Featherstone delivered speech for high-ranking officer

Who is Michael Featherstone?

Mick Featherstone served in the QPS from 1981 until late 1996.

Called as a witness by the 1997 Carter Inquiry into police involvement in the drug trade, he denied wrongdoing over the alleged disappearance of more than $20,000 in seized drug money while it was in his custody at Southport watch house.

He was also investigated over allegations he planted drugs on a suspect with whom he was personally connected, and his connection to a barrister who was under police investigation. No charges were ever brought against him.

Mr Featherstone resigned from the QPS at age 33. According to the QPS he did so under special arrangements following a recommendation from the Commissioner. Media reports at the time said this allowed him to get a significant payout.

Phoenix Global has provided “compliance” services to a range of companies on the Gold Coast, some of which are race-betting operations registered in Vanuatu.

It specialises in finding and removing adverse or defamatory internet posts about its clients, and offers investigative services to people facing criminal charges.

Mr Featherstone’s clients have included convicted child rapist John Chardon, whose wife Novy is missing, presumed dead; convicted fraudster Glenn Connelly; and Mario Girardo, who was jailed in 2010 over kidnap and extortion.

He has also worked for three-time bankrupt property spruiker and so-called “King Con” Dudley Quinlivan, and is a director of several companies connected to Michael King, who is being prosecuted by ASIC for allegedly acting dishonestly over a $150 million loan.

The Queensland Office of Fair Trading, which licences private investigators, declined to say whether it had ever received complaints about Mr Featherstone or Phoenix Global.

Mr Featherstone has been photographed socialising with senior serving officers, was endorsed online by a Brisbane inspector and even gave a speech at a recent send-off for a high-ranking Gold Coast officer.

According to his lawyer, Mr Featherstone “was asked to make a short speech” at the event, a “farewell retirement for an officer he had served with in the 1980s”.

The lawyer said Mr Featherstone “has no friendship or association with any serving police officer”.

A former detective has told the ABC that he discovered Mr Featherstone’s social links to this high-ranking officer while investigating fraud allegations on the Gold Coast and raised it with his superiors.

“They told me, ‘don’t go there’,” he said.

Mr Featherstone was the subject of a detailed complaint to Queensland’s Crime and Misconduct Commission in 2010 after it emerged he had done the work of Gold Coast police in collecting witness statements in a trespass case where the complainant was one of his clients.

There is no evidence of any action being taken against him.

NSW private investigator Ken Gamble, working on behalf of a group of scam victims, presented a detailed brief of evidence naming Mr Featherstone to the Queensland police fraud squad in 2012, but received no response.

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) said in a statement it had requested further information from Mr Gamble and that it had not been provided.

Mr Gamble said police had never made such a request and the QPS statement was “false and misleading”.

Former nightclub owner alleged to be key figure in scams

A key figure in the scams is alleged to be Phil Cropper, who is said to have been the sales manager of UKHBB and to have run other boiler-room operations linked to Mr Featherstone.

Mr Cropper, a former nightclub owner who was acquitted of an extortion attempt on actor Russell Crowe in 2002, is thought to have fled overseas since the raid on Mr Featherstone’s premises and the ABC has been unable to contact him.

Mr Kane said he now faced bankruptcy because of lawsuits filed against him by victims.

Mr Kane said that while UKHBB was operating he had frequently sought and received reassurance from Mr Featherstone that what he was being asked to do was legal.

He said his home had been raided by police in February and he had later been shocked to find how widely known Mr Featherstone’s activities were on the Gold Coast.

“When I went to Legal Aid to tell them about my story, they finished my story for me. They knew exactly what I was talking about,” he said.

“They rattled off a list of names and said ‘did you work for one of these people?’ and I knew all the names.

“One of the names was Featherstone.”

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