Sunday, 3 April 2011

POLICE taskforce is investigating links between the Finks motorcycle gang and the stabbing of a prominent boxing promoter

POLICE taskforce is investigating links between the Finks motorcycle gang and the stabbing of a prominent boxing promoter whose Brighton car wash has been the subject of two drive-by shootings in the past three months.

The Ethical Standards Division is also examining allegations that sensitive information was leaked by police officers to an associate of the Finks, which could have compromised other investigations into the notorious gang.

The recent attacks on businessman and boxing identity David Deicke have fuelled concerns about the unprecedented power of bikie gangs in Victoria and their growing propensity for brazen violence. Yesterday, The Age revealed attempts by the Hells Angels to extort $1 million from one of Australia's largest construction companies.

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Mr Deicke, who is a half-brother of former champion boxer Lester Ellis, collapsed in The Alfred hospital's emergency ward after being stabbed twice at his Nepean Highway business last December.

Mr Deicke never reported the incident and claims he was the victim of a botched robbery. But police suspect members of the Finks were responsible for the attack and asked The Sunday Age to delay publication because of concerns for Mr Deicke's safety.

According to several sources, Mr Deicke sold a white Range Rover from his former Essendon car yard to a man associated with the outlaw gang. But an outstanding debt of about $80,000 was owed to a finance company when the vehicle was transferred.

Mr Deicke, who also uses the names David Ellis and David Becks, was stabbed after telling a gang member he was unable or unwilling to repay the debt.

Mr Deicke is understood to have approached Sydney boxing promoter and underworld figure Fidel Tukel to intervene in the feud. Mr Tukel refused to get involved, despite his close links with the Finks and Comancheros in New South Wales.

Subsequent extortion attempts are believed to have led to the recent shootings at Mr Deicke's Brighton Auto Spa, which were reported to police by an employee.

Mr Deicke confirmed he had sold the car two years ago. But he denied the vehicle was purchased by a bikie or that the sale had any connection to the recent stabbing and shootings.

''I don't know who it was [who bought the car], someone came in here to rob the place and I attacked him and got stabbed. The last thing I need is this plastered all over the paper,'' Mr Deicke said.

Moorabbin police seized surveillance footage from cameras at the Brighton car yard, while the investigation has been broadened to include the Apollo taskforce, which was formed to combat bikie gangs and their organised crime networks.

But the taskforce has been compromised by a series of police leaks, which are now the subject of an Ethical Standards investigation. At least two police officers have been interviewed over their involvement with an associate of several motorcycle gangs, including the Finks.

The Finks made Melbourne a base after being declared a criminal organisation in 2009 by the South Australian government.

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