Australian criminals and their Crimes. Con artists, scum bags, murderers, corrupt cops, pollies, rapists and paedophiles will find themselves in this blog. It was expanded to also cover those that ought to be charged for their idiotic disgusting behaviour. Usually high-profile people who think they are above the law
Category Archives: High Profile Criminals
Will take you to the pages dedicated to Australia’s high profile criminals
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.
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.
One of the bikies arrested in the raids today is senior Mongol Shane Middleton.
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.
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.
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.”
MOMENTS before shots rang out at a Bankstown shopping centre this morning, a man rushed into a shop inside screaming, “There’s not enough f***ing time”.
Standover man and convicted killer Walid “Wally” Ahmad was shot dead and two others were injured at the centre when an unknown person opened fire inside Bankstown Central, in Sydney’s southwest, just before noon.
Police are now hunting two people over the attack, a man who opened fire and another who drove a getaway car.
A 32-year-old woman, believed to be friends with Ahmad, is recovering in hospital alongside Ahmad’s bodyguard, a 53-year-old man.
A woman working in a cosmetics store inside the centre told news.com.au that a man and a woman rushed into the shop moments before the shooting.
“Where’s store security? Where’s store security? Can you call them?” the distressed woman said.
She banged her hand on the counter, saying “call them, call them!”
But the man said: “There’s not enough f***ing time.”
The pair then ran towards an escalator, which leads to the third-level gym, cafe and carpark, where the shooting occurred.
It is not known who the people were or if they were hurt in the shooting.
‘IT’S CLEARLY TARGETED’
Bankstown police commander Detective Superintendent David Eardley confirmed a 40-year-old man is dead and two others were injured in the shooting.
Police believe the gunman did not act alone and a burnt-out white Mercedes connected to the crime has been found in Greenacre.
While police have not confirmed the identity of the victim, he said police would also be looking at the connection with another shooting at Condell Park earlier this month.
“It’s clearly targeted; this is not a random shooting,” Det Supt Eardley said.
“People need to understand and feel safe to go about the streets and their daily lives.”
He also urged those connected to the crime not to take matters into their own hands.
“Leave it to us to investigate … there is no need to resort to any activity that would jeopardise themselves or others.”
‘COME GET ME! HE’S DEAD!’
The niece of the victim Walid “Wally” Ahmad told news.com.au: “It’s my uncle. He’s the victim.”
The woman was at a family gathering at a home nearby when she received a phone call that her uncle had been shot.
She said she received a panicked call from Ahmad’s daughter, her cousin, as she raced to the Bankstown Central shopping centre.
“She said, ‘Come get me! He’s dead! He’s dead!’” the shocked niece told news.com.au
“I need to get to her. She’s all by herself, she’s alone.”
When asked who may have targeted Ahmad, the niece said: “I don’t know. The most important thing is finding my cousin.”
Later, news.com.au witnessed the niece and the daughter hug as they were reunited.
The shopping centre’s management ushered family members to a nearby coffee house, where more than a dozen police officers were gathered.
An elderly woman, believed to be the mother of the victim, was seen slumped in a wheelchair, quivering, with her hands covering her face.
The family were agitated as they left the area, demanding that no pictures be taken.
Today’s shooting took place at a major shopping centre, formerly known as Bankstown Centro, on the corner of Stacey St and Rickard Rd, in Sydney’s southwest.
Witnesses told news.com.au that the shooting happened in the centre carpark outside Michael’s Coffee House, near Crunch Fitness gym and Rebel Sports store.
People who parked close to the scene have been told by police they could not move their cars, and some have resorted to taking the bus home.
Early reports said a man aged about 40 went into cardiac arrest. The body is believed to still be at the scene.
It is understood two people have been detained at the scene, including an unidentified, handcuffed man pictured. Police told news.com.au that nobody had been formally arrested.
A Bankstown resident working at the shopping centre, who asked not to be named, told AAP that “police arrested the wrong people to start with”.
He said a Mercedes was stopped and searched by police on the corner of Jacobs St and Rickard Rd, but police failed to find a weapon.
“It happened in front of us,” he said. “They handcuffed the wrong person.” He said police found the right car, a black four-wheel drive, at the rooftop car park near the gym.
Police have warned drivers to avoid the area around the centre because of traffic delays.
“There were a couple of screams and you just wondered if they were kids or something,” Mr Davis said.
“It was surreal really.
“I suppose I’m feeling really fortunate that I wasn’t there (at the tome of the escalator).”
The victim is a known standover man with a previous manslaughter conviction.
Officers were called to the shopping centre about 11.50am after reports of a shooting. There were unconfirmed reports of eight shots being fired in the carpark.
A witness having coffee outside a nearby cafe said she heard the commotion and everybody got up and started walking away.
A Channel 7 video shows one of the victims being asked whether he was OK as he was being wheeled away on a stretcher.
When asked what happened, the victim said: “Firework”.
The previous shooting at the smash repair business left one man, Safwan Charbaji, 32, dead with gunshot wound to the chest. Another, Abdullah El Masri, 35, was left in a critical condition after being shot in the face. He remains in an induced coma.
The shooting happened on the afternoon of April 9 in Condell Park, a suburb of Bankstown.
Witnesses reported hearing an argument before a number of shots were fired.
At the time, authorities said the men were known to police.
“We believe that the people did know each other,” a police spokesman told media on Saturday, adding that it was unclear whether the men were shot by a third party.
“It’s quite possible that a meeting has taken place.”
A local shop worker told news.com.au Ahmad was one of her “favourite customers.”
“When I had first met Walid he had recently been out of jail,” she said.
“But he was always a sweet man, had brought in his little girl and his wife a few times.
“Could never say no to the lollies she’d want to buy.
“Anyway I understand people are different, but I only had an employee-customer relationship with him.
“I’m sure his wife is very heartbroken though.”
At least six ambulances and a dozen police cars were at the scene and television footage showed paramedics putting a man on a stretcher.
Police said they arrived to find two men and a woman injured; one of the men died at the scene.
A crime scene has been established, which will be examined by detectives and forensic specialists.
The shopping centre car park has been closed as a precaution.
Anyone with information that could assist police is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
IT WAS a crime of greed, maybe even one of revenge.
But it was one that was planned for months and pulled off so meticulously, nobody was ever convicted.
The Great Bookie Robbery is one of Australia’s most notorious crimes, where six bandits filled totes with millions of dollars in just minutes. It was even the basis for a 1986 television miniseries.
Still nobody knows what happened. The money was never found and the thieves either disappeared or were killed.
The closest this crime got to being solved was the arrest of bandit Norman Lee, the only gang member to face court over the robbery — but he was acquitted.
It’s been 40 years since the brazen crime and Lee’s solicitor at the time, defence barrister Philip Dunn, QC, reveals what he knows, what questions still remain and his sneaking regard for their bold heist.
It was autumn in Melbourne, April 1976. The city was no doubt windy and cold with amber leaves cluttering the gutters.
Six men gathered a couple of weeks before Easter and plotted to steal from bookies who were sorting money to give to punters.
“The men who executed it were not only experts in their particular trades, but brave and bold in what they did,” Mr Dunn said.
It was in the days when bookmakers did all their business in cash at the Victoria Club on Queen Street. Bookies would secure their money on the third floor of the Victoria Club before it was picked up by the National Bank. It was a prime opportunity to steal.
In the weeks prior to the robbery, one of the bandits bypassed the club’s security system and removed a number of bolts from the fire escape access door.
He cut them in half and lightly glued them back together, so the bandits could just push the door to gain entry to the building later on.
Six weeks prior to the robbery, they tampered with the elevators so they would continuously jam and get stuck between floors.
Nobody would be able to go up or down the lift while these men committed their third-floor robbery.
It was April 21, the day they finally pulled off the heist.
They hid while waiting for the Armaguard truck to deliver the cash to the building.
“The truck actually got a flat tyre on the way and they were 15 minutes late,” Mr Dunn said. “The bandits were actually very bold and brave because they were waiting, ready to go, and the truck didn’t come.”
Once the money was delivered, the bandits stormed the building. They were masked and some were armed with M60 machine-guns.
A scene from a TV miniseries based on the robbery.Source:Supplied
“They made a lot of noise and made people lie on the floor, there were more than 100 people in the building when they raided it,” Mr Dunn said.
“There was little conversation but there was one thing said that gave people a clue about who they were.”
Among the hostages was prize fighter Ambrose Palmer and while the bandits were yelling at everybody to get down, one turned to Palmer and said “that means you Ambrose”.
“That meant the bandit was either from Melbourne or he was a person who went to the fights,” Mr Dunn said.
In less than 10 minutes they had escaped with millions of dollars.
The exact amount stolen was never known, but it has been said it could have been as much as $15 million.
Lee was the only person arrested after he used new bank notes that had only been delivered to the bookie club.
In the end, however, there wasn’t enough evidence and police could not prove a link between the robbery and the fact Lee was in possession of the notes.
“It didn’t mean he did it, it just meant he had the money,” Mr Dunn said. “He was pretty bold, when police went to the dim sim factory where he worked they wanted to look at the safe but he refused.
“The police got a safe cracker and cut it open and when they opened it nothing was inside. He was just one of those blokes who didn’t want to help.”
Police display guns used in the robbery at Victorian Club, Queen Street.Source:News Limited
Nobody quite knows how the gang, Raymond “Chuck” Bennett,Norman Lee, Ian Carroll, Laurence Prendergast and Brian and Leslie Kane, smuggled the money out of the Victoria Club.
Mr Dunn said he heard two stories about what happened to the millions.
“One is that money was removed in a laundry van,” he said. “The other, I heard they actually rented another office in the building and moved the money upstairs and left it there for several weeks, but who knows? They were smart guys.”
Despite defending Lee during his court case, Mr Dunn said he was airtight about what happened.
“Norman Lee wouldn’t have told a priest in confession what happened,” he said. “That’s how it was in those days.”
Lee’s parents made dim sims and spring rolls and there was a rumour among those in the underworld that several people who went missing, were put through Lee’s dim sim machine and later eaten by those who attended the footy.
“That’s part of the rumour mill in Melbourne’s underworld,” Mr Dunn said.
Over the years there have also been many rumours about what the gang did with the money they stole.
“Some said a couple of bandits went to Manila and opened up some bars there,” he said. “Others believed some of the money was wisely invested.”
Norman Leung Lee, a member of the gang who committed the Great Bookie Robbery. Picture: Kaine Pinder Source:News Limited
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Lee was shot dead in another brazen robbery at Tullamarine airport in Melbourne in 1992.
He was trying to intercept millions of dollars being transported. He was killed by police during a shootout.
Leslie was allegedly killed in 1978 by Bennett, the mastermind behind the Great Bookie Robbery. Bennett was accused, but later acquitted.
Bennett was then believed to have been shot by Leslie’s brother Brian — the other Kane bandit involved in the bookie robbery — in 1979 outside a Melbourne courthouse.
Brian was shot by two masked men while at his local drinking spot, the Quarry Hotel, in 1982. Carroll was also shot dead in 1983.
Nobody knows what happened to Prendergast, he went missing in 1985 and has never been found.
“He could be an old man now sitting in front of a radiator in winter having chicken soup,” Mr Dunn said. “There are few people who can reminisce about the good old days.”
Ian Carroll, believed to have taken part in the Great Bookie Robbery, was murdered in 1983.Source:News Limited
Brian Kane was shot dead by two masked men at the Quarry Hotel.Source:News Limited
‘THEY PLANNED IT LIKE A HEIST MOVIE’
“Those were the days when crime was crime,” Mr Dunn said. “They were bandits and not drug addicts.”
As an older criminal barrister, Mr Dunn said he looked at those days and in a funny way, had a sneaking regard for those old-fashioned villains who didn’t just rely on drugs or guns.
“They plotted and planned their activity like a heist movie.”
Being one of the most notorious crimes in Australia’s history, Mr Dunn said nobody had come close to pulling off something of the same scale. But he said it was a lot harder to catch crims back then.
“In those days the underworld had a code of silence,” he said. “These days, drug addicts will snitch on one another as soon as a policeman says boo.
“Law enforcement also uses a variety of modern technology now to track people’s movements and find out what they are doing. That was never possible 40 years ago.”
Despite being Lee’s solicitor, Mr Dunn said he doesn’t really remember him as a person.
“I remember him as an old-fashioned crim who wouldn’t betray anybody and wouldn’t say much of anything to anybody and lived in code of the underworld as it then was,” he said.
Defence Barrister Philip Dunn, QC, represented Norman Lee during the Great Bookie Robbery trial. Picture: Rob Baird Source:News Limited
It is wake up time people. Have the media laws kept you just that little bit away from the slaughter, the suicide bombings and massacre of innocent folks going about their day?
WELL… BE WARNED I AM POSTING AN EXTREMELY DISTURBING IMAGE OF THE CONCERT HALL BECAUSE I CAN! I hope the BEST bands in the WORLD have the guts to play in this hall and not for rich celeb types either. Maybe the orphans and widows etc???
HOW ABOUT A QUICK COFFEE AND CAKE? see that a bit further down…THE AMAZING thing is folks are queuing up to have a coffee there since it happened.
FRANCE ONE DAY YOUR PLACE NEXT. GOING TO LISTEN TO SOME MUSIC AND CHILL OUT FROM THE CRAZY WORLD AROUND THEM. THIS IS HOW THE ENDED UP AFTER GOING TO SEE Eagles of Death Metal (Who need support from every corner of the world)
French police seized “an arsenal” of weapons during dozens of pre-dawn raids against Islamist suspects in the early hours of Monday (local time), as prime minister Manuel Valls warned terrorists were planning more attacks in the wake of Friday night’s atrocities in Paris.
The raids focused particularly on the Lyon area, where police made five arrests and seized a rocket launcher, a Kalashnikov assault rifle, bulletproof vests and handguns.
Mr Valls said authorities have conducted at least 150 house searches in cities around France since the attacks.
Earlier reports had said pre-dawn police operations were carried out in the Paris suburb of Bobigny as well as in Jeumont, close to the French border with Belgium, and in the southern city of Toulouse.
Thirteen raids were carried out around the south-eastern French city of Lyon, a local police source said.
They led to five arrests and the seizure of “an arsenal of weapons”, including a rocket launcher, a Kalashnikov assault rifle, bulletproof vests, handguns and combat gear, the source said.
French media have reported at least six people were arrested in another raid in the Alpine city of Grenoble.
Mr Valls said terrorism could hit again in “in days or weeks to come” and said the attacks in Paris, which killed 129 people, were “planned in Syria”.
He said French intelligence services had prevented several attacks since the summer and police knew other attacks were being prepared in France as well as in the rest of Europe.
“We are making use of the legal framework of the state of emergency to question people who are part of the radical jihadist movement … and all those who advocate hate of the republic,” he said.
“We know that operations were being prepared and are still being prepared, not only against France but other European countries too.”
On Sunday night (local time) French jets launched extensive air strikes on what the government in Paris said were Islamic State targets in the terrorist movement’s stronghold Raqqa.
The attack on the 1,500-seat Bataclan hall was by far the deadliest of Friday night’s attacks. Gunmen opened fire on concert-goers watching US rock group Eagles of Death Metal. The event had been sold out.
“At first we thought it was part of the show but we quickly understood,” Pierre Janaszak, a radio presenter, told Agence France Presse.
“They didn’t stop firing. There was blood everywhere, corpses everywhere. We heard screaming. Everyone was trying to flee.”
He said the gunmen took 20 hostages, and he heard one of them tell their captives: “It’s the fault of Hollande, it’s the fault of your president, he should not have intervened in Syria”.
Within an hour, security forces had stormed the concert hall and all four attackers there were dead. Three had blown themselves up and a fourth was shot dead by police.
La Belle Equipe, 92 rue de Charonne, 11th district – at least 19 dead in gun attacks
Meanwhile, not far from the Place de la Republique and the Place de la Bastille, three busy restaurants and a bar were targeted by gunmen armed with Kalashnikovs.
Around 40 people were killed as customers were singled out at venues including a pizza restaurant and a Cambodian restaurant, Le Petit Cambodge.
“We heard the sound of guns, 30-second bursts. It was endless. We thought it was fireworks,” Pierre Montfort, a resident living close to Le Petit Cambodge said.
The other target was the Stade de France, on the northern fringe of Paris, where President Hollande and 80,000 other spectators were watching a friendly international between France and Germany, with a TV audience of millions more.
The president was whisked to safety after the first of at least two explosions just outside the venue to convene an emergency cabinet meeting. Three attackers were reportedly killed there.
As the extent of the bloodshed became clear, Mr Hollande went on national TV to announce a state of emergency for the first time in France since 2005. The decree enables the authorities to close public places and impose curfews and restrictions on the movement of traffic and people.
Paris residents have been asked to stay indoors and about 1,500 military personnel are being deployed across the city.
All schools, museums, libraries, gyms, swimming pools and markets will be shut on Saturday as well as Disneyland Paris. All sporting fixtures in the affected area of Paris have also been cancelled, AFP reports.
Police believe all of the gunmen are dead – seven killed themselves with explosives vests and one was shot dead by the security forces – but it is unclear if any accomplices are still on the run.
US President Barack Obama spoke of “an outrageous attempt to terrorise innocent civilians”.
The Vatican called it “an attack on peace for all humanity” and said “a decisive, supportive response” was needed “on the part of all of us as we counter the spread of homicidal hatred in all its forms”.
Analysis: BBC’s Europe correspondent Damian Grammaticas
It’s just 10 months since Paris was the scene of multiple terrorist attacks, first the massacre of staff at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and then a hostage-taking at a Jewish supermarket.
What happened in Paris on Friday night is exactly what Europe’s security services have long feared, and tried to foil. Simultaneous, rolling attacks, with automatic weapons and suicide bombers in the heart of a major European city, targeting multiple, crowded public locations.
The tactics have been used before, in Mumbai and elsewhere. But how they’ve come to Europe is one of many questions that will have to be answered.
Were the attackers French citizens? If so, how they were radicalised, armed and organised – was it in France, in Syria, and by whom? Why weren’t they detected? Is France, after two major attacks this year, uniquely vulnerable or does the carnage in Paris mean all of Europe faces new threats to our public places and events? And if a Syrian link is proven, will France recoil from that conflict or will it redouble its commitment to the fight against radical groups there?
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A security expert says it is “extremely unlikely” that the eight men who carried out the Paris attacks could have done so without military training in Iraq or Syria.
The latest reports out of France suggest there were three teams involved in the weekend’s attacks that left 129 people dead.
Neil Fergus, the chief executive of the security consultancy Intelligent Risk Group, said it appeared the terrorists had a significant support team.
“There’s no doubt that they… certainly had accomplices that had done reconnoitring of those sites, and that means they had logisticians, transport people, they undoubtedly had a safe house, or indeed, multiple safe houses, people who procured the motor vehicles,” he said.
“They had to have transported weapons, not just side-arms of course.
“We know that they had Kalashnikovs, AK-47 long-arms, explosives, TATP explosives themselves have to be transported carefully and of course they were constructed into suicide vests or belts either before being sent to France, or Belgium and then to France, or in France.”
Mr Fergus is certain the terrorists were trained by Islamic State in the Middle East, either in Iraq or Syria.
“There have been improvised training camps in France that the French authorities have detected before, but this type of operation, these types of activities in which these eight perpetrators were involved evidence a great deal more sophistication in terms of training and experience,” he said.
“For example we have eyewitness accounts of the way that they went about their evil business in the theatre, with one person providing very professional cover of the main assailant as he systematically executed people in that theatre.”
He said the type of operation suggested a great deal of sophistication in terms of training and experience.
What modus operandi was used to be able to plan and execute this operation in this way? It has implications for (Australia), and we need to study it carefully.
Neil Fergus, chief executive of the Intelligent Risk Group
“It’s not ad hoc training in a forest firing at some targets.
“That’s people who have gone through proper military training, and indeed, as I said before, almost certainly, to do that sort of callous cold-blooded operation, they have been blooded in the fields of Syria or northern Iraq.”
Mr Fergus said it was impossible to be certain, but knowing the very hierarchical, compartmentalised structure of IS, the operation was almost certainly authorised by Islamic State’s senior leadership group in the Middle East.
“It would be almost inconceivable to think that a local cell would be able to gather all of the resources and capabilities, some of which are clearly from offshore, outside of France, to put this together,” he said.
Security lessons for Australia
Mr Fergus said the attack’s success pointed to a failure of intelligence in France.
“What is incredible is that an attack, or a set of attacks of this nature and this complexity, were planned and executed without intelligence services in the region, or indeed in Europe, getting apparently any inkling, any indication that such a scale of operation would be in prospect,” he said.
“The more people that are involved in an operation, the more likely that intelligence services will detect something is afoot.”
Mr Fergus said there were security lessons Australia can learn from the attack.
“I have no doubt that the senior security authorities in Australia, including Duncan Lewis, director-general of ASIO, will be keenly looking to French liaisons to understand their post-event analyses, particularly on whether there had been intelligence that had been missed, or indeed whether the perpetrators have exercised a heightened level of security to such an extent that they did slip under the radar.
“And that has some implications not just for Australia but for the rest of the civilised world.
“What modus operandi was used to be able to plan and execute this operation in this way?
“It has implications for us, and we need to study it carefully.”
Andrew McManus, promoter to stars including Aerosmith, Laura Dundovic and KISS, arrested in international cocaine ring bust… after police trace $700,000 in cash he claimed was ‘for a Lenny Kravitz concert’
Music promoter Andrew McManus was arrested and charged by police
It is alleged the 54-year-old was part of an international drug trafficking ring
The investigation began when $702,000 was found in a hotel room in 2011
McManus claimed the money was payment for a Lenny Kravitz concert
A prominent Australian music promoter is one of five men who have been arrested over an alleged cocaine smuggling ring.
A four-year joint investigation between NSW Police and the United States’ FBI led to the arrests of the group of men.
Detectives arrested three men in Sydney on Thursday night while a fourth man – 54-year-old music promoter Andrew McManus – was arrested at Melbourne Airport, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Music promoter Andrew McManus has been arrested as part of an alleged international drug trafficking ring
It has also been reported the detained Sydney men were crime figure Craig Haeusler, Kings Cross solicitor Michael Croke and Auburn pastry shop owner Zeki Atilgan.
McManus has been charged with perverting the course of justice, two counts of intention to defraud by false or misleading statement and knowingly participating in a criminal group.
A fifth man was arrested in the US by the FBI for drug offences and money laundering, NSW Police said in a statement.
US businessman Owen Hanson Jr was arrested while playing golf in San Diego, the Herald reported.
McManus (left with Laura Dundovic and right with Stevie Nicks) was arrested along with crime figure Craig Haeusler, Kings Cross solicitor Michael Croke and Auburn pastry shop owner Zeki Atilgan
Andrew McManus has been responsible for bringing Aerosmith, KISS, Lenny Kravitz and Chris Isaak (pictured above with McManus in 2008) to Australia
He was charged with perverting the course of justice, two counts of intention to defraud by false or misleading statement and knowingly participating in a criminal group
NSW detectives started investigating the alleged syndicate in August 2011 after a bag of $702,000 in cash was found in a man’s Sydney hotel room.
WHO IS ANDREW MCMANUS?
Andrew McManus, who owns McManus Entertainment, has been responsible for bringing Aerosmith, KISS and Lenny Kravitz to Australia.
He was forced to declare bankruptcy when the ATO discovered he had a $2.4 million tax debt after he was left $4.2 million out of pocket when deals and tours fell through.
McManus had to sell off his fleet of luxury cars and extensive property portfolio to cover his substantial debts.
The music promoter made headlines again back in 2011 when he was linked to a bag of $702,000 in cash that he claimed was payment for a Lenny Kravitz concert.
Four years later, he was arrested for his alleged part in a international cocaine ring, along with three Sydney men and a US citizen.
A court case was brought against NSW Police for the return of the cash when McManus claimed the bag was his and the money was payment for a Lenny Kravitz concert when he toured Australia.
But the police won and in late 2014 conducted raids in Sydney and Victoria, which netted $68,000 cash, drugs, steroids, documents and electronic equipment.
The operation also uncovered information regarding the alleged importation of 300kg of cocaine from Mexico to Australia via the US.
Since then, police have been investigating alleged drug trafficking between Mexico, the US and Australia, and associated money laundering.
Australian Crime Commission NSW manager Warren Gray said ‘investigations like this one affirm the effectiveness of “following the money'”‘.
NSW Police have charged a 55-year-old man with perverting the course of justice, intention to defraud by false or misleading statement and knowingly participating in a criminal group.
A 65-year-old has been charged with perverting the course of justice, three counts of intention to defraud by false or misleading statement and knowingly participating in a criminal group.
A 32-year-old man was charged with two counts of money laundering.
NSW detectives started investigating the alleged syndicate in August 2011 after a bag of $702,000 in cash was found in a man’s Sydney hotel room. Above is one of the three Sydney men being arrested on Thursday
The trio have been charged with money laundering, perverting the course of justice, intention to defraud by false or misleading statement and knowingly participating in a criminal group
Police raided the homes of three men in Kellyville, Miranda, and Sydney CBD following the extensive investigation
The group of men have been bailed to appear at Sydney courts at later dates. NSW Police are also seeking to extradite a US citizen
The group of men have been bailed to appear at Sydney courts at later dates.
NSW Police is seeking the extradition of a 33-year-old US citizen to Sydney on arrest warrants for money laundering, perverting the course of justice and intent to defraud by false or misleading statement, as well as an additional charge of drug supply of a large commercial quantity.
Detectives from the Organised Crime Squad are currently in San Diego, California, working with the FBI.
A number of search warrants were executed, with officers seizing cash, gold, silver, cannabis and documentation.
Drug trafficking, money laundering bust sees five men, including Melbourne music promoter, arrested in joint NSW Police-FBI investigation
Updated about 2 hours ago
Music promoter Andrew McManus was arrested in Melbourne last night. (Getty Images: Kristian Dowling)
Five men, including Melbourne music promoter Andrew McManus, have been arrested following a joint FBI and New South Wales police investigation into international drug trafficking and money laundering.
An investigation was launched after police seized more than $700,000 from a man at a Sydney hotel in 2011.
NSW Police faced legal action for the return of the money, with a claim being made that it was payment for an international band who had toured Australia, but the case was thrown out of the Supreme Court and investigations continued.
Last year, New South Wales and Victoria police raided five properties, seizing more than $68,000 in cash and steroids.
Detectives say they also uncovered the importation of 300 kilograms of cocaine from Mexico to Australia, via the United States.
Following a joint operation with the FBI in San Diego, California, police last night arrested McManus, 54, in Melbourne.
McManus’ promotion companies have brought a number of high-profile entertainers to Australia, including Kiss, Mötley Crüe and Stevie Nicks.
A 65-year-old Sydney solicitor and two other New South Wales men were also charged.
Subsequent searches at a home in Kellyville, in Sydney’s north-west, uncovered cash, steroids and cannabis.
New South Wales Police are also trying to extradite US citizen Owen Hanson, 33, to Sydney so he can be charged.
He was arrested by FBI agents in the parking lot of a golf course in near San Diego, California, where he remains in custody on US federal drug charges, according to a statement from the FBI.
“The commitment made by the detectives and others involved in this investigation has been outstanding — they never lost focus on the job at hand,” commander of the Organised Crime Squad, Detective Superintendent Scott Cook, said in a statement.
“As recent investigations have shown, it is now clear that organised syndicates impacting NSW are often transnational in nature.
“Whilst this presents us with challenges, those who undertake these activities need to understand that being outside the jurisdiction will not save you.”
Australian Crime Commission state manager NSW Warren Gray said that, in this instance, “following the money” led to the discovery of criminal activity.
“The collaborative work between NSW Police and the FBI, and multiple partner agencies, is highly commendable and this outcome is a great result for the Australian community,” he said.
Big business: Andrew McManus in his office. Photo: Teagan Glenane FCN
Controversial music promoter Andrew McManus has unwittingly revealed an important career lesson to tax evaders: if you are going to boast about ripping off the Australian Tax Office, don’t confide in the police.
His bizarre admission emerged last week in a court case involving the promoter, a bag full of cash, international rock acts including Fleetwood Mac and Lenny Kravitz and crime figures from Australia and the US.
“I’m not a dickhead but… if this went to the ATO, I’d be cooked again.”
During an investigation into the source of the $702,000 cash found in a Sydney hotel room in 2011, McManus claimed the money was his. He boasted to police if they came round to his house “right now” they would find a safe with “600 large sittin’ in it”.
Legends: International rock act Fleetwood Mac.
When the police asked about the source of the money, he said, “This isn’t going anywhere?” He then offered that the “600 large” came from a Lenny Kravitz tour.
He told police that he used 20 crew members to “sneak” the cash in from New Zealand.
“I’m not a dickhead but… if this went to the ATO, I’d be cooked again,” he volunteered.
Legal fight: Sean Carolan at the Supreme Court in Sydney. Photo: Photo: Janie Barrett
Documents tendered during a recent battle in the NSW Supreme Court over the money have revealed that McManus also accepted $450,000 in cash from the outlaw Perth bikie gang, the Coffin Cheaters.
He also admitted to police that he withheld funds from rock groups including international stars Fleetwood Mac.
McManus also confided to police about the financial fallout from his involvement in the Melbourne Storm salary cap scandal.
The saga of the suitcase full of cash had its origins in May 2011 when McManus was staying at the luxurious InterContinental hotel in Macquarie Street, a short walk from Sydney’s Circular Quay.
In his hotel room he had a number of plastic shopping bags crammed with $10,000 bundles of cash totalling $702,000. His long-time friend and associate Craig Haeusler emptied the bags into a suitcase.
Haeusler, a drug kingpin who served five years in jail for running a multi-million dollar drug ring supplying methamphetamines to Sydney’s eastern suburbs, then gave the money to a young American, Owen Hanson jnr.
Haeusler told police he had been introduced to Hanson by a Chinese gambling identity and that the pair had bet on the NFL in America.
Hanson, who moved hotels every few days, was nicknamed “Dispose” by his Australian friends because of his propensity to dispose of pre-paid mobile phones.
Haeusler later told police that McManus was repaying Hanson who had stumped up the deposit McManus needed for a ZZ Top tour.
The suitcase of cash was then hidden by Hanson in the ceiling of a rented apartment in Kent Street for three months. In August he handed the suitcase of cash to his personal trainer, Sean Carolan.
On August 11, 2011, police received an anonymous tip-off that the occupant of room 3026 in the Hilton Hotel had a gun. The occupant, Carolan, a former cage fighter and racehorse trainer turned personal trainer, didn’t have a gun — but he did have a black suitcase containing McManus’s $702,000, which the police seized.
Carolan’s subsequent legal fight to recover the money has brought to light a bizarre series of events.
On the night police seized the cash, Carolan said he was merely minding the money for Hanson, who didn’t want to lose any more at the casino.
CCTV footage from Star City casino obtained by the police shows earlier that day Carolan and Hanson were in a heated conversation with Robert Cipriani, a well-known American high roller who calls himself Robin Hood 702 (702 is the telephone code for Las Vegas).
Police records note that Cipriani “is well known to the casino and is currently of interest to the Australian Federal Police”.
The day after the cash was seized, Cipriani left for Los Angeles.
During the investigation into the suitcase, police interviewed Hanson by videolink from the Beverly Hills police station in Los Angeles. “Do you want me to tell you the, the full story of how basically this money was laundered…?” Hanson offered.
He said the cash had come from McManus but, contrary to Carolan’s initial version, Hanson claimed he had given the money to Carolan to invest in Carolan’s weight loss clinic.
As well as expressing concern at Hanson’s use of the word “laundered”, Justice Richard Button noted in his judgment on Monday, “There is no satisfactory explanation why Mr Hanson would invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash in the business concept of a personal trainer who resided in a foreign country and whom he had known for no more than several weeks.”
Justice Richard Button refused to hand the $702,000 back to Carolan, saying he was not convinced he was “lawfully” entitled to the money.
Carolan was ordered to pay the police costs.
When he was interviewed by police in April 2012, McManus told them the money was his. “It’s pretty obvious though. I gave someone 700 large, and you’ve found someone with 700 large. It’s my 700 large.”
McManus told the police that the cash was part of a business deal where he was repaying the money to Hanson, who had lent him cash as a deposit for a ZZ Top tour but now he wanted it back to fund a Lenny Kravitz tour.
“In essence, I delivered back 700 grand I now need to borrow it again. As quickly as possible,” he said.
He also said; “It’s not the proceeds of crime, it’s the [proceeds] of Andrew McManus.”
McManus made remarkable admissions during his record of interview with police. He has since claimed he was under the influence of morphine and alcohol at the time.
The rock promoter volunteered to police that he had been “under suspicion by the NRL, for making player payments to rugby league players”.
This was a reference to the Melbourne Storm salary cap scandal in 2010 when it was revealed that McManus had facilitated extra payments to Storm players including Greg Inglis, Cameron Smith and Billy Slater.
His company, Andrew McManus Presents, would bill the Storm for “promotional” events. The money would be then be channelled by McManus’s company through to several Storm players.
The Storm were later stripped of their points and previous premiership titles.
Neither the players nor McManus were accused of any wrongdoing but McManus told the police of the fallout which included the Australian Tax Office going through him like a dose of salts.
“Although I did make tax payments on each player payment, I never actually got them to sign a full stat dec. So, of those players, they decided that they would fine me…between 30 per cent and the 49 per cent.”
He said he had to pay the ATO $120,000 per player, which totalled $2.4 million. “It crushed my company…Andrew McManus Presents International,” he told police.
Because of his ensuing financial difficulties he said he used friends and associates to help fund tours. McManus mentioned that Liberal powerbroker Michael Kroger and his brother Andrew had invested in his concert tours.
He said on five or six occasion, Michael Kroger had “put cash in and then I’ll, you know, fold it out.”
A spokesman for Michael Kroger said it was “a standard financial arrangement”.
McManus also boasted of withholding cash ticket sales from bands such as Fleetwood Mac. “I sold over $700,000 in cash tickets, because people wanted the best tickets, they come to the office, they ring up or email.”
“I’m not sharing it with the band…the cash stays in Andrew McManus’s pocket,” he told police.
McManus also told the police that he had accepted $450,000 in cash from the Coffin Cheaters, an outlaw motor cycle gang who were promoting the Perth leg of the ZZ Top tour.
During his police interview, McManus was accompanied by his lawyer and former partner in a Sydney nightclub, Michael Croke.
Croke, who represented Haeusler in his drug trial, also acted for McManus, Hanson, Haeusler and finally Carolan in the latter’s unsuccessful attempt to have the money returned.
During the case, Haeusler was pacing up and down the corridor outside the Supreme Court in Sydney.
McManus declined to comment for this story. He has issued a media release suggesting revelations about the suitcase and the cash were “gutter journalism by a bottom feeder” and that the articles had been written under “the protection of impossible deformation (sic) laws.”
She told police she had sent the girl away in a taxi after she caught her raiding her alcohol cabinet and “felt I should put a stop to it”.
Later in the interview said she “did not have anything to say other than they’re false and malicious in my mind”.
“These [accusations] are making me feel quite ill,” she told police.
A high school friend of the victim told the hearing that the girl was a “big fan” of the TV show at the time.
The husband of the victim said his wife had raised the abuse after she became uncomfortable during an “intimate” conversation.
“She told me that she’d been invited to a person’s place or a lady’s place and that person was the nasty one on Prisoner … she just said that … some sexual things happened but she didn’t elaborate,” he said.
Maggie Kirkpatrick: Alleged child sexual abuse victim of TV star had ‘Prisoner obsession’
The woman who has accused a star of the hit Australian television drama Prisoner of abusing her as a child was a “big fan” of the show, a Melbourne court has heard.
Maggie Kirkpatrick, 74, has denied two charges of indecent assault and one count of gross indecency with a person under 16.
She was well-known for her role as a prison warden nicknamed “The Freak” in the popular 1980s television series.
Detective Senior Constable Katherine Mitchell told the court the alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told police she had been abused by Kirkpatrick at the actor’s Prahran home when she was 14.
It allegedly took place in 1984.
In a statement read to the court, the alleged victim said she had not reported the abuse until two years ago because everyone would think she was crazy.
It said the victim had organised meeting the actor through a person she met while she had been admitted to the Newhaven psychiatric hospital in Kew.
It was alleged that Kirkpatrick collected the victim from the hospital and took her back to Kirkpatrick’s home, where they shared a meal.
She said the pair then ended up in Kirkpatrick’s bedroom, where the alleged abuse took place.
The victim said she was then given a yellow coloured jumper and a signed photograph and driven back to the hospital.
You have astonished me with those allegations… it’s beyond comprehension.
She also told police she recalled Kirkpatrick being most disappointed as she was not sexually experienced.
The court was shown Kirkpatrick’s videotaped police interview, in which she admitted taking the teenager back to her home for dinner but denied abusing her.
The actor said she sent the girl away in a taxi after she caught her raiding her alcohol cabinet.
“It was a kindness to give her a day out,” Kirkpatrick said during the interview.
“I then became a tad uncomfortable as while I was cooking and having a glass of wine, she decided to get into the alcohol in the dining room… I felt I should put a stop to it.”
Kirkpatrick initially waived her right not to answer any questions but later said she “did not have anything to say other than they’re false and malicious in my mind”.
“These [accusations] are making me feel quite ill,” she said.
“You have astonished me with those allegations… it’s beyond comprehension.”
Victim told husband of alleged abuse years later
A witness told the hearing that the alleged victim was a “big fan” of the TV show when she was a teenager.
The witness said she became high school friends with the alleged victim and remembered visiting her when she was in hospital.
She recalled the alleged victim telling her she had met Kirkpatrick.
“By my memory it was when she was at Newhaven and I don’t recall any of the particulars, just her making reference to it and her being very excited,” the witness said.
“The only thing I recall was an invitation [for her] to go somewhere … with Maggie.
“I remember that she was a big fan of the show and watched it religiously and would often refer to what she’d seen in the show, different episodes.”
The witness agreed with defence suggestions describing the alleged victim as having a “Prisoner obsession” and being a “Prisoner freak”.
The husband of the alleged victim told the court that his wife became uncomfortable during an “intimate” conversation they had in the mid 2000s.
“She told me that she’d been invited to a person’s place or a lady’s place and that person was the nasty one on Prisoner … she just said that … some sexual things happened but she didn’t elaborate,” he said.
Kirkpatrick did not comment to reporters outside court.
The hearing before Magistrate Peter Mealy is continuing.
Rogerson, 75, and McNamara, 57, pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Gao and dumping his body in waters off Cronulla the next day.
New South Wales Crown prosecutor Christopher Maxwell QC told the hearing in the NSW Supreme Court, life sentences have been applied in the past for contract killings.
“They together executed a young drug dealer for their financial gain. The contract killing is a category for which a life sentence can be given and has been given by this court over the years,” he said.
“There is no distinction between killing for payment … or killing for the purpose of financial gain, which is what this was about.
“This was a killing to enable both offenders to obtain the drug … colloquially known as ice … a drug that results in much crime itself.
“The attitude that both accused had towards the deceased after the murder amounted to a completely cold, calculated, lack of feeling, which was all about making him disappear.”
Mr Maxwell said the pair had used their “experience and training for the complete antithesis of what was intended”.
“There is nothing to suggest they would..not be a danger to society.”
He held a number of meetings with McNamara in the months before his death — McNamara claimed these meetings were for a book he was writing about Asian crime gangs.
This explanation was dismissed by prosecutors, who said McNamara and Rogerson were preparing for the killing.
Prosecutors told the court the crown did not have to prove which of the defendants killed Mr Gao, just that there was an agreement to kill or seriously injure the victim.
It took the jury just under a week to reach the verdicts.
Justice Geoffrey Bellew thanked them for their service and excused them from ever serving again, unless they wished to do so.
update GUILTY 15/06/16
Former police detectives Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara have been found guilty of murdering Sydney man Jamie Gao during a drug deal.
Jamie Gao murder trial: Jurors in case of Roger Rogerson, Glen McNamara begin deliberations
UPDATE 2pm 02/06/16
Three men walk into a shed. Only two men come out alive. They were former detectives Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara.
In his closing address to a NSW Supreme Court jury, Crown Prosecutor Christopher Maxwell QC argued there were 29 reasons why the pair should be found guilty of the murder of Jamie Gao and stealing the drugs he had brought to a meeting.
“These are the main or important circumstances that the Crown relies upon,” Mr Maxwell said before starting his list below.
1. Glen McNamara had 27 meetings with the deceased Jamie Gao in the lead up to his death on May 20, 2014.
2. Mr McNamara claims the meetings were for research on his next true crime book on Asian gangs and drugs in Sydney. The Crown says his lack of notes taken prove this is not the case.
3. Roger Rogerson obtained six keys to the shed where Mr Gao was killed from a friend in early March and only returned five keys.
4. The arrival of two Asian men in Australia – who the Crown allege were there to facilitate the drug deal – and their presence on Arab Road where Mr Gao gets into a car with Mr McNamara.
5. Mr Rogerson visits Rent a Space – the storage facility where Mr Gao is killed – on April 2 and again with Mr McNamara on April 4.
6. Google searches found on Mr McNamara’s computer of the same calibre firearm that would later be used to shoot and kill Mr Gao.
7. The frequency of telephone calls between Mr Rogerson and Mr McNamara between January and May 2014, particularly around the times when Mr McNamara meets with Mr Gao.
8. The purchase of BV67PX – a white Ford Falcon station wagon that the Crown alleges was acquired by Mr Rogerson and Mr McNamara on April 27. This was later used to transport the body of the deceased.
9. The statements Jamie Gao made to his friends and associates – he once told his cousin Justin Gao that he was going to take part in an ice deal and “he said it was going to be massive”.
10. Mr McNamara removes his boat from storage the day before Mr Gao’s death and returns it the day after. The boat was used to dispose of Mr Gao’s body at sea.
11. Mr Rogerson goes to Rent a Space the day before the killing and removes two chairs from unit 803. He returns them two days later.
12. Mr McNamara parks his blue Ford Falcon on the street on May 19.
13. The way Mr McNamara was dressed on May 20 – he was wearing a dark hooded jacket and sunglasses.
14. Mr McNamara had the gate code and keys to unit 803 on May 20.
15. The way in which Mr Rogerson and Mr McNamara parked their respective cars on Arab Road minutes before Mr Gao was due to arrive.
16. The way Mr McNamara parked the white station wagon BV67PX outside unit 803 and shielded Mr Gao so that he would not been seen on CCTV as he entered the shed.
17. Mr Rogerson enters the storage shed three minutes and 19 seconds after Mr McNamara and Mr Gao enter.
18. Mr McNamara brings a silver Ocean & Earth surfboard bag which is used to place the deceased’s body inside.
19. Mr Rogerson brings ropes and tarpaulin to the storage shed on the day of the killing.
20. Mr McNamara’s garage was used to transfer the deceased into a boat.
21. Mr Rogerson was present at Kennard’s Hire and assisted in hiring a chain block to move Mr Gao’s body.
22. Mr Rogerson’s actions inside Mr McNamara’s Cronulla apartment after Mr Gao is killed. Mr McNamara’s daughter Jessica claims that she saw Mr Rogerson tapping a dark coloured object in his pockets.
23. The gunshot residue on Mr Rogerson’s hat and from the pockets of his black tracksuit pants.
24. The disposal of the body of Mr Gao at sea on May 21. It was found floating off the shores of Cronulla by fishermen on May 26.
25. Mr McNamara disposes of a bag of clothing on May 21.
26. Two pillowcases, a jug and a measuring spoon were bought from Kmart on May 22 – these items are used to repackage the three kilograms of ice.
27. The involvement of a man named Adam Borg and the attempts made to get the untraceable car BV67PX towed after it is used to transport the deceased’s body.
28. A meeting at Sydney Airport on May 28 between Mr McNamara and Mr Rogerson.
29. After the police tow away the car BV67PX with the drugs inside, Mr McNarama uses a payphone to call Karl Bonnette, a man who the Crown argues helped the two accused to purchase the car.
Mr Maxwell ended his closing address by looking at the jury and saying: “It will be your solemn obligation to return a verdict of guilty in relation to both counts against both accused.”
A jury has started to consider verdicts in the trial of former police officers Glen McNamara and Roger Rogerson, over the shooting murder of a young Sydney man during a drug deal.
Jamie Gao, 20, was shot twice inside a storage unit in Sydney’s south-west on May 20, 2014.
Prosecutors said his body was later dumped at sea near Cronullausing McNamara’s boat.
Both men adopted vastly different versions of what happened inside unit 803 at Rent-a-Space Padstow.
McNamara claimed Rogerson got into a heated argument with Mr Gao about drugs.
He said Mr Gao pulled out a knife and simultaneously, Rogerson grabbed a gun from his pocket and fired it.
McNamara said Rogerson then threatened to kill him and his daughters if he did not help move the body.
But Rogerson told the jury Mr Gao was dead on the floor of the unit by the time he entered.
He said he was told Mr Gao had pulled the gun on McNamara and the shooting happened during a struggle.
‘We’re both innocent’: recorded prison phone call
Phone calls McNamara made to his daughters from prison after his arrest gave no indication he was planning to turn on his friend.
“It’s an almost non-existent circumstantial case, this case. There’s no evidence. We’re both completely innocent,” McNamara said in one call.
The crown alleges both men formed an agreement to kill Mr Gao and steal drugs from him.
On the day before the shooting, McNamara took his boat out of storage and Rogerson removed two office chairs from unit 803.
Both were described as acts of preparation for the murder.
McNamara had held 27 meetings with Mr Gao in the months before the shooting.
He said they were all about research for a book he was planning to write about Asian crime gangs.
But prosecutors said there was virtually no evidence he had made any notes of his research and the real purpose of the meetings was to organise a drug deal.
McNamara said he only cooperated with Rogerson after the shooting under duress.
Rogerson has denied making any threats and his barrister told the jury, unlike McNamara, his client made no attempt to hide his appearance on the day of the shooting.
Jamie Gao murder: Jury in Roger Rogerson, Glen McNamara murder trial retires
June 2, 2016 12:40pm
AMY DALE Chief court reporterThe Daily Telegraph
THE jury in the murder trial of former detectives Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara has retired to consider their verdicts.
Justice Geoffrey Bellew officially sent the Supreme Court jury of seven men and five women out at 12.35pm telling them
“I am directing you to reach unanimous verdicts in respect of each count”.
“If at any stage of your deliberations you would like me to repeat any direction I’ve given you or elaborate…you must ask.
“It is fundamentally important that you understand the directions of law I have given you.”
The jury has been hearing evidence in the trial of Rogerson, 75, and McNamara, 57, since early February.
Both men have pleaded not guilty to murdering 20-year-old Jamie Gao inside a Padstow storage unit on the afternoon of May 20, 2014, and to taking part in the supply of 2.78kg of ice, allegedly brought by the university student to shed 803 of Rent A Space.
While both men have a right to silence, and were under no obligation to give evidence, they chose to take the witness stand and give their accounts over several gruelling days of questioning by their own lawyers, as well as cross examination.
What emerged were two very different stories, told in starkly contrasting manners.
McNamara, his voice often becoming distressed in recounting, says Rogerson shot Gao while “seeing with anger” over the handover of drugs and cash, and then threatened the safety of McNamara and the lives of his daughters if he didn’t co-operate with the disposal of the body.
Rogerson, whose voice remained steady as he gripped the witness box with both hands each day, said that by the time he entered the storage unit Gao was already lying dead on the floor, with his friend McNamara telling him that the young man had “shot himself” during a “real struggle” between the pair for the gun.
“He was going to kill me …(if we don’t leave here soon) this place will be swarming with Chinese assassins,” Rogerson claimed McNamara warned him.
He says he agreed to help out of trust for the man he considered “at that time a very good friend of mine.”
Crown prosecutor Christopher Maxwell QC told the jury — as he did in his opening address in the early days of February — that they do not have to determine which man was the shooter in order to return verdicts of guilty to murder, as they are being tried under a joint criminal enterprise.
Mr Maxwell presented to the jury lists of circumstances he said prosecutors have revealed in the evidence as proof of the Crown case beyond reasonable doubt.
For McNamara, they include the more than 20 meetings he had with Gao. in the months before the execution, documented by CCTV footage and text message exchanges, and internet searches on his laptop for the type of firearm that police believe was used to kill the 20-year-old.
The murder weapon has never been found.
McNamara said in his evidence that he was meeting with Gao because the university student was a source for a planned true crime book on drug syndicates in Asian triad gangs, but Mr Maxwell said there has been no evidence of written notes made by the 57-year-old for this book.
Prosecutors have also pointed to Rogerson making a trip to Rent A Space the day before the murder to remove office furniture from the shed that had been leased by his friend Michael Maguire, who has since died from cancer.
McNamara’s barrister Gabriel Wendler told the jury in his closing address this week that, if
Rogerson had not been responsible for the shooting then he must be “the unluckiest guy in the world”, pointing to the traces of gunshot residue that were found on the clothes the 75-year-old was wearing on the day, as well as a fingerprint of his that was detected on the receipt for the white Ford Falcon at the centre of the murder.
“Can you seriously see Glen McNamara executing Mr Gao, a man the same age as one of his daughters?” Mr Wendler asked the jury.
“A person with whom he had built up a relationship with?”
Rogerson’s counsel George Thomas in turn rubbished the suggestion his client acted in a “joint criminal enterprise” with McNamara, drawing on the window of three minutes and 19 seconds when his client was not inside shed 803.
Mr Thomas also suggested to the jury that if there had been a plan all along to kill the university student, then both Rogerson and McNamara would have waited inside to “ambush” Gao.
Mr Thomas said “Glen McNamara intended to kill Jamie Gao”.
“That was why the surfboard bag [in which Gao’s body was removed from the shed] was there [in McNamara’s car]. It was how the body was to be taken out,” Mr Thomas said.
He said that, if there had been a plan to kill Gao all along on Rogerson’s part, he would have been in the shed at the same time as the other two, “not arrive later.”
“What is the point of that?” Mr Thomas asked the jury.
“[If that was the plan] you would have Rogerson [already] in there to do the killing, you would have the surfboard bag ready … have the site properly prepared if there is a planned execution.”
Jamie Gao murder trial: Rogerson and McNamara gave ‘unbelievable’ versions of events, court hears
Two former police officers charged with the murder of Sydney student Jamie Gao have given “far-fetched and unbelievable” versions of what happened, prosecutors say.
In his closing address at the murder trial of Glen McNamara and Roger Rogerson, prosecutor Christopher Maxwell QC told the jury both men were part of an agreement to kill Mr Gao and steal almost three kilograms of the drug ice.
The court heard the pair used a car that could not be traced to transport Mr Gao from the Padstow storage unit where he was shot on May 20, 2014.
Rogerson said he was not involved in acquiring the white Ford Falcon station wagon, but his fingerprint was found on the receipt for its purchase.
Mr Maxwell said McNamara’s boat was taken out of storage the day before the shooting, “to make Jamie Gao disappear”.
The court heard it was used to dump the body at sea the day after the 20-year-old was killed, and the boat was then returned to storage.
McNamara said Rogerson shot and killed Mr Gao before threatening him and his family.
Courts hears of meetings in months before alleged murder
Rogerson said he found Mr Gao already dead and was told he had pulled a gun on McNamara, who tried to defend himself.
“Jamie Gao shot himself twice in a struggle?” Mr Maxwell asked.
“It never happened like that,” Mr Maxwell added.
“It is far-fetched and unbelievable.”
Mr Gao had told his cousin Justin Gao he was going to be involved in a massive drug deal with a man called ‘Glen’ that was going to make him rich.
He held a number of meetings with McNamara in the months before his death and the men were also in contact by text message.
Mr Maxwell said Rogerson knew all about it, because he was in regular phone contact with McNamara, including around the time of a number of the meetings with Mr Gao.
The jury was told McNamara tried to shield Mr Gao from CCTV cameras at the Padstow storage complex.
During his evidence, McNamara said he was meeting Mr Gao as a source for a book he was writing about Asian crime gangs but learnt that Mr Gao was being followed by triads.
Mr Maxwell dismissed this, saying McNamara and Rogerson did things in preparation for the killing.
“Both of them knew what was to happen after Jamie Gao entered unit 803 at 1:46pm on the 20th of May,” he said.
“It’s clear one of the accused shot Jamie Gao.
“To convict both accused, you don’t have to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt, who was the shooter.”
Barrister Charles Waterstreet probed for contempt of court over social media posts in McNamara and Rogerson murder trial
Charles Waterstreet (left) arrives at the murder trial of Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara in July. Photo: Ben Rushton
High-profile criminal barrister Charles Waterstreet may face contempt of court charges for alleged social media posts which had the potential to prejudice the trial of his client Glen McNamara and co-accused Roger Rogerson.
On Thursday, Justice Geoffrey Bellew formally vacated the trial of Mr McNamara and Mr Rogerson for the murder of university student Jamie Gao during a botched drug deal.
The trial was scheduled to go ahead on Monday, but will not proceed until early next year.
Justice Bellew ordered the registrar of the Common Law Division of the Supreme Court to investigate Mr Waterstreet for contempt of court.
On Tuesday, as pre-trial hearings were under way, Justice Bellew was told of a post on an Instagram account in Mr Waterstreet’s name, being charleswaterstreet.
The post contained a picture of Mr Waterstreet and another man and was taken in the vicinity of the Darlinghurst Supreme Court.
It had a caption, the contents of which Justice Bellew has suppressed.
Mr Waterstreet told Justice Bellew he did not post the picture and caption.
The court also heard a Twitter account in Mr Waterstreet’s name at @ccwaterstreet posted a link to the Instagram post.
Justice Bellew said he had “no practical alternative” to vacate the trial despite the considerable expense to the taxpayer.
He said it was no fault of the court, the “criminal justice system”, the Crown, Mr Rogerson’s solicitor and barrister or Mr McNamara’s solicitor and said each had worked diligently to ensure the trial proceeded efficiently.
“To say the vacation of the trial is unfortunate would be a gross understatement,” he said.
But he said Mr McNamara, through no fault of his own, was suddenly left without a barrister on Wednesday morning, just days from the opening date, and to proceed would potentially rob him of a fair trial.
Former Liberal NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith, SC, appeared in court, saying Mr McNamara wanted to retain him and Mr Waterstreet’s junior counsel Peter Lange. However, he would not be able to take on the case until next year.
Mr Rogerson’s barrister, George Thomas, argued strongly for the trial to be put back for only two weeks, arguing a competent and experienced barrister who is available to take on the case could get across the brief in that time.
He also accused Mr McNamara of instructing Mr Waterstreet to act in a way that caused the case to go off the rails.
However, Justice Bellew dismissed any suggestion Mr McNamara was behind Mr Waterstreet’s alleged actions.
He also said any barrister taking over the case would need much more than two weeks to get across the volumes of material to be tendered during the trial.
Mr Smith said he was hoping the Legal Aid Commission would approve his retainer.
Mr Thomas said that, as Mr McNamara’s defence was funded by Legal Aid, he did not have the luxury of choosing his own barrister and should take whoever was available.
Both Mr Rogerson and Mr McNamara have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Gao in a storage unit in Padstow last year.
Following the revelation of the social media posts, Mr Waterstreet was given time to get legal advice. He consulted noted appeal barrister Tim Game, SC.
On Wednesday, Mr Waterstreet sought the court’s leave to withdraw from the case.
Mr Game, appearing for Mr Waterstreet, told the court he had advised his client to step down, although this did not constitute an admission of wrongdoing.
Crown Prosecutor Chris Maxwell, QC, and Mr Game agreed Mr Waterstreet should be referred to the registrar for investigation.
In referring Mr Waterstreet, Justice Bellew ordered the registrar to seek and adhere to the “advice of the Crown Solicitor as to whether proceedings for contempt should be taken against Mr Waterstreet”.
He also ordered the registrar to inform the Attorney-General, Gabrielle Upton.
Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara murder trial of Jamie Gao hearing to begin for the 2nd time on August 18 2015
These 2 pathetic (and stupid) coppers go on trial today TRIAL aborted on the 2nd day! for the alleged botched drug theft gone wrong resulting in the murder of Jamie Gao
Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara murder trial of Jamie Gao hearing to begin on August 18 2015
New trial date: former detectives Glen McNamara and Roger Rogerson will appear before the NSW Supreme Court on August 18. Photo: Rocco Fazzari
Former detectives Roger Rogerson and Glen McNamara will face a new trial over the murder of Sydney student Jamie Gao on August 18, following the discharge of the jury in their first trial.
Justice Geoff Bellew told the NSW Supreme Court that the new trial date for the pair had been confirmed, lifting a non-publication order made on Tuesday.
Mr Rogerson, 74, and Mr McNamara, 56, are accused of being part of a “joint criminal enterprise” to murder Mr Gao, 20, in a southern Sydney storage unit on May 20 last year.
Twenty-year-old Jamie Gao was killed on May 22, 2014. Photo: Facebook
It is alleged that they stole 2.78 kilograms of the drug ice from him and then dumped his body off the coast of Cronulla. It was found six days later.
Half way through the trial’s second day on Tuesday, Justice Bellew discharged the 15-member jury for legal reasons which cannot be disclosed.
Both accused have pleaded not guilty to murder and drug supply.
Counsel for Mr McNamara, Charles Waterstreet told the jury on Tuesday that Mr Rogerson had been solely responsible for the murder.
He said the 74-year-old had shot Mr Gao twice in the chest and then threatened to kill Mr McNamara and his family if he did not help him to cover up the crime.
No evidence was presented to support these claims before the jury was discharged.
Counsel for Mr Rogerson, George Thomas, did not have the opportunity to address the jury before members were discharged.
On Tuesday Justice Bellew said the NSW sheriff had confirmed that a court was available on August 18 to begin a new trial, and he formally set down that date.
TWO former detectives charged with murdering a Sydney student will go on trial before a jury today. Glen McNamara and Roger Rogerson face charges of murdering 20-year-old UTS student Jamie Gao in May last year. They are also accused of drug supply. Their trial at the NSW Supreme Court at Darlinghurst is expected to get underway later this morning. Police have alleged the pair lured Gao to a storage unit in Sydney’s southwest, with Mr Gao attending the meeting carrying almost three kilograms of the drug ice, or crystal methamphetamine.
Roger Rogerson.Source: DailyTelegraph
Former detective Glen McNamara being escorted to prison after his arrest.Source: News Corp Australia
Police have alleged the trio were spotted on CCTV entering the storage unit. Ten minutes later, cameras allegedly captured McNamara and Rogerson leaving, dragging a surfboard bag. Mr Gao’s bound body was found floating in waters off Sydney six days later. Both McNamara and Rogerson deny the charges and entered not guilty pleas at a previous hearing. In January they waived their right to a committal hearing in order to get to trial as soon as possible.
When the phone vibrated in my pocket in September 2007, I had no idea the incoming call would plunge me into the middle of Australia’s biggest Mafia investigation in decades.
I was also unaware that the caller, who identified himself as “Stan”, was, in fact, a driven and entrepreneurial drug trafficker from Griffith, NSW, called Pat Barbaro.
Federal Police and Customs agents with some of the Ecstasy and Cocaine after the drug bust. Photo: John Woudstra
Barbaro had organised the world’s biggest ecstasy shipment into Melbourne in June 2007. But by the time he rang me, three months later, he was unable to locate the shipping container packed with his $500 million load.
Calling me, and then sending a series of texts from several mobile phones registered in fake names, was part of a desperate plan by Barbaro to either locate his shipment or confirm his suspicions that the police had seized his drugs.
He was hoping I would reach out to police or waterfront sources to do this, and then report my findings. To say his plan failed spectacularly would be an understatement.
Unbeknownst to either me or “Stan,” police were intercepting the text messages, which included detailed descriptions of the size and likely location of the drug shipment. These text messages, and analysis of the corresponding metadata, were used to prove Barbaro had organised the drug shipment.
But that was not the only implication. Over the past six months, federal police have used the scenario as a case study to convince the Federal Government of the need to pass laws ensuring telcos store the metadata generated when a person uses a phone or computer.
As the hulking Barbaro walked around Melbourne’s CBD, meeting bikies, South Asian money launderers and other Mafia bosses, he carried up to a dozen phones. One was his personal mobile, with a subscription under his own name.
The other phones were “burners”, which were registered in false names and regularly replaced with new phones. The problem for Barbaro is that these burners were hitting the same mobile phone towers as his regular phone.
Barbaro’s personal phone and the burners were pinging off the same towers so often that police were able to prove the burners belonged to Barbaro.
According to the Director of Public Prosecution’s Andrea Pavleka, the texts sent from the “Stan” burners “showed that Barbaro had critical knowledge of the contents of that container”.
“That was a terrific link for the prosecution to have in this particular matter.”
Back in 2007, I knew none of this.
In fact, had I known my communications were being intercepted, I would have been furious.
Many of my sources are banned by their employer from speaking to me, or any other reporter, so the prospect of any innocent whistleblower being outed would have concerned me greatly.
I only learned this many months later of the interception. From all the checks I have since conducted – and there have been many – no source of mine was compromised and the AFP agents involved acted professionally and with regard to the sensitivities of my trade.
That said, ever since 2007, I have implemented a range of measures to protect sources’ communications — steps not unlike those suggested by Malcolm Turnbull during the recent debate about metadata.
Ever since the phone buzzed that day in my pocket, and “Stan” briefly entered my life, I’ve been especially conscious about how a person’s communications leave a trail, no matter how careful they are. It is a lesson the now jailed Barbaro has, no doubt, also learned well.
Watch part two of a joint Fairfax and ABC Four Corners mafia investigation on ABC1 8.30 PM Monday.