Male-model mystery in bikie succession plan
Melbourne's top crime writers Andrew Rule and Mark Buttler with their weekly dose of scallywag scuttlebutt.
KEYSTONE COPS HIT HURDLE
While his one-time colleagues were risking their necks over the massive Aintree fences in the English Grand National last Saturday, Melbourne's former international jumps jockey Jamie Evans was still recovering from a brush with the law.
Evans, who has had every major bone in his body broken in his career, was jumped by several cars full of police as he limped down a Heathmont street two weeks ago.
It's true that jumping jockeys and bull riders are known for their fearlessness, but it sounds like a lot of armed police to intercept one small, smashed-up, middle-aged invalid pensioner.
The reason for the over-the-top show of force, as Evans found out after one cowboy kneed him in his already permanently injured spine, was his suspicious backpack.
They were convinced it contained a huge stash of cocaine and a handgun, sort of Pablo Escobar meets Mad Dog Cox. No wonder they bounced the little guy around so vigorously, screaming at him Hollywood-style.
Sadly, no matter how closely they searched his backpack (and then his frightened girlfriend's nearby home) they found only $7.50 in change, a small bottle of "Alligator Blood" brand medical cannabis oil - and a half-eaten Mars Bar, possibly evidence of criminal waste.
The oil is the stuff that authorised medical cannabis expert Dr David Bird advised Evans to use to ease pains more effectively than the highly addictive painkillers usually prescribed.
The disappointed raiders compounded their mistake by banging Evans up for the night in the cells at Croydon police station. But when they took him before a magistrate next day, the beak told them not to waste his time and to release "this poor man immediately."
One charge, however, does stick. A constable called him a "smart-arse" and Evans pleads guilty to that.
"I did say Croydon Cops ought to be called the Keystone Cops," he admits. It seems he also provided unsolicited advice about the quality of "information" relied on to launch future "raids".
CROSSING THE MURRAY
Loose talk of Mick Murray ceding control of the Comancheros in some kind of bikie-land Kiribilli agreement may be a case of premature speculation.
The theory tossed around is that the way was being cleared for enforcer and office-bearer Hasan Topal to take the helm.
But Murray looked well in control on Saturday - out in front, wearing his national president patch - when the "Comos" hit the road for a run.
Hungry bikies arrived en masse at Tooradin's Tides Bar and Grill for lunch where, apart from lively consumption of steaks, events proceeded uneventfully.
The Herald Sun's on-the-spot reporter Brianna Travers doesn't miss much and she is confident Topal wasn't among the diners.
Former male model Topal - labelled by one reporter as "the man who put the OMG in OMCG" - has been visiting Turkey and Greece after leaving Melbourne for reasons unclear.
He had previously done some time over an infamous brawl between Melbourne and Sydney Comancheros enjoying a friendly catch-up at a Canberra nudie bar, the Capital Strip Club.
There was no "hold my beer" from Topal during the all-in blue.
Instead, he demonstrated his commitment to the Big V by smashing a glass into his forehead in the way more conventional bash artists might roll up their sleeves.
Topal is not the only biker type to suffer from attention-seeking behaviour.
Brothers for Life bikie gang enforcer Michael Arbawi has made his "look at me" statement in an open letter to the Melbourne crime world.
"I am the new face of the underworld," Arbawi declared in a letter (posted to the Herald Sun) asking why his shooting of an associate had not made the papers.
Arbawi is now doing up to eight years jail for shooting a man in the stomach at Coolaroo early on the morning of September 5, 2019.
They had been among a group heading to Campbellfield's Sylvania Hotel at 2.40am when Arbawi, Brothers For Life sergeant-at-arms, invited one of them to "take a little walk" with him - a line later derided by a judge as lifted "from a movie."
They say nothing good happens after midnight and Arbawi's victim now has a colostomy bag to prove it.
He was shot after declining Arbawi's offer.
"I am in jail for a shooting. It was underworld-related. I am in for shooting someone in the guts," Arbawi writes in his letter.
He invited the Herald Sun to write back to him but our lawyers advise that to do so is illegal.
DOLLAR BILL, WHERE ARE YOU?
Just as well we're not hanging around at Caulfield waiting for correct weight in the Bill Vlahos matter.
It is now 18 months since Vlahos pleaded guilty to defrauding "betting clients" to the tune of $17.5 million over five years.
But the racing world still waits to see what sentence will be imposed on the architect of the biggest punting scam in years.
Apparently, Bill worked out there is a "betting client" born every minute.
Meanwhile, the racing authorities who pretended not to notice Vlahos or the huge drug trafficker (former Qantas baggage handler) Damion Flower are turning a blind eye to other horse buyers with unlimited cash.
One is an international outfit apparently banned in other racing jurisdictions but welcomed to Australian yearling sales with open arms.
Another impresses horse breeding insiders as an obvious front for dirty money.
It is an open secret that massive prices are fuelled by big bidders funded by shadowy overseas interests with tentacles in Asia, the Middle East and Russia. But while the champagne is flowing, monkey no see evil.
HOOKED ON A FEELING
The oldest profession is back in the news because, shock horror, hundreds of "rentals" are hawking their wares by the hour in short-stay city and docklands apartments.
According to Deadline's consultant in these matters, the renters use several websites apart from Locanto, including Escorts, Babes and Skokka, ever since the US government unsportingly closed down the Backpage site.
Our expert suggests that unless there is a breach of the peace, police cannot do much about discreet prostitution in private premises.
"I know of several people working in this industry with the majority being overseas students," our correspondent states.
"I know of one in particular that has been able to live a luxurious lifestyle for the past 3.5 years. They have been able to afford a luxury apartment, paying for flights to other capital cities, paying for school fees and able to purchase a luxury vehicle in their home country. They are now even building a brand new house in their home country. They currently study as an overseas student two days per week."
Services vary but one thing does not. They don't pay tax.
Indignant tax payers should take this up with the relevant authorities. Which is, apparently, the Department of Home Affairs.
THE DIRT FILE
A business called Velvet Hands is upsetting the brothel establishment, apparently using a scooter to tow a promotional sign to the front of major venues.
Also hanging posters on places like the Westgate pylons next to the Wiggles posters.
It is believed Velvet Hands has nothing to do with soap.
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Originally published as Male-model mystery in bikie succession plan