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Damning ABC Four Corners report into the mistreatment of teenage prisoners-Don Dale detention centre

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Despicable, we have seen this overseas and thanked GOD it could never happen here. I think by the immediate actions of the Federal Government in calling and Royal Commission says a lot. Disgusting, if this is how my child might be treated if he committed crimes in NT, bloody hell, help us all! NO human deserves to be treated as a DOG or worse. NO matter what

I am compiling all the videos so they can be seen together, folks. Appalling, never in my dreams did I think we treat anybody like this. ALL these kids are underage.No matter what they did or why they are there we as a society are not violent. I personally am not surprised the individuals shown reacted they way they did. It is a matter of survival! At least a dozen clips on the way stay tuned







John Elferink sacked from Corrections in wake of Four Corners report; Adam Giles alleges culture of cover-up

Updated 19 minutes ago

NT Chief Minister Adam Giles has sacked his Corrections Minister John Elferink in the wake of the damning ABC Four Corners report into the mistreatment of teenage prisoners, while alleging there has been a “culture of cover-up” within the Corrections system.

Key points:

  • John Elferink remains as Mental Health Minister, Attorney-General
  • Adam Giles alleges cover-up of video evidence
  • Staff seen in Four Corners report still in Corrections system

John Elferink, the minister responsible for young detainees in the Northern Territory, has been sacked in the wake of the damning ABC Four Corners report into the mistreatment of teenage prisoners.

At a press conference today, NT Chief Minister Adam Giles announced he had taken over the portfolios of Corrections and Justice from Mr Elferink.

“Can I start by saying that anybody who saw that footage on television last night on Four Corners would undoubtedly describe it as horrific footage. I sat and watched the footage and recognised horror through my eyes,” Mr Giles said.

He said the footage aired in the Four Corners report had been withheld from him, Mr Elferink and “many officials in government” — with him only seeing it for the first time “on television last night”.

“I think over time there has most certainly been a culture of cover-up within the Corrections system,” he said.

“I think there’s been a culture of cover-up going on for many a long year. The footage we saw last night [went] back to 2010 — and I predict this has gone on for a very long time.”

He said his government had been “working very hard to try and fix many of those issues”.

“What we’re changing is a culture of an organisation within the youth detention system and I think we’ve come a long way in that time. That’s not to discredit any of that terrible footage we saw on Four Corners last night. It was terrible footage but we’re seeking to improve the system,” Mr Giles said.

When asked if he personally was comfortable with children being strapped into restraint chairs, Mr Giles refused to answer definitively.

“We’re going to have a look at that as part of the royal commission. We will have a review into that. I can’t talk about individual cases,” he said.

“There are kids who are trying to deliberately cause cranial issues by bashing their head against the wall.

“Prison officers need the ability to be able to de-escalate issues when children are not in … a calm environment within themselves and at all times those kids’ wellbeing is being put at the best possible place.

“Having said that, there is certainly footage last night, particularly the footage dating back to 2010, 2012 and 2014 where I don’t think the standards have been upheld.”

Mr Giles said the Northern Territory community was “sick of youth crime … they have had a gutful”.

“They’ve had a gutful of cars getting smashed up, houses getting broken into, people being assaulted. There’s no doubt. And the majority of the community is saying let’s lock these kids up,” he said.

 

Some staff from footage still with corrections

The Acting Commissioner of Corrections Mark Payne, who took over in 2015, admitted some staff seen in the Four Corners report were still working with NT Corrections.

“A number of the staff, particularly those who have become the subject of previous investigations, a number of those staff members are no longer with us in the organisation. They’ve either been terminated in their employment or have chosen to resign,” Mr Payne said.

“A number of staff members who may have been implicated to sustain charges, criminal or internal, remain with us.

“There were only two staff members identified in footage last night that still remain within the youth justice sphere.”

Asked if he held any concerns for the welfare of youth detainees, Mr Payne said he did not.

“I have no concern and, in fact, I should remind the public that we have the Children’s Commissioner and their staff come in to our facilities once a week,” he said.

“We have representatives and our elders visiting program coming into the facility.

“We invite people in tours of the facility so as I stated previously, when I came into the organisation I found certainly a different place and its certainly a different place today in 2016 to what was identified in the footage last night.”

Elferink office target of attack

Asked where the Mr Elferink was, Mr Giles answered: “I don’t know.”

“I imagine he’s are probably in his office. I’ve advised John that I am assuming the Corrections responsibility immediately and that occurred five minutes before I walked into this office,” he said.

Mr Giles said Mr Elferink would retain his other portfolios, including Health, Children and Families and Mental Health.

This morning, Mr Elferink’s Darwin electoral office was the target of a vandal graffiti attack with police attending the scene.

Mr Elferink is yet to speak publicly since the Four Corners report, in which he is featured offering ABC journalist Caro Meldrum-Hanna a lift on his motorcycle to the Don Dale area where the so-called “riot” took place in 2014.

The ABC revealed the riot never happened and was concocted by prison authorities as an excuse for the use of tear-gassing of six boys.

The report has resulted in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today announcing a royal commission into the Northern Territory’s juvenile justice system.


Evidence of ‘torture’ of children held in Don Dale detention centre uncovered by Four Corners

Video: LANGUAGE WARNING: Watch the video obtained by Four Corners (ABC News)

Vision of the tear-gassing of six boys being held in isolation at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Darwin in August 2014 has been obtained by Four Corners, exposing one of the darkest incidents in the history of juvenile justice in Australia.

The vision is part of an investigation featuring a chilling catalogue of footage revealing a pattern of abuse, deprivation and punishment of vulnerable children inside Northern Territory youth detention centres.

The tear-gassing incident was described as a “riot” at the time, with media reporting multiple boys had escaped their cells in the isolation wing of the prison, known as the Behavioural Management Unit (BMU), and threatened staff with weapons.

But CCTV vision and handy-cam recordings made by staff, obtained exclusively by Four Corners, show only one boy escaped his cell after it was left unlocked by a guard.

Former corrections commissioner Ken Middlebrook last year defended the officer’s actions in the wake of a damning report by the Northern Territory Children’s Commissioner.

“I am not in the business of overuse of force. There were two sprays from an aerosol in the area. Now it wasn’t overuse of gas,” Mr Middlebrook told the ABC at the time.

But CCTV vision from the incident shows 10 bursts of tear gas being sprayed into the enclosed area over the space of one-and-a-half-minutes.

All six boys were exposed to the tear gas, five while still locked in their cells.

Not all the children were misbehaving — two boys can be seen on CCTV calmly playing cards before being exposed to the fumes. Another can be seen repeatedly smashing the wall of his cell with a broken light fitting.

The 14-year-old boy who escaped his cell can be heard repeatedly asking how long he had been in isolation and requesting to talk to staff.

Instead of negotiating with the boy, prison staff can be heard laughing and mocking him, calling the boy “an idiot” and a “little f****r”.

Four Corners has managed to track down several of the boys who were tear gassed. They describe being highly distressed, afraid for their lives, and say that two years on they are now suffering from disturbing flashbacks and nightmares from the ordeal.

The CCTV vision also shows the children’s reactions as they are affected by the gas, running to the back of their cells, hiding behind sheets and mattresses, gasping for air, crying, and bending over toilets.

One boy is left in his cell and exposed to tear gas for eight minutes. He is seen lying face down on the floor with his hands behind his back, before being handcuffed by two prison officers wearing gas masks and dragged out of his cell.

‘Ticking time bomb’ of potentially unlawful solitary confinement

The use of tear gas at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in 2014 came after months of tension, repeated escapes and incidents at the centre, which was staffed with under-trained Youth Justice Officers, in what has been described as a “ticking time bomb” by former staff.

Three weeks before the tear-gassing incident, five boys had escaped from Don Dale.

When they were recaptured, they were placed in the isolation wing of the prison for between 15 and 17 days, in what were described by both children and staff as appalling and inhumane conditions.

They were kept locked in their cells for almost 24 hours a day with no running water, little natural light, and were denied access to school and educational material.

The boys being kept in isolation were accidentally discovered by a group of lawyers, including solicitor Jared Sharp, when they were taken on a tour of the facility in August 2014.

“We all sort of looked at each other in shock that there was kids in these cells, because there was signs of life in there but we didn’t know who was in there or what was happening, or how long they’d been there,” Mr Sharp told Four Corners.

“To what extreme is that, is to my view is torture. To my view that is treating kids in a way that is just entirely unacceptable,” he said.

Human Rights Lawyer Ruth Barson said the isolation of the children was a clear violation of the United Nations Convention against Torture.

“The UN’s expert on torture has said there are no circumstances that justify young people being held in solitary confinement, let alone prolonged solitary confinement,” Ms Barson told Four Corners.

“I think the NT and in particular Don Dale has a long way to go to ensure their practices are compliant with Australia’s obligation on the convention against torture and against the right of the child.”

Government says improvements made

In the days after the tear gassing, NT Corrections Minister John Elferink praised the actions of his staff and the prison security dog used on the night of the incident.

“I congratulate again, and place my support behind, the staff who made this decision. The staff worked hard, Fluffy the Alsatian worked hard and, as far as we are concerned, it was a problem that was solved quickly,” Mr Elferink told Parliament.

In the wake of the incident, the Don Dale centre was closed and the children were moved to the run-down, old Berrimah adult prison.

The NT Government commissioned an independent report into the incident by former Long Bay prison boss Michael Vita, which was released in January 2015.

Mr Elferink told Four Corners the Government had learned from the mistakes of the past.

“It was a system that needed improvement. It was a system that had fundamental problems, which is why I’ve worked so hard to improve it and it has been improved,” he said.

“That was a circumstance that clearly demonstrated to me that something had to be done, which is what the Vita Report was all about.

“Those circumstances have now been changed… we hope that they won’t be repeated.”

NT Children’s Commissioner Colleen Gwynne confirmed to Four Corners there are still ongoing issues with youth detention in the Northern Territory, with many of her 2015 report recommendations still not implemented.

“The response has not been as urgent as we would have liked. The issues raised in that report are extremely serious and I would like to see a more full response,” she said.

“[We need] some urgency and some dedicated resources thrown at this.”

Woman and baby boy in 20th-floor death plunge-Murder Suicide


Woman, child die falling from internal balcony from Docklands apartment

Police tape marks the scene where a woman and child died after a balcony fall in Melbourne’s CBD. Picture: Yuri Kouzmin

Wes Hosking, Anthony Dowsley

A WOMAN and a four-month-old baby have died after an apparent fall from an apartment balcony in Melbourne’s CBD.

The pair were found just after 10.30am in an apartment building at the corner of Bourke and Spencer Streets.

Family are at the scene with one yelling “oh no” when told of the news.

It is understood the woman, 31, plunged from a balcony high in the City Point building.

Police are with distraught family. The deaths are not being treated as suspicious.

The bodies of a woman and child were found just after 10.30am. Picture: Yuri Kouzmin

The bodies of a woman and child were found just after 10.30am.

The exact circumstances of where the child was are unknown at this point.

It is believed the woman may have been residing above 20th floor.

Paramedics entered the building to attend to someone who may have become distressed about 1.30pm.

Later, a family could be seen talking with police and social workers in the foyer of the building just before 2pm.

A priest earlier entered the building to console family, and the coroner is on the scene.

A senior police officer has told media they will not be making any comment about the circumstances surrounding the tragedy, but police confirmed the ages of the pair in a statement.

“A 31-year-old woman and a 4-month-old child were located deceased at an apartment building in Docklands this morning,” a statement read.

The Melbourne CBD location where a mother and child have died in a horror fall.

The Melbourne CBD location where a mother and child have died in a horror fall.Source:Herald Sun

The pair are believed to have fallen from an internal apartment balcony. Picture: Yuri Kouzmin

The pair are believed to have fallen from an internal apartment balcony.


A resident, Alex Champ, said he was unaware of the incident. He said families, children and travellers stayed in the high rise.

“You get all people and young ones (living here), he said. “There is an internal area where there is a drop.

“It’s just crazy to think it’s just a few floors above me.”

A small section of the east bound Bourke street lane has been reopened by police near where it meets Spencer St.

Police are working to identify the mother and child. Picture: Yuri Kouzmin

Police are working to identify the mother and child.

Police have been speaking to staff at the Chocolate Frog Cafe, which is in an older building which fronts the tall apartment complex behind it.

Earlier Victoria Police spokesman Alistair Parsons said: “Police are currently at an apartment building on the corner of Bourke and Spencer Streets in Docklands where a woman and a child were located.”

“The yet to be identified woman and child died at the scene,’’ he said.

“At this early stage it is believed they may have fallen from an internal balcony.”

The exact circumstances surrounding the incident were yet to be determined.

Police have cordoned off the area and are speaking to witnesses.

Paramedics were called to the area but could not assist the pair.

If you or anyone you know is struggling, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14

The pair died near the corner Spencer and Bourke Streets. Picture Yuri Kouzmin <br />

The pair died near the corner Spencer and Bourke Streets.

Originally published as Woman, baby die in balcony fall


Woman and baby boy in 20th-floor death plunge: ‘Gut-wrenching scream’ as woman, 31, jumps from balcony of her luxury Melbourne apartment holding 4-month-old ‘believed to be her son’

 

  • Woman and baby plunged to their deaths from a balcony in Melbourne
  • The four-month-old boy is believed to have been her son
  • The father ‘collapsed in shock’ when he arrived at the Docklands building
  • Emergency services were unable to revive the woman, 31, and baby
  • The pair’s identities are yet to be determined as investigations continue

Witnesses heard a ‘gut-wrenching’ scream as a woman, 31, and a four-month-old baby boy died in an apparent murder-suicide when they plunged to their deaths from a balcony in central Melbourne.

The woman was carrying the baby, believed to be her son, when she took her own life at the City Point apartment building on the corner of Bourke and Spencer Streets in Docklands.

Police confirmed they were not looking for anyone else in relation to the deaths and a report would be prepared for the coroner

Witnesses heard 'gut-wrenching' screams after a woman, 31, and a four-month-old baby died when they plunged to their deaths from a balcony in central Melbourne. Police speak to a witness

Witnesses heard ‘gut-wrenching’ screams after a woman, 31, and a four-month-old baby died when they plunged to their deaths from a balcony in central Melbourne. Police speak to a witness

They say the pair fell from a balcony inside the 35-storey building about 10.30am on Thursday and died at the scene.

Police have also said a damaged balcony was not the cause of the woman and baby’s fall.

Their bodies were discovered in a courtyard of the building, where apartments have sold for more than $400,000.

The 31-year-old woman lived on the 20th floor with the baby boy’s father who is said to be devastated, according to Herald Sun.

He collapsed in shock when he arrived at the scene and was taken to hospital, 7 News reported.

Police are looking to establish if she had leapt to her death from a sixth-floor balcony, according to the ABC.

She is believed to have been holding the baby at the time.

Witness Christine Harms told The Age she heard someone yell out, ‘Oh no, oh no’, after the incident.

‘A lady went into the alleyway and then there was some screaming,’ Ms Harms said.

‘It was gut-wrenching to hear.’

The woman was carrying the baby when she took her own at the City Point apartment building on the corner of Bourke and Spencer Streets in Docklands. Pictured are police at the scene

The woman was carrying the baby when she took her own at the City Point apartment building on the corner of Bourke and Spencer Streets in Docklands. Pictured are police at the scene

Police say the pair plummeted from a balcony inside the 35-storey building about 10.30am on Thursday and died at the scene

Police say the pair plummeted from a balcony inside the 35-storey building about 10.30am on Thursday and died at the scene

Relatives and friends visited the apartment block early on Thursday afternoon.

A man who knew the woman said they were left shocked by the incident, adding: ‘We don’t know what happened.’

A Victoria Police spokesperson said initial investigations led them to believe the pair fell from an ‘internal balcony’.

‘The exact circumstances surrounding the incident are yet to be determined,’ she said.

Police were unable to confirm the relationship between the woman and baby.

Paramedics were also called to the scene but they were unable to revive the pair, a Victoria Ambulance spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia.

More than a dozen uniformed and plain-clothed police and eight police cars closed off the scene – at one of Melbourne’s busiest intersections – with some taking bagged items out of the building.

Investigators started to leave shortly after 3pm and the footpath at the front of the building was reopened as police tape was removed.

Traffic detours were in place until about 1.30pm.

For confidential help, call Lifeline at 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.

Pictured is an apartment inside the City Point building on Bourke Street

Pictured is an apartment inside the City Point building on Bourke Street

She reportedly lived on the 20th floor but police are looking into if she leapt to her death from a sixth-floor balcony. Above is an image of another apartment at City Point

She reportedly lived on the 20th floor but police are looking into if she leapt to her death from a sixth-floor balcony. Above is an image of another apartment at City Point

The foyer inside the City Point building, where apartments have sold for more than $400,000

The foyer inside the City Point building, where apartments have sold for more than $400,000

The family of the woman, who lived on the 20th floor, are said to be devastated by the tragedy. Pictured is the City Point apartment building

Online dating site victim conned out of $127k, Robyn Clare Pearce jailed for 14 months-Has form


Robyn Clare Pearce jailed for 14 months-Has form so why a shitty short sentence.What about repayment, no remorse she will get out after learning a few more scams in jail to get out there and  rip them off for more money more often. Get real

Sandford woman Robyn Clare Pearce walks from the Hobart Magistrate's Court.

Sandford woman Robyn Clare Pearce walks from the Hobart Magistrate’s Court.

Online dating site victim conned out of $127k, Hobart woman jailed for 14 months

A Hobart woman had been jailed for 14 months for conning $127,000 out of a New South Wales man she met through an online dating site.

Robyn Clare Pearce, 62 of Sandford, pleaded guilty to dishonestly acquiring a financial advantage.

Pearce met the 60-year-old retired public servant online in August 2007 and by October that year was spinning elaborate lies to get him to lend her money.

He did so on 122 occasions, lending a total of $127,000.

She gave him several reasons for needing money, including legal fees incurred pursuing her ex-husband for child maintenance, furnishing a flat and buying a car for her daughter and paying for her elderly mother’s medical treatment.

In truth, Pearce spent the money on gambling.

The court heard Pearce put $2 million through poker machines at Wrest Point Casino between July 2007 and December 2010.

By November 2008, her victim was selling assets to fund the loans to her.

Victim sold home after mortgage default threat

He extended his mortgage but the retiree was unable to keep up with the payments.

When his bank threatened to default on the mortgage, he sold his house and moved into a modest home in rural Victoria.

The court heard Pearce repeatedly promised she would move there to join him and would get a job to pay him back.

But Pearce’s physical and mental health meant she knew at the time she was making promises that she would never be able to keep.

Justice Helen Wood accepted that Pearce did not befriend the man with the intent to defraud him.

“I accept that the relationship the defendant had with the complainant was a friendship and she valued that,” Justice Wood said.

“She did not set out to prey on him.” I say absolute bullshit to that

History of similar offences

But Justice Wood said Pearce had taken advantage of her victim’s kind and generous nature and spun him elaborate lies repeatedly in order to convince him to lend her money.

Pearce had originally also been charged with defrauding a 92-year-old American man she met through a Christian dating site of about $122,000 between 2011 and 2015.

But that charge was dropped after her plea of guilty in the current case.

In 2012, she was jailed for convincing a Queensland man she met through a dating site to part with almost $80,000.

The court heard Pearce had previously also received suspended, or partly suspended sentences, for other dishonesty matters.

She was sentenced to 14 months’ jail for the latest offending, with Justice Wood noting Pearce’s anxiety and agoraphobia, and her poor physical health, would make the sentence more burdensome for her.

Pearce will not be eligible for parole until she has served seven months.


Online love fraudster Robyn Clare Pearce behind bars after fleecing lonely NSW man of $127,000

A GAMBLING-addicted Sandford woman has been jailed for defrauding a lonely pensioner of more than $120,000 in an online love scam.

Robyn Clare Pearce, 62, pleaded guilty to dishonestly obtaining a financial benefit by deception.

In the Supreme Court in Hobart this morning, Justice Helen Wood said Pearce met a 60-year-old New South Wales man through an internet dating site in August 2007.

Although the pair never met, they exchanged messages and Pearce asked the man for money to pay bills.

After he transferred $1500 to her account, she continued to make demands every few days for money for medical care, to buy a vehicle or furniture and to pay debts.

When he tried to refuse her demands, Pearce became insistent. In all she received $127,000 from the man.


A lonely NSW man targeted in an online dating scam was relieved of $127,000 by a Tasmanian woman, who has been jailed for fraud.

Justice Wood said as a result of Pearce’s actions, the man had been forced to sell his home and move to a more modest abode in rural Victoria — holding out hope that she would move to be with him.

He had been left in financial trouble, depressed and socially isolated by her actions and had trouble trusting people, the court heard.

Pearce had lost $200,000 after putting $2 million though the poker machines at Wrest Point Casino, Justice Wood said.

The judge noted Pearce has a long history of fraud offending and had breached three suspended sentenced by her actions.

She said the offending has taken advantage of the victim’s kind and generous nature and Pearce’s moral culpability was high, despite a number of mental and physical problems which made prison a tough environment for her.

She sentenced Pearce to 14 months in prison, with a seven month non-parole period.

Pearce was also accused of stealing $122,000 from a 91-year-old American man she met via a Christian dating website but those charges were discontinued by the Crown.


Sandford woman Robyn Clare Pearce pleads not guilty in Hobart court to alleged online dating fraud

A SANDFORD woman has pleaded not guilty to fraud offences relating to an alleged internet dating scam.

Robyn Clare Pearce, 61, appeared in the Hobart Magistrates Court this morning.

She is charged with dishonestly acquiring a financial advantage.

Police allege Ms Pearce defrauded tens of thousands of dollars from a 64-year-old New South Wales man between April 2011 and January this year.

Magistrate Simon Cooper granted Ms Pearce bail and ordered her to appear in the Supreme Court on June 9.


Woman admits internet ‘love fraud’

Updated 16 Oct 2012, 10:40am

Sandford woman Robyn Clare Pearce walks from the Hobart Magistrate's Court

Sandford woman Robyn Clare Pearce walks from the Hobart Magistrate’s Court

A Hobart court has ordered a woman to seek counselling after she convinced a Queensland man to give her nearly $80,000 over the internet.

Robyn Clare Pearce from Sandford in southern Tasmania admitted dishonestly acquiring money from a Queensland man she met through an internet dating site in 2007.

During a three-year phone and email relationship, Peace convinced the man to lend her nearly $80,000.

The Hobart Magistrates Court heard she made up a variety of reasons for borrowing the money but never paid it back.

She also got the man to falsely email that she had repaid some of the money.

Pearce was sentenced to 10 months’ jail for dishonestly acquiring a financial advantage relating to $22,600.

Eight months of her sentence was suspended, provided Peace is of good behaviour and undergoes psychological treatment.

She also has to pay back the money.


 

What happened to Melbourne woman Karen Ristevski

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Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at crimestoppersvic.com.au.

Search continues for Melbourne mother Karen Ristevski

Update 21/07/16

Karen Ristevski at her Bella Bleu business at Watergardens Town Centre in Taylors Lakes. Picture: Kylie Else

A MELBOURNE woman who went missing three weeks ago was at risk of losing the family home.

The financial sufferings that surround Karen Ristevski’s mysterious disappearance have been revealed and the family has been in about $600,000 in debt for the past decade.

Mrs Ristevski had a fight with her husband Borce about their financial problems on June 29 and left her $1.1 million home in Avondale Heights, in Melbourne’s northwest, about 10am to clear her head.

The 47-year-old has not been seen since.

The Ristevski family owns the Bella Bleu boutique at the Watergardens Town Centre in Taylors Lakes in Melbourne’s northwest and another store in Broadmeadows in Melbourne’s north.

The Australian reports property records show a shopping centre lodged a caveat over the Ristevski family home earlier this year, believed to be due to unpaid rent.

A caveat is a document that can tag another person’s land and stop it from being sold or transferred into another name.

The Ristevskis’ home. Picture: Ellen Smith

The Ristevskis’ home. Picture: Ellen SmithSource:News Corp Australia

Mr Ristevski and his brother Vasko previously owned clothing manufacturer and wholesaler Blue Laser Jean Co, according the The Australian, and the company racked up $600,000 of unsecured debts after one of its major customers restructured.

Real estate group Vicinity and financial company Perpetual are believed to have lodged the caveat over the family home. The Australian understands Vicinity is the landlord at the Broadmeadows shopping centre where one of the Bella Bleu stores operates.

Victoria Police said investigations around Mrs Ristevski’s disappearance were ongoing and officers previously expressed grave concerns for the woman’s welfare.

Karen Ristevski’s daughter, Sarah, and husband, Borce. Picture: Tracey Nearmy/AAP

Karen Ristevski’s daughter, Sarah, and husband, Borce. Picture: Tracey Nearmy/AAPSource:AAP

Karen Ristevski went missing without a trace after going for a walk from her home on June 29.

Karen Ristevski went missing without a trace after going for a walk from her home on June 29.Source:Supplied

She hasn’t used her phone or accessed her bank accounts since she went missing.

Police were searching the Maribyrnong River last week, which snakes behind Ms Ristevski’s home.

There has been a wave of support on social media to find the popular dress shop owner.

“We’ve laughed together, dressed and undressed together, and shared our highs and lows,” friend Connie Johnson posted on the Love Your Sister Facebook page.

Police questioned Mr Ristevski earlier this month over the disappearance and he has been released pending further inquiries.

SES searching behind the Ristevski's house at Avondale Heights for missing Karen Ristevski. Picture: Hamish Blair

SES searching behind the Ristevski’s house at Avondale Heights for missing Karen Ristevski. Picture: Hamish BlairSource:News Corp Australia

Last week the family shut down a press conference after a Channel 7 reporter asked Mr Ristevski if he killed his wife.

Ms Ristevski’s aunt, Patricia, was upset by the question.

“That’s really not appropriate at the moment … honestly, I have to say, that is really inappropriate … this is about Karen, this is not about anything else, this is about finding Karen,” she said.

Ms Ristevski is 160cm tall, with a slim build and shoulder length brown hair.

She was last seen wearing a black jacket and jeans and is known to frequent Taylors Lakes.

Police say her disappearance is out of character.

Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at crimestoppersvic.com.au.


Karen Ristevski: Police search riverbanks

Combing the banks of the Maribymong river, police and SES crews search for missing Melbourne mother Karen Ristevski. Courtesy Seven News Melbourne

Mr Ristevski, who was questioned by police and released without charge, was asked directly by a Channel 7 reporter in a press conference on Thursday if he had killed his wife.

Mr Ristevski, arm-in-arm with his wife’s visibly distressed 21-year-old daughter Sarah, did not answer, with Ms Ristevski’s aunt Patricia interjecting, saying Mr Ristevski was too distressed to speak.

Karen Ristevski's daughter Sarah, and husband Borce have appealed for help.

Karen Ristevski’s daughter Sarah, and husband  Borce have appealed for help.  Photo: Penny Stephens

“That’s really not appropriate at the moment … honestly, I have to say, that is really inappropriate…This is about Karen, this is not about anything else, this is about finding Karen,” she said.

The family then left immediately.

Before the exchange, which occurred near the banks of the Maribyrnong River where police are searching, Patricia pleaded with the public to come forward if they have any information.

“We’re hoping that today we will find something that will lead us to Karen,” she said.

Karen (centre) and Borce Ristevski with their daughter Sarah.

Karen (centre) and Borce Ristevski with their daughter Sarah. Photo: Supplied

“We have nothing so if you have something that you know, something that you have seen, you’ve heard something, someone has spoken to you about something, anything, please, we’re asking you to help us.

“It’s not possible for someone to just disappear, it’s not Karen, Karen would not leave us.”

The police and SES are searching Avondale Heights and along the Maribyrnong River for missing woman Karen Ristevski.

The police and SES are searching Avondale Heights and along the Maribyrnong River for missing woman Karen Ristevski.  Photo: Penny Stephens

She described the last 15 days as a “nightmare”.

She said she did not know anyone who would want to harm her niece.

Police have released photos of a handbag and purse like Karen Ristevski's in case someone finds them.

Police have released photos of a handbag and purse like Karen Ristevski’s in case someone finds them. Photo: Supplied

“If that was the case, we would already know something about that, it would be an ongoing thing,” she said.

Police and State Emergency Service volunteers are searching a 60 hectare area between Canning Reserve, off Canning Street, and Afton Street, which runs along the Maribyrnong River.

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The family home, which backs onto the river, sits in between.

Inspector Stephen Dennis said police have “grave concerns” for Ms Ristevski’s welfare, with her phone still off and her bank account untouched.

He said she was last seen at her home.

“We can’t say what route she may have taken from the house, so it’s still up in the air for us at this stage,” he said.

Inspector Dennis said Ms Ristevski may have had a gold-coloured Coach handbag and purse with her. Earlier, police released a photo of the items in the hope someone may come across them.

SEARCH AREA

Ms Ristevski ran formal wear shop Bella Bleu in Taylors Lakes, which she owned with her husband.

Her daughter made an emotional plea for help to find her mother last week.

Sarah told radio station 3AW she had reached out to her mother’s friends on Facebook but to no avail.

“There’s no leads at all, no sightings, nothing,” she said.

“I’ve logged onto her Facebook and contacted all of her friends. No one has seen her.”

Ms Ristevski is described as 160cm tall, with a slim build and shoulder length brown hair.

She was last seen wearing a black jacket and jeans.

Anyone who sees Ms Ristevski is urged to contact triple zero or anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report to http://www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.


abc.net.au

Relatives plead for information about missing Melbourne woman

Updated Thu 14 Jul 2016, 1:56pm

The aunt of missing Melbourne woman Karen Ristevski has made an impassioned plea for information as police search the Maribrynong River for her niece’s belongings.

Ms Ristevski, 47, was last seen leaving her Avondale Heights home in Melbourne’s north-west on June 29 after having an argument with her husband about financial issues relating to their family-run business.

Her family said she had medical issues and it was out of character for her to be away for so long without contacting her husband and daughter.

About 20 SES crews joined police on dirt bikes to search the banks of the Maribyrnong River and water police were out on the water.

Officers were looking for Ms Ristevski’s handbag, a Coach brand gold bag, and her Coach brand wallet.

Ms Ristevski’s aunt, Patrice (who did not want her surname used) pleaded for help from the public.

“We have nothing, so if you have something that you know, something that you’ve seen, you’ve heard something, someone’s spoken to you about something, anything, please, we’re asking you to help us,” she said.

“Whatever you’ve got even just a suspicion it doesn’t matter. We have nothing.

“Somebody knows something out there. It’s not possible for someone to just disappear like this.”

Victoria Police Inspector Stephen Dennis said her disappearance was being treated as suspicious and they were still hopeful of finding her alive.

“There has been nothing from Karen to date,” he said.

“We have grave concerns for her welfare because she’s been gone for just over two weeks now,” he said.

“She maintains regular contact with her family and it’s out of character, from everything we’ve been told to this stage for her to just vanish.”

A reporter asked her husband Borce Ristevski, who was also present, if he murdered his wife.

Patricia said the question was inappropriate and the family walked away.

First posted about 7 hours agoThu 14 Jul 2016, 7:23am


Disappearance of Melbourne woman Karen Ristevski ‘highly irregular’, police say

Updated 2 Jul 2016, 2:22pm

Police in Melbourne are concerned for the welfare of a 47-year-old woman who has not been seen since Wednesday, calling the behaviour “highly irregular”.

Karen Ristevski of Avondale Heights, in Melbourne’s north-west, was last seen leaving her home on Wednesday morning, wearing a black blazer, jeans and carrying a silver handbag.

She works in retail at the Watergardens Shopping Centre but did not turn up for work at the family business.

Senior Constable Ante Sandric said Ms Risteveski has health problems but her family is worried because her disappearance is out of character.

“Our main concerns are that she hasn’t been seen since leaving her house at about 10:00am on Wednesday,” he said.

“Family haven’t been able to contact her and she hasn’t turned up to work and this is highly irregular.”

Ms Ristevski’s mobile phone is turned off and police said they had very few leads about her disappearance.

Ms Ristevski is described as being Caucasian, about 160cm tall, with a slim build and short brown hair.


Police believe missing Melbourne woman Karen Ristevski could have been murdered

THERE are still no answers into the mysterious disappearance of Karen Ristevski, but police now think she could be dead.

The Melbourne woman left her luxury home in Avondale Heights, in Melbourne’s northwest, about two weeks ago.

She had just had a fight with her husband Borce and she needed to get some fresh air.

They had been arguing about financial issues affecting the family business.

Since she walked out the door, nobody has heard from the woman.

Her husband and daughter are broken and hope is fading with no confirmed sightings.

The 47-year-old went missing about 10am on June 29 and concerns for her safety came after she didn’t show up to work at the Bella Bleu boutique at the Watergardens Town Centre in Taylors Lakes in Melbourne’s northwest.

Her daughter Sarah broke down following Ms Ristevski’s disappearance as she called for the public to help find her mother alongside her father.

“I just want my mum to come home,” she told media.

“It’s not like her to miss work as well.

“It’s not like her.”

It was not out of character for Ms Ristevski to leave the house to clear her head, but she always came home.

“That was the last thing she said to me: ‘I’m going to go and clear my head’,” Mr Ristevski told media.

“She has always walked back in the door after calming down.”

Earlier this week police questioned Mr Ristevski over his wife’s disappearance.

A Victoria Police spokesman told AAP on Tuesday they interviewed the man as part of an ongoing investigation into the woman’s disappearance. He was released pending further inquiries.

The couple’s luxury home and surrounding areas were also searched by police.

Police have grave concerns as the mother has not used her ATM card and her mobile phone is switched off and detectives from the Missing Persons Squad are now investigating the mysterious disappearance.

The Herald Sun reports Ms Ristevski’s brother-in-law, Vic Ristevski, made another call to the public to help find her on Tuesday.

“It’s terrible … we are all shocked,” he told media.

“If you are still alive talk to us.

“If you don’t want to talk to your husband, give me a call or my wife.”

He said the family was close and the missing woman was happy while celebrating her daughter’s 21st birthday just a few weeks ago.

“It’s not like her. I don’t talk to her much but when we get together she is happy. He (Borce) is feeling awful, he can hardly talk,” he said.

“It is heartbreaking. I can hardly sleep at night. I wake up at 2am … it’s a nightmare.”

Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at crimestoppersvic.com.au.


theage.com.au

 July 3 2016

The daughter of a missing Avondale Heights woman has pleaded for public help to find her

Alexandra Laskie

The daughter of missing Avondale Heights woman Karen Ristevski has made an emotional plea for public help to find her mother.

Sarah Ristevski, 21, told 3AW she had reached out to her mother’s friends on Facebook but to no avail.

Karen (centre) and Borce Ristevski with their daughter Sarah.
Karen (centre) and Borce Ristevski with their daughter Sarah. Photo: Supplied

“There’s no leads at all, no sightings, nothing,” she said. “I’ve logged onto her Facebook and contacted all of her friends. No one has seen her.”

Sarah said she was desperate for her mother to return home.

Ms Ristevski, 47, has been missing since Wednesday.

She was last seen at her home in Oakley Drive, Avondale Heights, about 10am.

Police are focusing their search on an area of parkland in Avondale Heights, near a walking track to the rear of her property, which backs onto the Maribyrnong River, where Ms Ristevski is known to walk regularly.

It has been reported she went for a walk to “clear her head” after an argument with her husband, Borce, over financial issues. The couple own Taylors Lakes formal wear business Bella Bleu.

Senior Constable Adam West said police have grave concerns for Ms Ristevski’s because her disappearance was out of character.

Her mobile phone is switched off and she has not used her debit card.

At the time Ms Ristevski went missing, she was wearing a black jacket and dark pants. She has shoulder-length dark hair, is about 160 centimetres tall and has a slim build.

View to a kill: the death of Jamie Gao


Surveillance camera footage creates a detailed timeline of the 2014 killing of Jamie Gao. 

Jamie Gao and Glen McNamara cctv stillEarly January, 2014 Jamie Gao and Glen McNamara meet up at least 27 times in the lead up to Gao’s death, often at the Meridian Hotel in Hurstville.

Rent a Space unit 803Early March, 2014  Roger Rogerson obtains keys to storage unit 803 at Rent a Space, Padstow, from a friend called Michael McGuire. Rogerson says he wanted to look at office furniture. Gao is eventually killed inside the shed.

April 27, 2014  A white Ford Falcon station wagon with number plates BV67PX is purchased ­at Outback Used Cars in Lethbridge Park. The car is later used to transport Gao’s body. Rogerson and McNamara deny involvement in the car’s acquisition, but Rogerson’s fingerprints are found on the receipt.

McNamara removes his 4.5 metre boat cctv stillMay 19, 2014  McNamara removes his 4.5 metre Quintrex boat from Hunter Self Storage at Taren Point without notifying staff. This is later used to dump Gao’s body at sea.

Rogerson and office chairs cctv stillMay 19, 3.15pm CCTV footage from Rent a Space captures Rogerson removing office chairs from storage unit 803 and placing them in the back of his silver Ford station wagon.

A white Nissan Silvia, consistant with Gao's car cctv stillMay 19, afternoon A white Nissan Silvia, consistent with Gao’s car, does a U-turn outside Rent a Space.

Jamie Gao and Glen McNamara Meridian Hotel, Hurstville cctv stillMay 19, 7.50pm  The night before Gao is killed, McNamara and Gao meet at the Meridian Hotel, Hurstville. The meeting lasts about 30 minutes.

McNamara walks to Cronulla Mall cctv stillMay 20, 11.37am McNamara uses a payphone in Cronulla Mall to call Gao. CCTV from Cold Rock Ice Creamery captures him walking towards to the phone.

McNamara opening and shutting the door cctv stillMay 20, 1.17pm Rogerson and McNamara drive in separate cars to Rent a Space. McNamara is seen opening and closing the door four times in nine minutes.

Gao walking down Arab Road cctv stillMay 20, 1.35pm Gao is seen walking down Arab Road, Padstow, dressed in dark-coloured clothes, towards a white Ford station wagon that McNamara is in.

McNamara at front gate cctv stillMay 20, 1,42pm McNamara drives to the front gate of Rent a Space and enters the gate code – his hood is up and sunglasses are on.

Gao getting out of a white Ford station wagon cctv stillMay 20, 1.46pm Gao is seen getting out of the back of a white Ford station wagon and shielded by McNamara as he slips into storage unit 803. It is the last time he is seen alive.

Rogerson opens the door cctv stillMay 20, 1.49pm Rogerson opens the door to storage unit 803 exactly three minutes and 16 seconds after Gao and McNamara entered.

McNamara comes out of unit cctv stillMay 20, 2.03pm McNamara comes out of the storage unit, retrieves a silver Ocean & Earth surfboard bag from the white Ford station wagon, and returns to the storage unit.

McNamara and Rogerson are both seen dragging surfboard cover cctv stillMay 20, 2.18pm McNamara and Rogerson are seen dragging a surfboard cover containing Gao’s body, and load it into the boot of the white Ford station wagon.

Rogerson and McNamara are seen buying a two tonne chain block cctv stillMay 20, about 4pm Rogerson and McNamara are seen at Kennards Hire in Taren Point, buying a two-tonne chain block that was later used to lift Gao’s body into McNamara’s boat.

Rogerson and McNamara share a six pack of James Boag's cctv stillMay 20, about 5.15pm A few hours after the killing, Rogerson and McNamara share a six-pack of beer at McNamara’s unit in McDonald St, Cronulla. (McNamara claims he only helped to dispose of Gao’s body because his life was threatened by Rogerson.) 

Quintrex Boat being towed cctv stillMay 21, 7.28am A Quintrex boat carrying the body of Gao and a blue tarpaulin leaves McNamara’s Cronulla unit block.

McNamara and Rogerson are seen in the lift cctv stillMay 21, 7.32am McNamara and Rogerson are seen carrying fishing rods in the lift of McNamara’s unit block.

Quintrex boat being towed cctv stillMay 21, 11.05am After disposing of Gao’s body, McNamara brings his Quintrex boat back to Hunter Self Storage at Taren Point.

McNamara at Kmart cctv stillMay 22 McNamara says he was so worried when he found 3kg of ice in his car that he went to Kmart and bought two pillowslips, a measuring jug and a spoon. He claims this was to “seal” the drugs to stop them from exploding.

detectives arrest McNamaraMay 25, 6.30pm Robbery and Serious Crime Squad detectives arrest McNamara at a vehicle stop at Kyeemagh. He is refused bail and appears at Kogarah Local Court the following day.

Jamie Gao afloat inside a surfboard bag 2.5 kilomtres off the shoreMay 26 Fishermen spot the body of Jamie Gao inside a surfboard bag wrapped in blue tarpaulin about 2.5 kilometres offshore of Shelley Beach, Cronulla.

Rogerson arrested at Padstow Heights homeMay 27, 11am Police swoop on Rogerson’s Padstow Heights home. He is escorted out in handcuffs and taken to Bankstown police station, where he is refused bail.

Bikie taskforce Echo raid Seabrook home in Melbourne’s west


 an hour ago

Bikie taskforce Echo police are currently executing warrants on a home in Melbourne’s west. Picture: Nicole Garmston

A SENIOR Mongol bikie has been arrested and a 3D printer seized during a raid in Melbourne’s west this morning.

Echo Taskforce detectives arrested two men and a woman, all with links to the Mongols OMCG, after raids in Seabrook and Oakleigh South earlier today.

A man arrested at the Seabrook property. Picture: Nicole Garmston

A woman is arrested during raids at the property. Picture: Nicole Garmston

Homes in Mintaro Way in Seabrook and Fleming Court in Oakleigh South were raided at 6am.

Ammunition, 3D printers, equipment for manufacturing firearms and a small amount of drugs were seized from the Seabrook property.

A 26-year-old Seabrook man and a 27-year-old Seabrook woman were arrested.

An allegedly stolen motorbike was seized from the Oakleigh South property and a 29-year-old man was arrested.

Middleton was bailed last month after he was arrested for drug and violence offences.

He was released with conditions a magistrate described as the “strictest she’s ever set”.

The 26-year-old’s partner Renee Comeadow was also arrested.

Evidence gathered in relation to bikies. Picture: Nicole Garmston

Police leave the scene with evidence. Picture: Nicole Garmston

Middleton was granted bail last month by magistrate Margaret Harding, who said he needed to be reunited with his family after five months on remand.

Ms Harding had wanted Middleton to hand in his bikie colours as a condition of bail, but backed away after she was told other bikies could threaten Middleton’s family because that was a “sign of disrespect”.

Police seized his Mongols vest this morning.

A police officer carrying a Mongols jacket leaves the scene. Picture: Nicole Garmston

Visitor outside the property. (black top)  Picture: Nicole Garmston

Middleton had told the magistrate he would not wear the club’s colours while on bail.

Other conditions included a $300,000 surety, daily reporting to police, a strict curfew, non association with witnesses and bikies.

Middleton, a father of a two-year-old, also promised to stay out of parts of Port Melbourne and Werribee as a condition of release.

Middleton and his partner Comeadow turned up at Sunshine Hospital at 8.15pm on November 1 last year after the OMCG member was shot in the knee.

Police arrived and searched Comeadow’s car where they allegedly found around 500 grams worth of ecstasy, a rubber gun grip and 4.2mm ammunition cartridges.

Middleton was charged with trafficking a commercial quantity of ecstasy and possession of ammunition.

Detective Senior Constable Andrew Broad, a member of the Echo Taskforce, told Melbourne Magistrates’ Court at the time that a search carried out at the couple’s home in Seabrook also resulted in officers finding a gun and a “substantial” amount of drugs.

Comeadow was charged with possessing a commercial quantity of ecstasy and storing ammunition after police searched her car at the hospital.

The search of the couple’s home allegedly uncovered a handgun and more drugs, the court heard.

Defence lawyer Sarah Pratt, representing Comeadow last year, said: “There is no allegation Ms Comeadow is in an OMCG.”

Police spokeswoman Melissa Seach said: “The warrant is part of an ongoing Echo Taskforce investigation in relation to perverting the course of justice.”

david.hurley@news.com.au

VISAS cancelled: Bikies protest at Federation Square

FEATURE: How we’re smashing outlaw bikie power

TARGETED: Outlaw bikie gangs feel heat

DRIVE-BY: Bikie war link to strip club shooting

SPECIAL: More outlaw bikie reports


 

Police Raids seize more than $1.5 million worth of prohibited drugs in Central Coast


Police raids net $1.5m in drugs across the Coast

May 26, 2016 12:54pm

 

MORE than $1.5 million worth of drugs has been seized including 30,000 ecstasy pills and 1.5 tonnes of precursor chemicals following a string of raids across the Central Coast and Sydney yesterday afternoon.

Four men — including one linked to the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang — will appear in court this morning while a woman, 34, of Woy Woy was granted conditional bail to appear at Gosford Local Court on June 21.

The sting, one of the biggest in recent memory on the Coast, recovered so much drugs and other contraband police ran out of evidence bags.


Police search a car opposite Point Clare train station on the Central Coast. Picture: NSW Police

Brisbane Water police established Strike Force Bamberry in December 2015 to investigate the manufacture and distribution of prohibited drugs across the Coast.

After ongoing investigations detectives yesterday conducted a number of searches on the Coast as well as properties in western Sydney and the North Shore where they seized a large quantity of prohibited drugs with an estimated potential street value of more than $1.5 million.

A storage unit on Bourke Rd at Waterloo was also searched with police locating 1.5 tonnes of precursor chemicals police believed was destined to be used in the large-scale manufacture of drugs.


the woman is escorted into the police station.

A woman arrested by Strike Force Bamberry

Brisbane Water police were assisted by other northern region general duties officers, along with the Tactical Operations Unit, Operations Support Group, Dog Unit, PolAir and Gordon Region Enforcement Squad.

The series of orchestrated raids began at 11am with a vehicle stop at Kariong where detectives arrested a 26-year-old who police will allege was a senior figure in the wholesale drugs supply on the Woy Woy Peninsula.

During a subsequent search of the vehicle, police located amounts of MDMA, MDA and cocaine — all of which was seized for further forensic examination.


One of the arrested men arrives at the police station.

One of the men arrested is taken in for questioning.

The man was later charged with seven offences including supplying large commercial quantity of prohibited drugs, supplying indictable quantity of prohibited drugs and knowingly participate in a criminal group.

Two 20-year-old men, both of Umina Beach, were arrested a short time later with one charged with eight offences including supplying a large commercial quantity of prohibited drug and participating in a criminal group.

The other man was charged with a total of 19 offences including supplying a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug and knowingly participate in a criminal group.


A third man is arrested.

A second man is arrested.

The men were all refused bail to appear before Gosford Local Court today.

Following the arrests, police executed 11 search warrants across the state’s Central Coast — including properties at Umina, Woy Woy, Horsfield Bay and Ettalong — as well as a number of Sydney properties at St Ives, Stanhope Gardens, Hornsby and St Clair.

They also conducted a search at a home in Pickett’s Valley, on the state’s Central Coast — in accordance with a Firearms Prohibition Order.

While executing the warrants, police located and seized amounts of MDMA, MDA, GHB, cocaine, cannabis, methylamphetamine or ‘ice’ and steroids — with a combined estimated potential street value of more than $1.5 million.

A number of further items were seized from the properties, including two vehicles and an extendable baton, which will undergo forensic examination.


Thousands of dollars in cash was also seized in Strike Force Bamberry. Picture: supplied.

Strike Force detectives also identified a storage unit on Bourke Road, Waterloo, during the operation where they executed another search warrant.

Officers will also allege they located Mongols OMCG jackets — during the Stanhope Gardens search warrant — that were stashed with some of the $125,000 in cash seized across the raids.

Another man, 21, of Umina Beach, was charged with 18 offences and is due to face Hornsby Local Court today.

A 34-year-old woman, of Woy Woy, was charged with five counts of supplying an indictable quantity of prohibited drug but was granted conditional bail to appear at Gosford Local Court on June 21.

Brisbane Water Superintendent Daniel Sullivan said the operation targeted alleged offenders who thought they were “untouchable”.

“Once we get information that you’re dealing drugs in our community we will be relentless, we will hunt you down and we will bring you before the court,” he said.


Some of the drugs seized. Picture: NSW Police

“Strike Force Bamberry detectives have been working incredibly hard for six months, all of which has culminated in yesterday’s search warrants and numerous arrests.

“It’s clear that those arrested during the operation were members of an elaborate syndicate that had been operating across the Central Coast peninsula for some time.”

Supt Sullivan also urged people to never underestimate the impact one anonymous call to Crime Stoppers could make.”

“Many people say, yeah, you’ve seized a large quantity of drugs, so what,” he said.

“Let’s think about this, there’s 7kg of MDMA equating to neary 30,000 pills, we all see the damage that these pills do particularly at dance concerts and on the weekends in our emergency hospitals across the state.

“That’s 30,000 kids that don’t have to play that game of Russian roulette with this poisonous substance that we’ve taken off our streets.”

Sources close to the strike force said those arrested allegedly represented the “top of the pyramid” with the blitz striking fear into a lot of “bottom feeder” dealers on the Peninsula.

“There will be a lot of drugs flushed into the sewerage system today,” one senior officer said.

Strike Force detectives are continuing their investigations.


Some of the seized cash.

The raids follow two searches at Morisset on Tuesday morning in which police seized 31 mature cannabis plants, 42 cannabis clones, 27 hydroponic lights and transformers, numerous carbon filters and fans, as well as an amount of cannabis leaf.

Police entered the two units at 9.20am on Kalaf Ave where they located three large and sophisticated hydroponic tents.

Each of the tents contained cannabis plants, lights, fans, transformers and ventilation ducting.

Police arrested a 39-year-old leaseholder at the location.

He was taken to Belmont police station where he was charged with possess prohibited drug, cultivate prohibited plant and alter or add to electricity installation for metering.

He was granted conditional bail to appear at Toronto Local Court on June 8.


 

Secret boardroom tapes that WILL sink Eels and scare the crap out of other clubs on the list


NRL Tonight reveals the secret tapes that sunk Parramatta Eels officials.

EXPLOSIVE meeting tapes show that several board members and senior management of the Parramatta Eels were actively aware of — and in some cases, actively participated in — an elaborate scheme to cheat the NRL’s salary cap over a period of at least two years between 2013 and 2015.

A copy of the NRL’s breach notice — exclusively revealed by The Daily Telegraph’s television partner Fox Sports — shows that members of the board even discussed whether “fraud” had taken place at the club in its thwarting of the salary cap.

The new material implicates the five Eels officials who have already been suspended for their roles in the Eels salary cap scandal: chairman Steve Sharp, CEO John Boulous, deputy chairman Tom Issa, director Peter Serrao and head of football Daniel Anderson.

Parramatta Eels chairman Steve Sharp avoids the media.

But it also threatens to snare other current members of the board, including former Parramatta MP Tanya Gadiel and fellow current Eels board member Andrew Cordwell.

At one point in a June 2015 board meeting, Gadiel discusses a third-party payment made by one firm to star former player Anthony Watmough, which was paid by the club to a third party through inflated invoices.

Sharp said the club was effectively paying the deal. “So she was going to increase her charges to us. So we are paying the third-party deal,” he said.

Gadiel says of the deal: “Sorry, that’s the f-word, that’s fraud isn’t it. That is fraud.”

The following exchange then takes place:

Sharp: It’s not fraud.

Gadiel (to Cordwell): What do you reckon?

Cordwell: It’s certainly fudging the figures, all right … we’re going out there … it’s a variation of how people breach the cap.

The explosive tapes — along with the boardroom minutes exposed by The Daily Telegraph in first uncovering the club’s conspiracy to cheat the cap that launched the NRL forensic investigation in March — confirm that the club knowingly lied in multiple declarations to the NRL that it was compliant with NRL salary cap rules.

In the club’s now infamous March 2014 board meeting, Boulous is discussed as the point of contact for ­directly sourcing third-party ­agreements. It is actively discussed for the club to directly source TPAs through a subsidiary called The Premiership Club.

TPAs are meant to be at arm’s length from the club and the board, but it is clear from the transcript of the tapes that senior officials are anything but arm’s length.

Parramatta Eels CEO John Boulous is heard clearly on the tapes.

Boulous talks at length about sourcing TPAs, and at one point remarkably says of references to The Premiership Club: “I think that should be taken out (of the minutes).”

Seward notes that the use of the club is “sailing as close to the wind as breaking the salary cap possibly can”.

Also in March 2014, Anderson talks of the importance of sourcing TPAs. Sharp’s reply is succinct: “We can get those. We’ve got to work hard to get those TPAs.”

In the June 2015 meeting, it is Issa who points to the enormity of the dodgy third-party deals when discussing a massive third-party payment to Anthony Watmough.

“Two years ago everyone came in and hit me and Steve (Sharp) up, and Daniel (Anderson), when Ricky Stuart left and we took over from (former chairman) Roy (Spagnolo),” Issa said.

Board member Tanya Gadiel appears to have also been caught in the scandal.

“The severity of those were so minimal compared to this that it’s ­absurd. There was fraudulent conduct conducted previously that we said no to. We said no to all the ones that were in that dirty laundry where you just turned around and said no.”

Shortly after, Cordwell is clearly agitated about the discussion, and asks to turn off the tape: “Can we turn off the recorder? Can we just turn it off? Is that possible? I just want to speak openly. Can you turn it off and suspend the meeting or something?”

Sharp replies: “It’s off, mate”

NRL: Nathan Peats talks to the press following the Parramatta Eels? move to sell him to the Gold Coast Titans

In a September 2015 board meeting, Serrao asks about the status of an internal inquiry by club internal investigator Rob Mulherin into “possible fraudulent conduct” and transactions involving third-party providers including Zibara Clothing, after warnings made internally by ­executives.

There is no suggestion Zibara has done anything wrong.

Sharp replies that he had spoken with Parramatta Leagues Club CEO Bevan Paul and club lawyer John de Mestre. “Their recommendation is we probably not proceed with digging up too many skeletons and all that sort of stuff.”

Gadiel backs the decision to bury the inquiry. “There’s got to be a point where we draw a line in the sand you know.”

Sharp replies: “Yes and it’s time now where we move forward and focus on our actions and view what we’ve done right and wrong, and move forward and forget about the past.”

Gadiel replies: “Yep.”


Transcripts reveal Parramatta Eels ‘slush fund’ to circumvent salary cap

May 16, 2016 – 11:21PM

Sports Writer

 

Former Eels chief executive Scott Seward.Former Eels chief executive Scott Seward. Photo: Getty Images

Parramatta’s so-called Premiership Club has been revealed in the transcripts of recorded board meetings to be a covert “slush fund” to provide third-party payments to Eels players.

The transcripts from the meetings, included in the NRL’s breach notice against the club and five officials and published by Fox Sports on Monday afternoon, show Parramatta executives and directors opening discussing the Eels’ TPA program over the past three years.

They identify the Premiership Club, a concept announced with fanfare in 2014 as a “premier business-networking group for western Sydney and beyond”, as a vehicle for the Eels to compete with rival teams in the third-party sphere and it demonstrates that officials appeared well aware the scheme was in breach of NRL rules.

After discussing the formation of the entity at a board meeting in February 2014 then chief executive Scott Seward describes John Boulous, then the Eels’ chief operating officer, as “the main point of contact” for the third-party payments system, explaining he and chairman Steve Sharp had to be distanced from it.

“Yeah, John will be the main point of contact, and importantly the reason for that is both Steve and myself are the one that have to sin the Stat Decs for the salary cap so it can’t be either of us, so John’s the right point of contact from a commercial perspective and that’s the way it will run,” Seward says.

Sharp then adds:  “I arranged a meeting today with a potential third party organisation so, we went around a bit, but at the end of the day we got to where we wanted to get to, they’ve come up with some ideas and some interest and I’m pretty confident we’ll get something out of this particular group and probably get some pretty strong leverage out of it.”

At the next month’s board meeting in March 2014 the desire to keep secret the functions of the Premiership Club, which was later shut down, is made clear. Boulous tells the meeting: “There’s a note … about the Premiership club in the minutes, I don’t know if it should really be in the minutes … I think that should be taken out.”

Seward replies:  “Yeah, we can talk about the Premiership club now. Do you mind if we have a look at that? Guys, we have to be really careful with this. You know, it’s sailing as close to the wind as breaking the salary cap possibly can. So I just think we need to be, we shouldn’t have anything in the board minutes about the Premiership club. Technically we should have nothing in writing about the Premiership club either, because the Premiership Club is not ours.

“It is a third party organisation. So we need to, you know, when we get contacts pass them on, and we’ll go and do the deal but — and we’ll obviously, communicate everything that is happening in that space, but we need to be so goddamn careful with this it’s not funny. This is not the Bulldogs and it’s not the Melbourne Storm stuff, but let’s not even get anywhere near that.”

Board members Tom Issa and Peter Serrao are then are involved in a discussion about whether the talk about third-party deals should be included in the minutes. “I don’t write the minutes,” Issa said, before Serrao adds: “They’re only draft minutes anyway.”

In another recording from March 2014 football manager Daniel Anderson tells the meeting the club of the need for third-party deals, saying: “You need a million. Seriously. Because the Bulldogs have got $2 million. The Roosters have got $2.5 million.”

Seward adds later in that transcript: that the system had been set up to appear at “pure arm’s length.” “There’s transactions between the business and the Club and there’s transactions between the Club and the players and player managers. That’s, that in effect is our ‘Slush Fund’, for want of a better word,” he said.

At a further meeting on June 25 2015 shortly after the exit of Seward, there is lengthy discussion about a third-party deal for the now-retired veteran second-rower Anthony Watmough with PJ Promotions, during which board member Tanya Gadiel says: “Sorry, that’s the f-word, that’s fraud isn’t it. That is fraud.”

Later, another director Andrew Cordwell says of the tape: “Can we turn off the recorder? Can we just turn it off? Is that possible? I just want to speak openly. Can you turn it off and suspend the meeting or something?

Sharp replies: “It’s off mate.”


Secret tapes sink Eels

2:09
Exclusive: Secret boardroom tapes that exposed Parramatta Eels salary cap scandal
THESE are extracts from the secret boardroom meeting tapes that led to the Parramatta Eels being docked 12 competition points for blatantly cheating the salary cap through $3 million worth of undisclosed third-party payments.

Fox Sports has obtained a copy of the NRL’s Breach Notice issued to the Parramatta Eels on May 3, which details the tape recordings.

The detailed transcripts expose how club powerbrokers schemed to establish a system dubbed the “Premiership Club” which was deliberately designed to secure secret “slush fund” third-party payments for players.

On the recordings, board member Tanya Gadiel talks about the f-word — “fraud” — while another board member Andrew Cordwell instructs the tape be switched off when the group is deep in discussion about Anthony Watmough and a dodgy third-party deal.

The tapes clearly show the three board members who the NRL has suspended — chairman Steve Sharp, deputy chairman Tom Issa and Peter Serrao — along with CEO John Boulous and general manager of football Daniel Anderson were abundantly aware of what was going on at the club.

REVEALED: SECRET LISTS THAT HELPED NRL CRACK THE SALARY CAP SCANDAL CASE

Sacked CEO Scott Seward and Boulous are identified as two of the primary architects of the scheme, while board members Gadiel and Cordwell appear to have dodged a bullet by the NRL refraining from stripping them of their credentials.

For Parramatta’s legion of blue and gold fans, the transcripts of the tapes will at least provide some clarity about who knew about why the Eels have been stripped on 12 competition points and fined $1 million by the NRL.

These are the transcripts that were produced by the NRL in chronological order.

Fox Sports has chosen not to publish names of players and agents from the transcripts, and marked those as “REDACTED”.

PARRAMATTA EELS BOARD ROOM RECORDING: 10 December 2013
SCOTT SEWARD (EX-CEO): We do need, and what we’ll do, is we’ll actually sit down and go through TPA’s as a whole. There’s a few different options. I’ve spoken to Todd Greenberg about the way that Canterbury, and the best options, I’ve spoken to Wayne Beavis to tell us how f$%^ed we are, um, and the like. But it is a case of sitting down and working out the best way we can do it. Because right now we’re batting this game with one arm tied behind our back. The Roosters have probably got $1.5m in TPA, and that’s fair, that’s the game. That’s the way it is.

JOHN BOULOUS (SUSPENDED CEO): Who owns TPA’s at the moment?

TOM ISSA (SUSPENDED DEPUTY CHAIRMAN): They gave it to Jamie (Hollebone, ex-GM corporate sales) initially.

SEWARD: Ken (Edwards, the ex-CEO) gave it to Jamie, Jamie didn’t know anything about it, he still doesn’t know anything about it, so that’s why we’ve got zero.

PETER SERRAO (SUSPENDED BOARD MEMBER): John, do you know much about it, the process?

BOULOUS: I’m learning about it, yeah, I understand the concept of it though.

SEWARD: There’s a few ways we can do it. The consequences are enormous if we stuff it up because it is what it is. It’s supposed to be arm’s length, it’s actually supposed to have nothing to do with us. So we’ve just got to make sure we do it the right way.

STEVE SHARP (SUSPENDED CHAIRMAN): Melbourne stuffed it up.

SEWARD: It’s important we do it right. (Player’s name REDACTED) is a massive concern.

ISSA: Only because he doesn’t honour the commitment that you make. Players think TPA is free money, they’ve actually got to do something.

SEWARD: The problem we’ve got, let’s use (REDACTED) as an example. There’s a contract done, it’s a hand written contract. It’s all handwritten, it says “TPA — please note we cannot guarantee this”, which is the correct way to do it. Problem is there’s a secondary letter, which says we will guarantee it. You can’t do that. You can’t do that.

SEWARD: The secondary letter has come from Ken (Edwards) So, but we’ve got to honour this stuff. I’ve seen the letter. I got shown — it was shoved in my face.

UNKNOWN: Look the Broncos have done it very well over the years, we’ve had, what is it, the Thoroughbred Club, we need to create something like that. I know we tried to ..

SEWARD: We’ve got that on the agenda right now, that’s part of what we’re doing. We’re waiting for Daniel (Anderson) obviously to get here, John (Boulous) has now had a couple of weeks — one of the suggestions to us is that we actually employ an external consultant and that’s what they do.

SEWARD: We get the Chairman’s club up and running or the Locker Club or whatever the hell we call it, it doesn’t actually matter, but we start to get a pool …

PARRAMATTA EELS BOARD ROOM RECORDING: February 14, 2014
SERRAO: TPA’s, you mentioned last time …

SEWARD: We’re now at a stage where we are discussing with people that are actually going to form the Committee for the Premiership Club that we’re looking at. Everything is working in the right space at this stage and the guys have had meetings with the potential external consultant who is going to come on and do that other side of the TPA’s as well, so we’re well in track and we’re actually now starting to ..

SERRAO: John (Boulous) is the central point of contact for that?

SEWARD: It’ll be John and Daniel (Anderson), obviously, Daniel … to use the Premiership Club for example, John gets it and Daniel will spend it.

SERRAO: Yeah, yeah, but he’s the main point of contact as we’ve got in the minutes here ..

SEWARD: Yeah, John will be the main point of contact, and importantly the reason for that is both Steve (Sharp) and myself are the one that have to sin the Stat Decs for the salary cap so it can’t be either of us, so John’s the right point of contact from a commercial perspective and that’s the way it will run.

SHARP: I arranged a meeting today with a potential Third Party organisation so, we went around a bit, but at the end of the day we got to where we wanted to get to, they’ve come up with some ideas and some interest and I’m pretty confident we’ll get something out of this particular group and probably get some pretty strong leverage out of it.

SEWARD: We’re starting to make some quite positive progress there.

SHARP: Have you made an arrangement with that other, um … Steven Moss (club benefactor)?

SEWARD: Yep.

SHARP: When’s that happening?

SEWARD: It will hopefully be Monday. I’m just waiting for Steven to come back to me with that. We’ve been backwards and forwards on email.

SHARP: So the one today looks positive and that sort of stuff, a large accounting firm, they’re in the promotions game as well, so that’s where we can leverage off for the use of our Players and that.

PARRAMATTA EELS BOARD ROOM RECORDING: March 2014

BOULOUS: There’s a note … about the Premiership club in the minutes, I don’t know if it should really be in the minutes … I think that should be taken out.

SEWARD: Yeah, we can talk about the Premiership club now. Do you mind if we have a look at that? Guys, we have to be really careful with this. You know, it’s sailing as close to the wind as breaking the salary cap possibly can. So I just think we need to be, we shouldn’t have anything in the board minutes about the Premiership club.

SEWARD: Technically we should have nothing in writing about the Premiership club either, because the Premiership Club is not ours. It is a third party organisation. So we need to, you know, when we get contacts pass them on, and we’ll go and do the deal but — and we’ll obviously, communicate everything that is happening in that space, but we need to be so goddamn careful with this it’s not funny. This is not the Bulldogs and it’s not the Melbourne Storm stuff, but let’s not even get anywhere near that. This is a pure, third party organisation that is separate and independent and is at true arm’s length of our business so we shouldn’t be discussing it.

BOULOUS: In relation to the distribution of funds so I don’t think that should …

ISSA: I don’t write the minutes.

BELL: Just not typing anything now. (Laughter).

BELL: It’s in the last minutes.

SEWARD: It’s even, it’s things like don’t send me an email that says anything about Premiership Club, to be honest though, that’s all I’m, you know — just the contacts.

SERRAO: They’re only draft minutes anyway.

BOULOUS: Yeah, I was just saying that they shouldn’t be …

SEWARD: We’re probably being overly cautious on it.

ISSA: We need to be.

SEWARD: Correct. Because this is how we can fix next year. And the year after.

BOARD ROOM RECORDING: 26 March 2014

DANIEL ANDERSON (SUSPENDED GM OF FOOTBALL): (Three players’ names REDACTED) they’re all on our books. And it’s crippling to our salary cap and our strategic direction of your club. So at the end of 2015, we need to — we’ve got a lot of good young kids but they’re going to be so expensive we won’t have them in three years. So (player’s name REDACTED) because of his contract style, we might only have him for two or three years, unless we’ve got assistance: TPA’s. That’s it, so he’ll be a $300,000 winger within two years.

SHARP: We can get those. We’ve got to work hard to get those TPA’s, but we have to clean up that salary cap as well in the next two or three years.

ANDERSON: Well, we do — we can be hard on it, we can assist, and the way to do it is for (player’s name REDACTED) deal is you get a TPA now for him, in which case next year, whatever the TPA is that we can afford now, it’s off the salary cap in 2015, in his deal. So he gets paid this year in the TPA for next year’s contract figure, but we have already got some TPA components that we — so, um, yeah, the Premiership Club, the TPA’s is the absolute key, but you need …

SHARP: You need 30 of ’em …

ANDERSON: You need a million. Seriously. Because the Bulldogs have got $2 million. The Roosters have got $2.5 million.

SEWARD: See that’s the thing, we’re not talking about going and getting $500,000 here. We actually need to be getting …

BOULOUS: Millions.

SEWARD: Millions. But we do, because it’s the only way we can clean it up.

ANDERSON: We’ve done really well this year. I guarantee you.

SHARP: But where it bites into you is that generally a lot of that money comes from what would have been revenue for your corporate side of things.

SEWARD: Correct.

ANDERSON: It’s, look, done a fantastic job already. I mean, even just like — JB will be able to say — like the people that we’re talking to and getting a lot of information to do it properly, and I’m there going personally going “in six to eight weeks”, ‘cause the trigger’s going to hit in 10 weeks for a lot of them, so we need to contract (Two players’ names REDACTED), all these blokes — we need to contract them in the next 10 weeks and extend their deals so that next year’s deal is not the trigger deal, the accelerator. (Player’s name REDACTED), for instance. You know, he’s going to be on the cap at $260-$270K he’ll be on the cap next year, in about four weeks’ time. We might be too late on him, but we’re trying to. a lot of very good work but it’s very hard to set up fast, ‘cause you can’t do it wrong. It’s got to be sustainable.

SEWARD: And that’s everything that we’re trying to make sure — the key that we’ve done with setting up the TPA program and the Premiership Club, it actually is regardless of any of us …

SHARP: Doesn’t help when the previous people arrange it and then don’t pay.

ISSA: I don’t know how TPAs work without a relationship, and I beg to differ with anybody who tells me differently, but 9 times out of 10 all TPAs work by association of somebody.

SEWARD: You’re right, I’m not saying you’re wrong, but what it is that it needs to be built in that the business still has to be getting some form of benefits as well, and the problem is all of our TPAs have been mates giving a player cash to help someone out. And then when the player doesn’t turn up and do anything because he doesn’t think he’s entitled to, Jack Iori, is a prime example.

SEWARD: Three years the player doesn’t turn up. We make sure the players are responsible so yes there’s got to be the relationship, but there’s also got to be the outcome as well. And if there’s no outcome and we don’t service these guys properly then walk away. You know, Ray Itouli … I can’t remember … Itouli from Sanity was the same thing. We got him back this year but he walked away because he didn’t get his corporate hospitality and he didn’t get his carpark and that was $50,000.

UNKNOWN: So who’s been designated to look after TPAs?

SEWARD: John.

UNKNOWN: So you’re the contact, John?

BOULOUS: Yeah, for …

SEWARD: Then we’ve got, when we set up the Club properly which is at, you know, pure arm’s length. There’s transactions between the business and the Club and there’s transactions between the Club and the players and player managers. That’s, that in effect is our “Slush Fund”, for want of a better word. The proper TPAs we’ve actually got an outsource company going out and selling Player’s marketable images which is actually what they want, there’s two separate things, you know. That’s a marketing opportunity and a brand for a Player, that when we need to tap into $50,000 or $100,000.

UNKNOWN: Yep. So are we using that consulting company you were talking about?

SEWARD: Yeah, John met with another guy the other week, so there’s … we’re also not going to limit — there doesn’t have to be a limit on one, you can actually do it, cut — you know Pierce (unclear) are doing it for us, and we’ve got some work going on in events — there’s plenty of people who can do it, we don’t have to limit it to one company, so … it’s coming.

ANDERSON: But it will have to come in a month and it’s really significant, very encouraging, in a month. But the reality of it is, and I agree with Brad, I want to set up a good team, but if we keep (player’s name REDACTED), I’ve had (player’s name REDACTED) thrown at me from Penrith, he’s the big beast who can put the damage on, and if we keep (player’s name REDACTED) it’s very difficult for us to get (player’s name REDACTED) because no one will buy (player’s name REDACTED) at all, so we don’t get to use him and we’ll have to pay a slab of next year.

PARRAMATTA EELS BOARD ROOM RECORDING: 25 June 2015

BOULOUS: I just wanted to discuss one implication of the Tracy (McKelligott, a PR professional) deal which is, many may know and I’ve only just found out myself. She’s got an agreement with Scott (Seward), for four years that she’s a third party sponsor of (player’s name REDACTED). That has been signed off on by the club.

ANDERSON: Is that what she is getting $150K for?

BOULOUS: No, this is going to be in addition to $150K.

ANDREW CORDWELL (CURRENT BOARD MEMBER): Sorry, say that again.

TANYA GADIEL (CURRENT BOARD MEMBER): She gets paid $150,000 but what does she do, she pays something back.

BOULOUS: She gets paid the $150K, $50K for (INAUDIBLE) and that’s OK, that fills that $50 grand that we had budgeted for marketing co-ordinator, she gets $100K, basically, a $8.5K per month to undertake strategy and marketing brand approval. She’s in the office 1-2 days a week and she’s on call the rest of the time based in Newcastle.

GADIEL: Who does she work with, predominantly?

BOULOUS: Predominantly with Josh (Drayton), and Scott (Seward). Used to be in between them. Basically she does the marketing stuff with Josh, and Scott, she always used to say she was doing strategic projects with Scott. I never knew what they worked on.

CORDWELL: So what you’re saying is she does a third-party agreement.

BOULOUS: Yes.

BOULOUS: That’s $50K a year for four years. She came to me, Monday morning, when I returned from Melbourne and said I’ve got a paper here of the correspondence from Scott which has text messages in it, which has a lot of information and then her correspondence with (agent’s name REDACTED) to execute the deal.

SHARP: Why (agent’s name REDACTED)?

ALL: Because he’s (player’s name REDACTED) agent.

BOULOUS: So basically, Scott provided a letter to (agent’s name REDACTED), introducing Tracy, of which they did the deal.

ISSA: So have they done the deal?

BOULOUS: Yes.

BOULOUS: So Tracy came straight in on Monday morning saying I’m exposed, because I was planning on getting this money through the organisation. Scott had the intention of paying.

ANDERSON: But was he going to give it to her extra than the $150, that’s the question.

CORDWELL: So he was going to give her $200 and $50 …

SHARP: So she was going to increase her charges to us. so we are paying the third party deal.

BOULOUS: And it’s done through a company PJ Promotions.

GADIEL: Sorry, that’s the f-word, that’s fraud isn’t it. That is fraud.

SHARP: It’s not fraud.

GADIEL: What do you reckon?

CORDWELL: It’s certainly fudging the figures, all right … where going out there … it’s a variation of how people breach the cap.

SHARP: It’s not an unknown practice in rugby league clubs to do that. But it’s something we would want to shy away from.

GADIEL: This is exactly what I mean if the NRL want to do something bloody useful, they need to get off their arses and get into this stuff.

BOULOUS: So the challenge is …

GADIEL: Do you want me to do another press release? (Laughter)

CORDWELL: I assume there are a number of these sorts of deals.

BOULOUS: Yeah there are a few to come yet. The challenges are do you turn around and get rid of her straight away and what happens to the deal? I assume she hasn’t got the money to pay, she’s exposed.

ISSA: How is she exposed?

GADIEL: Because she’s got a contract that says she’s got to pay $200K a year.

ISSA: Do we know … and Daniel will know this one … do we know that it is registered with the NRL?

(INAUDIBLE)

BOULOUS: So what I’m asking for is, if we go back and say, no I know you’ve said you’ve seen some paper tail, but I need to see from the NRL, is there a legitimate third party agreement between PJ Promotions and the NRL. That’s our first question.

ANDERSON: I do think we are exposing ourselves if there isn’t one.

BOULOUS: If there isn’t one.

SERRAO: We don’t identify that one. Could you provide us with a list of all the third party agreements.

ALL: Yep OK, good.

CORDWELL: If we can have that for our meeting this afternoon then the NRL can give us that. I think it’s pretty simple.

GADIEL: And they’re of course going to ask us why we don’t have that.

CORDWELL: We’re just asking for the third parties to make sure because we’ve lost our CEO.

SHARP: If the third party deals are supposed to work. We’re an introduction agency and that’s it. We step away from it then and there. It’s not our responsibility, it’s best interests whether they work out to $40K or $50K or whatever and registered with the NRL.

BOULOUS: So what you’re saying is we’re just making sure we’ve got all the information there as Scott’s left.

ISSA: Once we’ve got that then I think we can reassess Tracy’s position. I still think that we are going to have to deal with it, we can’t turn and do anything but expose her if that’s what it is.

SHARP: If not registered we can replace the third party deal with another one.

ISSA: Correct, yes and that’s what we’re hoping for. So if it’s not registered, then we look to find a legitimate third party deal for (player’s name REDACTED) where he will get his $50K or best endeavours. Now, have we got the correspondence for (player’s name REDACTED) third parties? Do we know what the third party total value is?

BOULOUS: I believe it to be $200K a year for (player’s name REDACTED) third party, that’s based on a discussion with (agent’s name REDACTED) on Friday, he didn’t mention this one, but I’ve seen the paper work and correspondence between them, I know there’s $75K through Black Citrus, and he also mentioned, I don’t know if he ended up speaking to you given the week I said speak to Daniel, about E-Group Security. He said I believe it’s with E-Group Security and it’s for about $65-70K he was going off memory. He had to think about it which probably explains the E-Group invoice.

ISSA: So if you talk about fraud, you talk about deception or we can talk about immoral conduct or whatever it is, when we sat down and discussed individual agreements for individual players, (player’s name REDACTED) to our level has always clearly known there is a $75K third party agreement. How it’s become $200K is beyond me. And as I’ve got documentation from meetings with Scott where we went through and said ‘mate, where are we exposed, who do we need to get to, how do we get legitimate third party agreements and never ever once was there a conversation, and no doubt you two gentlemen were sat in the same.

ANDERSON: We’ve had a dozen meetings and never knew about the deal with …

GADIEL: Yeah, that’s the other thing we’ve got to be careful of, who tries it on? The player managers … everything.

ISSA: Two years ago everyone came in and hit me and Steve up, and Daniel, when Ricky Stuart left and we took over from Roy. The severity of those were so minimal compared to this that it’s absurd. We had people telling us that we owed blokes like (player’s name REDACTED) or (player’s name REDACTED) or whoever it was $10K or $20K or $30K. Minimal where we could turn around to them and say to a legitimate business do you want the IP address of this player and if you do, it’s going to cost you $30K and we’re going to do a registered TPA. And blokes turned around and said yep I’ve got a business, I’d love this kid to come to my kid’s birthday party, I’d love this guy to do dinner with us, I’ll register a third party, here’s 25K (player’s name REDACTED) you’re done, (player’s name REDACTED) you’re done. How Scott’s done $200K plus a four year deal is beyond belief. But it’s just astonishing and I just don’t know what, how we get out of it, and do (player’s name REDACTED) at $150. They came out in the papers yesterday and said Will Hopoate is owed $150,000 or whatever it is. There was fraudulent conduct conducted previously that we said no to. We said no to Eddie Obeid Junior, we said no to all the ones that were in that dirty laundry where you just turned around and said no. What possessed him to go behind our backs and do it …

GADIEL: Maybe it had something to do with his mentor.

CORDWELL: Can we turn off the recorder? Can we just turn it off? Is that possible? I just want to speak openly. Can you turn it off and suspend the meeting or something?

SHARP: It’s off mate.

PARRAMATTA EELS BOARD ROOM RECORDING: 26 August 2015

GEOFF GERRARD (CURRENT BOARD MEMBER): This was set up to get the high end of town in here, to tap them on the shoulder about third parties, you mentioned last time, Tom (Issa), that we may get one or two. Have we got any?

PARRAMATTA EELS BOARD ROOM RECORDING: 17 September 2015

SERRAO: Can I ask in point 1.5, is there much been happening with Rob Mulherin, and looking into a few things there? Especially he said he was going to look at Irvy’s (Jason Irvine, former Eels football manager) phone.

SHARP: Yeah I’ve done a bit of chase up on that mate to try and find out. I’ve spoken with Bevan (Paul, Parramatta Leagues club CEO) and with (club lawyer, John) de Mestre and that sort of stuff. Their recommendation is that we probably not proceed with digging up too many skeletons and all that sort of stuff, on some of the stuff we were looking at, and the view is just let sleeping dogs lie and we keep moving on.

GADIEL: There’s got to be a point of this where we draw a line in the sand you know.

SHARP: Yes and it’s time now where we move forward and focus on our actions and view what we’ve done right and wrong and move forward and forget about the past.

GADIEL: Yep ….

PARRAMATTA EELS BOARD ROOM RECORDING: 17 SEPTEMBER 2015

PAUL GARRARD (CURRENT BOARD MEMBER): I don’t why we are not doing the other thing that we spoke about because we had a discussion in Darwin about it and everyone was committed to doing it and now you are telling me you’re not doing it.

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