Bigwig. The Remarkable Rise and Fall of Tony Mokbel by Liam Houlihan

By Liam Houlihan

An epic story of relations, crime and betrayal set opposed to the backdrop of Melbourne's bullet-riddled suburbs. The cradle-to-cage tale of ways milk-bar proprietor Tony Mokbel grew to become the Mr sizeable of Melbourne's drug exchange with tentacles attaining round Australia and the globe.

Award-winning crime author Liam Houlihan records the intense upward thrust and fall of the fellow they name 'Fat Tony', from his ascension during the drug exchange to the decade-long and only-now-complete fight to carry Mokbel to account for his crimes. Houlihan explores the legal intrigue and political embarrassment coming up from the bold and complicated get away by means of public enemy number 1 — out from below the noses of the professionals — in addition to the way in which filthy rich criminals with entry to clever legal professionals may be able to take advantage of the method and hold up justice.

Featuring unique interviews with best police officers and Mokbel relations — and a solid of characters starting from Zarah Garde-Wilson to Carl and...

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Extra resources for Bigwig. The Remarkable Rise and Fall of Tony Mokbel

Sample text

The husky-voiced cartoon character gave the nickname global cachet and soon Mokbel’s associates and Brunswick locals had started using it for him. Given the hours he spent in gyms trying to battle his natural barrel build, Mokbel was quite sporting in his embrace of the tubby tag. He apparently took it as an affectionate Mafiosi-style title rather than an insult. The media first got wind of the moniker when Greg Domaszewicz, a Carl Williams associate acquitted of child killing, let it slip in an interview about Lewis Moran.

On the ground Australia’s biggest drug criminal and one of the country’s most senior lawmen came face to face. The inspector discharged his legal duty and told the captured fugitive that while he was on the run a jury had found him guilty of drug offences. The inspector also detailed to the prisoner the crimes for which he was wanted and further offences now alleged against him. It was a Saturday and the courts were closed. The inspector explained a bail justice would come out to the prison. The seriousness of the moment hung in the air as the two men – each respectively the personification of law and lawlessness – went through the motions.

But word of the plot spread. The horse’s feet came out a strange red colour from the paint job, and the fix descended into farce. Odds on Fine Cotton shortened from 33-1 to 7-2 and even as the equine impostor tore past the post, punters in the stands shouted ‘wrong horse’ and ‘ring-in’. Not even the horses themselves have been safe from standover tactics when money has been on the line. There were attempts to shoot Beau Vite and Phar Lap. And the conventional wisdom now is that Phar Lap’s sudden demise was a deliberate killing.

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