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Daily Archives: July 10th, 2010

David MacDonald ''Wolf''' Carroll

ONE is nicknamed Wolf and is known as ”the bikie godfather of Halifax” – a notorious Hells Angel who thrived in a Canadian gang war so vicious it made Melbourne underworld rivalries look like child’s play.

The other, ”Whitey”, is an 80-year-old career criminal described by a film director making a movie based on his life as ”the second most wanted man after bin Laden”.

David MacDonald ”Wolf”’ Carroll and James Joseph ”Whitey” Bulger are two international fugitives whose names this week appeared on Interpol’s 60 ”most wanted” list.

The pair are among seven people charged with crimes ranging from murder to fraud who are believed to have links to Australia. An eighth man, Anthony Carl Prestidge, is wanted by Australian police over the 2002 murder of his brother-in-law in Perth.

While Interpol and Crime Stoppers International are tight-lipped about where the fugitives have been seen, they say some are known to have established links here. In other cases, Australia is listed among a handful of countries where the fugitives could be hiding.

”They are all very serious cases and dangerous suspects,” said Martin Cox, assistant director of Interpol’s Fugitive Investigative Support unit.

”It is more likely that someone will recognise one of these fugitives from a social networking site or a chat room than spotting them walking down the street,” Mr Cox said. ”We have no new information on [the targets’] whereabouts, which is why we are asking the public to help.”

Interpol’s Operation Infra-Red began quietly in May, when investigators from 29 countries gathered at the world police organisation’s headquarters in Lyon, France, to share intelligence on the fugitives, some of whom had been on the run for a decade.

By this week, when Interpol went public, investigators had already netted several key scalps operating across a network of countries.

A similar operation in 2009 targeted 145 fugitives and led to the arrests of 45. Eight have since been jailed.

”Wolf” Carroll cut his teeth in the brutal battle between the Quebec Nomads – a Hells Angels chapter – and rival gang the Rock Machine.

By the time Canadian police arrested 138 bikies as part of Operation Springtime in 2001, more than 160 had been killed in the five-year war.

But Carroll – one of the most powerful criminals in Canada who is believed to have controlled a $100 million-a-year drug trade – slipped their net. Years later, he was spotted in the Dominican Republic, where he had formed a Hells Angels chapter to traffic drugs into North America. He has since disappeared again.

Examples of the Canadian Angels’ senseless brutality include the death of an 11-year-old boy in 1995, who was killed by shrapnel from a car bomb, and the non-fatal shooting of a veteran crime reporter in 2000.

In 1997, a Rock Machine chieftain packed a truck with more than 45 kilograms of dynamite and crashed it through the Hells Angels’ clubhouse in Quebec City. The explosion knocked people out of their beds in more than 20 nearby buildings. A mass protest led to a law giving police extraordinary powers to investigate organised crime.

That Wolf Carroll might be enjoying the assistance of Australian associates is unsurprising – the winged death head emblem of the Hells Angels is as universal as the McDonald’s golden arches. The world’s most influential bikie gang has members across 26 countries on five continents running a global drug-running enterprise, with side businesses of murder and loan-sharking. The Australian Crime Commission admits bikies have infiltrated this country’s maritime and security industries.

Information a former bikie drip-fed to Canadian police sealed the fate of many criminals there, but the FBI had an enemy within who had allowed ”Whitey” Bulger to prosper then disappear.

In 1949, when John Connolly was a decade away from becoming an FBI agent, the 20-year-old Bulger, his head covered with a shock of white hair, shielded his young neighbour from older bullies and became his protector.

Over the next 30 years, Bulger, the brother of a US senator, would propel the poor Irish-American kid from the South Boston projects to star detective status via a steady flow of information about his rivals.

Connolly was credited with almost single-handedly bringing down Boston’s Italian mafia in the 1980s, through tip-offs from Bulger and his offsider, Stephen ”the Rifleman” Flemmi.

Connolly, accused of turning a blind eye to Bulger’s prolific criminal activity – which included gangland murders, IRA fund-raising, drug trafficking and racketeering – is serving a 10-year sentence for tipping off Bulger and Flemmi to their indictment in 1994. If the story sounds familiar, the character of Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) in Martin Scorsese’s The Departed was partly based on Bulger. A film based on his life, directed by another Oscar winner, Jim Sheridan, is in production.

For the past few years, Bulger has travelled the world with his girlfriend, Catherine Elizabeth Greig, 21 years his junior.

Killers of a lesser criminal calibre with suspected links to Australia include accused British murderer Christopher Guest More, a former undercover researcher for BBC TV. More and several accomplices – who have since been jailed – allegedly tortured drug dealer Brian Watersin front of his children before killing him over a drug debt in Cheshire, England, in 2003. Meanwhile, Australian police are seeking information on Edinburgh-born Anthony Carl Prestidge, 49, whose brief visit to Australia in 2002 allegedly ended with the murder of his brother-in-law Andy Arthur Ball, 24, in Ellenbrook, north-eastern Perth.

Days before Mr Ball was killed, his wife Angela, 14 years his senior and pregnant with their second daughter, suddenly left him. On September 10, 2002, Mr Ball went to meet Prestidge, who had just arrived from Scotland, with hopes of getting in contact with his wife.

West Australian detectives believe Prestidge killed Mr Ball but will not reveal the nature of the victim’s injuries. Mr Ball’s car was found at Perth Airport and surveillance cameras recorded Prestidge buying a one-way ticket out of Australia.

Mr Ball’s parents, Arthur and Jean, have not seen their granddaughters since their son’s death.

”We feel like we have been forgotten and it’s like he’s got away with it,” Arthur Ball said last year. ”He’s taken a part of our lives away completely. Not only have we lost Andy but we have lost his children. Unless something happens we are not likely to see them again.”

Crime Stoppers International spokesman Peter Price said branches of his organisation in five countries, including Australia – with a combined population of 500 million – were helping Interpol with Operation Infra-Red.

”We live in a global community and these people have family and friends, and are lurking in our community,” Mr Price said. ”You, the community are your own first line of defence and your best weapon is the phone or PC.”