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PNG cocaine bust: Italian police say Mafia so entrenched in Australian politics and business it is impossible to stamp out

PNG cocaine bust: Australia is a “state of Italy”

Italian police have now classed the mafia in Australia as so entrenched, they believe it would be impossible to stamp out completely with Australian police only able to make busts where they can.

First published February, 2016

by Charles Miranda

ITALIAN police have carried out a series of raids to smash a Mafia-led operation to smuggle cocaine to Australia that police say godfathers have now divided into six zones for trafficking drugs, extortion and money laundering.

And such is the entrenchment of Mafia links to Australia now, authorities say the country is virtually a state of Italy and it would be impossible to ever wipe out.

Authorities have uncovered a treasure trove of intelligence related to the fearsome Calabrian-based ’ Ndrangheta mafia group and their operations in Australia including members’ infiltration of key areas to assist in their trade, including transport and politics.

The police operation last week with raids on more than a dozen homes in Calabria has seen 14 members of clans linked to ’Ndrangheta arrested and charged with “criminal association linked to international drugs tracking”, namely to Australia and Canada.

One of eight refused bail is a police officer tasked with protection of a port but instead was allegedly providing guidance on evading controls and security for drug shipments.

Leading Melbourne mafia figure Rocco Arico was jailed in 2017 for drugs, extortion and weapons offences

The case was the culmination of five years of work by the Central Operational Service of the Italian National Police, a specialist Italian police squad from Calabria and the district’s Anti-Mafia Prosecutor’s Office.

Despite the success of arrests and uncovering intelligence on international operations through extensive listening devices, taps and surveillance, it may not assist the overall ’Ndrangheta crime fight in      Australia.

Italian police have now classed the mafia in Australia as so entrenched, they believe it would be impossible to stamp out completely with Australian police only able to make busts where they can.

“Australia is not a target nation any more, it’s now like a state of Italy from a criminal perspective,” a senior Italian officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, told News Corp Australia.

“They are entrenched in their activities and have been for a long time. They have not got an expansion strategy with your country any more, it’s not expansion, it’s consolidation. Australia, Canada, Belgium, United States, Germany are all countries where these crimes are being consolidated.”

’Ndrangheta work as “strictly a family-based enterprise, affiliation having to be through blood relation”.

According to evidence gathered by authorities, the group had designated six “locales” in Australia for Calabrian-linked mafia, not necessarily by state but by powerbase for extended family support and drug importation markets as well as large-scale construction contracts, paying of backhanders and racketeering. Each locale has its own mob boss that reports directly to Italy

Former WA mayor faces accusations he led mafia cell

Court documents from ongoing proceedings in Italy also show Italian prosecutors allege Tony Vallelonga, who is the former mayor of Stirling in Perth, is the local leader of a mafia cell in Perth.

Court files allege that Mr Vallelonga is responsible for “making the most important decisions, imparting orders or imposing sanctions on other subordinate associates”.

The files allege Mr Vallelonga was concerned about a rival who wanted to start his own cell on Mr Vallelonga’s turf with the approval of Calabrian bosses.

det-sup-matt-warren

Photo: Detective-Superintendent Matt Warren said the mafia was robust and difficult to defeat. (ABC)

Mr Vallelonga was allegedly recorded in an Italian laundromat recounting a conversation with his competitor where he allegedly said: “As long as I’m alive, you don’t get a locale [local mafia cell] … and that’s that!”

To which his rival responded: “You can’t be the man any more … enough!”

It comes after the prosecutors sought to question Mr Vallelonga over his dealings in Calabria with a notorious mafia boss.

Mr Valleonga has always denied the allegations and in a statement sent to the ABC, Mr Vallelonga’s lawyer said any allegation the former mayor had ever been involved in criminal activity was “completely without any foundation”.

Outside of the political arena, Italian police have identified another Australian allegedly working in Calabria who is part of the influential Alvaro family.

Some members of the family were recently subjects of an international anti-mafia operation when authorities seized tonnes of cocaine and made dozens of arrests.

Confidential Italian and Australian police files state that the Alvaro clan has arms in Australia.

They are allegedly headed by Adelaide construction figure Paul Alvaro, 64, and a New South Wales man.

The pair are among figures around the country, including in Griffith, New South Wales.

A police assessment said the individuals operate as “an executive board of directors” for the Calabrian Mafia.

PNG police try to cover up $80m drug plane crash – hold fishermen at gunpoint to prevent assistance

Federal Police omitted to mention this part of the drug operation:

Letter to the Editor

from Susan Merrell, PNG,  30 July 2020

Strong allegations:

What and who is behind the July 26 plane crash at Papa LeaLea? Are government agencies in PNG progressing from mere corruption into the drug trade and international crime?

Implicated is Deputy Police Commissioner Operations Donald Yamasombi who is said to have been at the crash site of aircraft, registration VHTSI at LeaLea, near Port Moresby before the AFP arrived but “said nothing” about the crash. Why not?

This accusation forms part of the unverified information I have been receiving from reliable sources, sources that I’m confident would not knowingly mislead.

PNG police attend the crash of a Cessna 404 which flew from Mareeba FNQ airport, Far North Queensland. The Cessna 404 is the largest of the twin engine Cessna piston aircraft range. Built solidly it can carry 9 passengers and luggage or uplift 1 tonne of freight.
It has some 8 hours of endurance and because of its geared propellers it is one of the quietest twin engine aircraft ever built. 

The aircraft is suspected to have landed to load a cargo of cocaine on a flight, probably returning to Australia from where it had originally taken off. The question is: where did the cocaine come from and who was facilitating this?

As told to me:
“The flight left Mareeba [in Northern Queensland] and was tracked by the Aussies all the way to final impact. Shortly after take off the pilot turned off transponders [and other tracking instruments] mistakenly believing this would make him blind to radar tracking. (A lesson learnt from the MH70 fiasco!)

The strip at LeaLea is an old disused/abandoned strip but still marked on older and better navigation maps. The ever-helpful villagers had cleared it just enough for this flight. The plane landed, loaded the drugs and again, thanks to the villagers, was refuelled – the empty avgas drums were on site, probably still are?

Over 500 kg of cocaine eventually seized by police

It should have had more than enough fuel on board for a return to Mareeba – if that’s where it was going. If it had a full fuel load when it left Mareeba, flying time would have been about 7hours, more than enough to get back.

The plane crashed on take off – it made it high enough to be picked up on radar but then went down. The most likely cause, according to assembled pilots, was a dramatic load shift, a single engine failure or simply overloaded? It appears there was a small fire in the port engine when she went down.

The police are reported to have attended the site early Monday – BULLSH*T! They were there when it happened. Four Boroko Fishing Club members were at Lealea packing up ready to leave when it happened. They were held at gunpoint by armed police for just on an hour and prevented from “rendering assistance” and/or leaving the boat ramp.

Cessna pilot David Cutmore, a Melbourne flying school instructor

Still visible were the rest of the police doing their best to set fire to the plane wreckage and the cargo. In this they largely succeeded, particularly the cargo, of which we are told nothing remained intact. There was, and still is no sign of the pilot but blood stains on the plane’s steering wheel/instrument panel would indicate he must have got a nasty bump on the head on impact – maybe those helpful villagers are helping out again?!

Furthermore, I’ve been told that a dog unit policeman said that a chopper was sent on Monday morning to remove the wreckage but policemen were guarding the plane so they left.

Contrary to this report – I have also been told that the cargo (purportedly 500kgs of cocaine) was spirited away before the attempted destruction of the aircraft. (500 kg of Cocaine now in police custody-Editor)

That’s a lot of cocaine and worth millions on the streets of Australia. Cocaine is a high-priced recreation drug beloved of affluent drug users……..

from Susan Merrell, PNG,  30 July 2020

Further allegations from PNG Happenings Today:

How is (Deputy Police Commissioner Donald) Yamasombi’s brother in law, Hubert Namani of the PNG Accident Investigation Commission (AIC) mooted to be implicated in the saga of the plane crash at Papa Lealea along with Yamasombi’s nephew, a former PNGDF officer?

Asserted by my source, is that two of the Deputy Commissioner’s policemen went to Jacksons Airport NAC fuel depot with 15 jerry cans to collect fuel. You make the connections to the brother-in-law.

Also asserted is that 144 bags of cocaine (in 28 boxes) were taken from the site before the alarm was raised. S/he also asserts that 30 bags of cocaine were subsequently seized from the Sanctuary Hotel and that Donald Yamasombi’s ex military nephew had been seen there in the company of hotel owner, Jamie Pang. Make of that what you want too.

My source also claims that cocaine is available on the streets of Port Moresby at K500-600 ($A250 – $300) per teaspoon. At that price I posited that there couldn’t be many customers. He countered with their names. I was astonished and you’d be too, if I could tell you whom. However, there is evidence I need to gather before I am able to name them – but I know who you are alleged to be. Suffice it to say, the person who’s running this drug trade is purported to be a former policeman linked to William Kapris. (PNG high profile bank robber shot dead by police in 2013 after escaping prison)

The plot thickens.

I am now told that the police have 28 boxes containing 144 packs of cocaine at police headquarters and I’m also told that the reserve police officer working with customs is Jason Tan’s brother-in-law. Jason (Malaysian-born business leader) is suspected to have (previously) killed the Alice Springs (Northern Territory) owner of the plane that crashed – a Geoffrey Bull?

From ABC, 2019:

“A search of Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s register shows the Cessna’s registration holder is a PNG company called RAVENPOL NO. 69.

Company documents show its sole director and shareholder is Geoffrey Paul Bull (of Alice Springs), but several sources have said he was murdered in Port Moresby last year.

According to the aircraft register Ravenpol became the registration holder in January this year, after Mr Bull’s death….”

In an undercover operation ongoing prior to the Cessna flying to PNG, police have caught and charged a number of the Melbourne drug syndicate members who arrived in Atherton by air earlier in July.

https://spaces.hightail.com/space/e6w7U7dpgR

To be continued…….