Tuesday, 31 January 2012

THE person who kills Vincenzo Focarelli can be the head of the state's newest bikie gang chapter, underworld figures have been told.

 

THE person who kills Vincenzo Focarelli can be the head of the state's newest bikie gang chapter, underworld figures have been told. Police sources say their intelligence suggests the leadership of the South Australian chapter of the Comanchero Motorcycle Club is the prize for killing the renegade gang leader. Focarelli survived a fourth attempt on his life on Sunday night, but lost his son Giovanni, 22, to an assassin's bullets in a suburban street ambush in Flame Ave, Dry Creek. The theories on a motive range from a drug deal gone wrong to a trap for the man who has been the target of would-be killers for the past two years. Despite his son's death, Focarelli has refused to tell police if he knew who was responsible for the attack. Sources close to Adelaide's bikie underworld believe that Giovanni, who died on Prospect Rd in the back seat of a car as his father tried to rush him to hospital, is the victim of retribution from within the Comancheros, or of an attack by Hells Angels. Vince Focarelli has dismissed claims of infighting and claims to be SA president of the Comancheros. But lawyer Craig Caldicott and other sources said yesterday that he had been kicked out of the gang. "He may call himself a Comanchero, he may even dress up in a Comanchero outfit; but I have it on a pretty good source that he's not a Comanchero," Mr Caldicott said. "It could be (Comanchero retribution)  that's just speculation." A police source said Vince Focarelli's dumping as president and the spate of shootings had been initiated by interstate Comancheros, who stripped his tattoo parlour, Ink Central, of the club's paraphernalia amid claims he had siphoned off drug profits after his appointment early last year. The interstate rivals of the Hells Angels want to maintain a presence in SA and are looking for a leader. Police investigating previous assassination bids on Focarelli linked the attacks to both the Comancheros and the Hells Angels. Giovanni Focarelli was the closest of his father's rapidly dwindling allies. Members and associates of the New Boys street gang he formed when his ties with the Hells Angels were broken yesterday indicated they would seek retribution. Posting a tribute message on the New BoyZ Support Crew Facebook page yesterday, a supporter warned that "no stone will go left unturned". Focarelli was rushed to the Royal Adelaide Hospital and for the second time in six weeks underwent surgery for gunshot wounds  believed to be to a leg and the shoulder. He is expected to make a full recovery. Police have been on high alert in recent weeks as they waited for the next violent chapter in the Focarelli saga. They have rushed to his home several times in the past month when family members called for help. Focarelli's wife is understood to have been constantly reporting noises around the house. Police who have attended the eastern-suburbs home have not found any trace of intruders. Focarelli has three daughters, who attend an all-girls school, while his surviving son attends a prestigious private school and is a talented sportsman. Police are keeping watch on the Ink Central tattoo parlour on Hindley St and STAR group officers were stationed at Adelaide Airport yesterday. Police Commissioner Mal Hyde yesterday called for new laws and blamed lenient court sentences for the rise in bikie violence. He said the culture of a code of silence and violence within bikie groups had made current laws difficult to enforce. "The reality is violence, a wall of silence and intimidation is all part of a bikie's persona ... it creates a great barrier (for police)," he said. "When you have these offences happening in a way where you intimidate witnesses, it makes it much more difficult to legislate." Mr Hyde said police were particularly concerned with two feuds engulfing bikie groups  between Vince Focarelli and the Comancheros, and between the Finks and the Hells Angels following the shooting of former Finks member Mark Sandery's 11-year-old son. "Their behaviour and resorting to violence to sort out the differences between them is a concern to us," he said. Police were "keeping an open mind" on the motive for the Dry Creek shooting. "At this stage we are exploring all motives, including... tension within the Comancheros... another bikie group (or something else)," he said. "The circuit-breaker would be to apprehend those involved and put them before the courts."

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