Australia: Drug mobster caught

By 0utrider · Jun 11, 2007 · ·
  1. 0utrider
    from CNN


    CANBERRA, Australia (Reuters) -- Australia's most wanted fugitive, a convicted drug mobster linked to the murder of a rival drug lord, has been arrested by police in Greece after more than a year on the run.
    Tony Mokbel, known as "Fat Tony", is being held in an Athens jail and Australian police said on Wednesday they would seek his extradition to complete a nine-year minimum jail sentence for trafficking cocaine.
    "The arrested man had forged Australian documents - passport, driver's licence - and was disguised wearing a wig," Greek police said in a statement.
    It said Mokbel was "one of the most internationally wanted persons for serious narcotics and homicide cases". An Athens prosecutor charged him with using a forged passport.
    Mokbel was captured in a cafeteria in the Athens coastal suburb of Glyfada on information provided by Australian authorities. Australian police had posted a A$1 million ($833,000) reward for information leading to his arrest.
    Mokbel faces trial at home where authorities allege he ordered and paid for the murder of rival crime boss Lewis Moran in a Melbourne club in 2004.
    He is reported to have fled Australia dressed as a priest. Mokbel told Greek police he had been living in Greece for the last 9 months with his girlfriend and two young children.
    He is being investigated by Greek authorities for other possible illegal activity in Greece, the statement said. A police official said Mokbel had set up a shipping company in Glyfada with a business partner.
    "This was most likely a cover for money-laundering from drug dealing," the official told Reuters. "He has denied involvement in any murders or money-laundering in Australia."
    Australian police raided 22 properties in the state of Victoria, which led to the arrests of eight men suspected of being part of a drug-trafficking and financing network still controlled by Mokbel.
    "We believe that Mokbel was directing and organizing production and distribution of drugs overseas, was in regular contact with associates in Melbourne and associates in Victoria (who were) distributing cash proceeds of drug sales to him using international banking accounts and cash transfers," Victorian state Police Commissioner Christine Nixon said in Melbourne.
    Australia will have 45 days to outline its case for extradition once the fugitive is served with an arrest warrant.
    Moran's death in 2004 was one of a string of gang murders which left 28 people dead over 10 years in a tit-for-tat drugs turf war in Melbourne, Australia's second largest city.

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  1. dutch-marshal
    Police crack international drug ring

    Police crack international drug ring

    Australian Federal Police have arrested the alleged king pin of an international drug ring importing cocaine into Australia.The 40-year-old man from Melbourne was arrested by police in Amsterdam after the AFP alerted Dutch authorities.
    Arrest warrants were issued in November for the man, alleged to be the head of an international drug smuggling operation spanning three continents, the AFP said.

    The AFP will ask the federal government to seek his extradition to Melbourne to face charges of importing a marketable quantity of cocaine into Australia.
    The AFP alleges the syndicate, operating out of Australia, Canada and the Netherlands, conspired to import cocaine using an international network of drug couriers.
    "Taking out the principals in this alleged drug syndicate will help disrupt the flow of illegal narcotics into both Australia and Canada," AFP spokesman Roman Quaedvlieg said.
    "This operation depended heavily on international law enforcement cooperation from Canada and Holland.
    "Its success is a testament to the efficacy of our cooperation with foreign police agencies."
    The 40-year-old man is believed to have given evidence against gangland figure Tony Mokbel, who was convicted of drug trafficking by the Victorian Supreme Court last year.
    Mokbel is currently serving a 12-month jail sentence in Greece after being found guilty of identity fraud.

    A 31-year-old man from Hawthorn, in Melbourne, and a 37-year-old Canberra man, also believed to be major organisers in the drug syndicate, were arrested at their homes.
    The Hawthorn man has been charged with a proceeds of crime offence in relation to the syndicate's activities, the AFP said.

    The Canberra man has been charged with conspiracy to import a marketable quantity of a border controlled drug.
    He was expected to be extradited to Melbourne on Friday.
    Documents, mobile phones and computers were seized at the Canberra address.

    AFP officers also executed search warrants at five inner-suburban Melbourne premises in Southbank, Prahran, South Yarra, St Kilda and Hawthorn, seizing credit cards and materials which could be used in the production of narcotics.

    The maximum penalty for the drug offences is a fine of $550,000 and/or 25 years imprisonment, the AFP said.
    The 40-year-old man cannot be identified because his name has been suppressed by court order.

    Victoria Police Drug Taskforce Detective Inspector Steve Smith said the arrest was the result of a joint effort between the AFP and Victoria Police, with help from Interpol.
    He said the man had absconded while on bail in 2003.

    "We are pleased to have been able to provide assistance to the Australian Federal Police on this matter and we will continue working with them in relation to this person in the future," Det Insp Smith said.

    "This person has always remained a person of interest to us and we are pleased he has been located and will be returned to Australia where he will face serious consequences for his actions," he said.

    "His arrest today is an indication of the level of commitment of the members of the Drug Taskforce.

    "We took steps to have his details listed on Interpol ensuring that he would come to the attention of international authorities and always remained confident that eventually he would be located and justice would be served."

  2. big mick
    sorry to see you go like this


    by the way you could of got a better wig
  3. Terrapinzflyer
    Mokbel: I ran drug empire

    TONY Mokbel has admitted he was the mastermind of a massive drug empire, ending a decade-long legal battle and one of Victoria's most expensive police investigations.

    A plea deal reached between the Director of Public Prosecutions and Mokbel's defence team has resulted in him pleading guilty to three serious drugs offences - and avoiding trial on a raft of other charges arising from four separate police operations dating back to 2000.

    Five years after he skipped bail during his cocaine trafficking trial and sailed into hiding in Greece, the plea deal has also led to the lifting of long-standing suppression orders on court cases involving Mokbel, or linked to him.

    As a result it can now be revealed that:

    ■Mokbel was accused of bankrolling, with Carl Williams, the slaying of ''Carlton Crew'' crime patriarch Lewis Moran at the height of the gangland war. He was acquitted by a jury in 2009.

    ■Mokbel was charged with murdering hot-dog seller and small-time drug dealer Michael Marshall, 38, in front of his son, 5, in South Yarra in 2003. The charge was later withdrawn.

    ■Mokbel backed out of a drug deal with undercover police in 2005 when he became suspicious he was being watched.

    ■At least eight associates of Mokbel have been jailed since February, 2009, for offences including drug trafficking.

    On Monday this week, Mokbel, 45, pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court of Victoria to trafficking large commercial quantities of methamphetamine (speed) and MDMA, the key active ingredient in ecstasy, in the mid-2000s.

    He also pleaded guilty to inciting an undercover police officer to import a commercial quantity of MDMA in 2005. The trafficking charges each carry a maximum life sentence, while the incitement charge, which is a federal offence, carries a maximum seven-year jail term.

    Under the deal, it is expected that prosecutors will encourage a significantly reduced sentence that could see Mokbel serve as little as 20 years, with concession based on his guilty pleas saving the expense of seven protracted trials.

    Prosecutor Peter Kidd told Justice Simon Whelan that following the guilty pleas, all other matters against Mokbel would be discontinued. They include multiple charges of trafficking a large commercial quantity of speed, trafficking a commercial quantity of ecstasy and conspiring to traffic a commercial quantity of speed.

    Charges of trafficking speed, cocaine, MDMA, and dealing with crime proceeds were also dropped as part of the plea deal.

    Justice Whelan yesterday lifted 24 long-standing suppression orders banning the publication in Victoria of the accusations against Mokbel.

    The charges he has pleaded guilty to stem from three major police operations, code named Magnum, Quills and Orbital.

    In a summary of the Magnum case, which was prepared for trials and does not represent an agreed version of events, the prosecution claims Mokbel was the main man behind the manufacture and distribution of the multimillion-dollar drug trafficking enterprise, consisting of at least 10 people, known as ''The Company''.

    It began to unravel in April 2007 after an associate of one of Mokbel's lieutenants approached police and agreed to go undercover for them.

    Mokbel's aides each had code names, and referred to him as ''The General'' and ''The Girl''.

    ''Tony Mokbel was the

    principal of this enterprise,'' the summary says. ''He established it. He co-ordinated it. He was the one who most benefited from it. It was his business.

    ''He had proprietary ownership over the raw or wholesale methamphetamine manufactured. He made vast profits from it. He engaged the most senior personnel, and directly and personally issued orders and directions to them.''

    Mokbel provided instructions to his henchmen over the telephone, who would run the operations like a business. One would manage the books, while others transported the chemicals, manufactured the drugs and delivered the final product to other associates, who would monitor the quality and sell the drugs to customers for up to $100,000 a kilogram.

    Trusted Mokbel associates would also collect cash earnings, which would be given or channelled back to Mokbel or to others at his direction.

    Some co-accused provided safe houses to store drugs, chemicals and drug money across Melbourne. Others provided an on-call service for the storage and delivery of drug trafficking paraphernalia. They also booked hotels where drugs were ''cut'' and packaged to be sold to other players before being sold in the community.

    The prosecution described the syndicate as ''very police savvy'', with various practices to avoid police detection.

    A spreadsheet of drug transactions between July 2006 and June 2007, known as ''The Bill'', shows that The Company's gross turnover during that time was more than $4 million. This was paid directly to Mokbel, was paid for his benefit, or was forwarded as outgoing disbursements to his associates and interests, at his direction.

    The Company also funded Mokbel's Greek getaway after he skipped bail while on trial for cocaine importation. He was convicted in his absence, and sentenced to 12 years' jail, with a minimum of nine.

    Mokbel's elaborate escape plot included a stint hiding in Bonnie Doon, in central Victoria, before he was driven to Western Australia, where he boarded a $323,000 luxury yacht - purchased with drug money - to Greece, where he arrived in December 2006.

    He spent 15 months on the run before being arrested in a coffee shop in Athens on June 6, 2007, wearing an ill-fitting wig as he sipped coffee with an Australian friend.

    The prosecution said that while Mokbel was abroad, he ''was able to conduct this drug trafficking business remotely through the engagement of personnel to run the business on his behalf, and by giving directions and instructions, mostly over the telephone.''

    Earlier police operations, codenamed Orbital and Quills, centred on Mokbel's conduct in 2005, when he organised the manufacture of thousands of ecstasy tablets from three pill presses hidden at Craigieburn and Coburg properties.

    He had cooks to make the drugs and was the syndicate leader. More than 30 kilograms of MDMA was pressed into pills.

    Two of Mokbel's subordinates would make the pills before laying them on a couple of pizza trays under heat lamps to cook.

    Mokbel repeatedly told his minions that the pills were not of sufficient quality.

    He also wanted his own branding on the pills. ''He wanted the new stamps to have the logos 'Rock', with a star in the background, the Superman symbol, 'F1' and a dove,'' the prosecution summary says.

    In the middle of the massive ecstasy manufacturing operation, in June 2005, Mokbel unwittingly met two Australian Federal Police undercover officers involved in Orbital.

    The Crown says Mokbel wanted to buy powder from the undercover officers to further his ecstasy pill press operations.

    During a meeting with the pair at Melbourne's Langham Hotel at Southbank, Mokbel said he needed chemicals.

    He met them again the next day and discussed processing MDMA powder. He told them that from one kilogram of powder, he could make 7000 tablets.

    Mokbel's eventual order to the police operatives was for 100 kilograms of MDMA powder, valued at $1.2 million.

    But a fortnight later, he telephoned one of the operatives and left a voicemail message.

    ''Hello mate,'' Mokbel said. ''I am the guy from Melbourne, umm I have been trying to get a hold of yous (sic) for a little while and, and to let you know that I am not interested in your project.

    ''Umm, and I never had any intentions to, ah, so, ah, please do not get in contact with us, all right? Thank you.''

    The prosecution says that when Mokbel left the phone message, he believed that the pill press operation had become the target of a police operation and he became suspicious of people he was dealing with. He was right - eventually.

    Mokbel was arrested by federal detectives in October 2005, two months after Victorian detectives raided his Craigieburn garage where the drugs were being cooked.

    When interviewed, he claimed he met with the undercover operatives to become an informer, and said he never had any intention to go through with the arrangements.

    Mokbel will reappear in the Supreme Court before Justice Whelan to face a pre-sentence plea hearing on June 16.

    Andrea Petrie and Adrian Lowe
    April 20, 2011
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