Two men have been charged over the brutal attack on drug lord Tony Mokbel inside Barwon Prison.
The men, both aged 21, have been charged with attempted murder and alternate charges of intentionally causing serious injury.
They will both appear before the Geelong Magistrates’ Court on Friday for a filing hearing.
At Barwon Prison – where Mokbel was stabbed on Monday – it is not only survival of the fittest, but the smartest.
Prison sources describe Victoria’s toughest jail as a ‘political mine field’ where those who fail to play the right game can wind up seriously hurt or even dead.
The jail where Mokbel was knifed with a ‘shiv’ – slang for a knife made inside prison – has housed some of Australia’s worst criminals and continues to do so.
Paramedics move the critically injured Mokbel to the ambulance after fearing he would die
Tony Mokbel, the drug lord serving 30 years, is fighting for his life after being attacked
Rapists and killers Adrian Bayley and Sean Price grace its halls, alongside mass murderer Julian Knight and serial killer Greg Brazel.
Russell Street bomber Craig ‘Fatty’ Minogue is there – and he continues to broadcast breaking news tweets from his Barwon cell via mates on the outside.
Over the years the power landscape inside the jail has changed from long-time prison thugs to bikies to Islanders and Muslim gangs.
Police believe Mokbel was attacked by two men of Pacific Islander appearance after a report on Sunday labelled him a prison ‘enforcer’ who still wielded power behind bars.
He remains in Royal Melbourne Hospital on Tuesday in a serious condition, but is expected to survive the attack.
Mokbel had reportedly been disrupting an extortion racket being run by Pacific Islander inmates.
The Herald Sun reported they had been demanding $50 a month from a young prisoner when Mokbel stepped in.
Islander gangs have grown in power over recent years in direct response to racist gangs.
It is an islander who is believed to have stuck Mokbel after taking offense at the news report.
In April 2010, convicted Melbourne gangland murderer and drug dealer Carl Williams was bashed to death inside the Acacia Unit by fellow prisoner Matthew Johnson.
Feared Prisoner of War prison gang boss Matthew Johnson killed Carl Williams inside Barwon Prison
The bike stem used by Matthew Johnson to bash in Carl Williams’ skull after fearing he was a rat
Johnson is the leader of the notoriously violent prison gang Prisoners of War, which hates pretty much anyone who doesn’t look and act like it’s own members.
The gang is known to be so violent it will carry out sex acts on other inmates just to humiliate and degrade them into submission.
Over the years the gang has evolved, even operating outside prison walls.
In 2013, the Prisoners of War aligned with a bikie gang in order to boost its ranks.
It’s dominance has seen the emergence of other powerful gangs fed up with being stepped on.
‘Everyone’s got something to prove in here so you’re always fighting. Especially if you’re bigger because these idiots want to impress their boys by saying they punched on with the biggest guys in the unit,’ an ex con told Vice recently.
‘You want to be down with us, you got to be able to throw down. A lot of our boys get jumped in. It’s an old prison thing from NZ and on the streets … One of our older fellas is real heavy from NZ and just got deported because he tried to start Black Power in the jails here.’
Muslim groups have also taken hold of significant power behind Barwon’s prison walls.
Acacia – a high security management unit that is used to accommodate high risk prisoners.
Banksia – a management unit for prisoners requiring close supervision or protection.
Hoya – a protection unit mainly rapists and informers
Cassia – a mainstream unit which is classed as the reception unit for mainstream prisoners.
Diosma – a mainstream unit which is seen as a first stop after Cassia, Eucalypt – a mainstream unit used to house older, more settled long term prisoners.
Grevillea – a remand unit, housing prisoners yet to be convicted or sentenced
Melaleuca – a high security unit that is used to accommodate high risk prisoners.
Olearia – a prison within a prison, for prisoners who cannot mix with others
The men are known to pray together and have been heavily recruiting non-Muslim inmates.
Many of its recruits are turned over the simple fact that they seek protection from the other wolves at their cell doors.
The gangs are known to be ultra-violent, with little tolerance for perceived ‘infidels’.
Various bikie gangs also continue to hold a presence at Barwon where either alliances are formed between gangs or shivs.
Hells Angel Christopher Wayne Hudson is believed to still be pulling the strings inside.
There are also African gangs growing in power and the Middle Eastern jail gangs continue to thrive.
Mokbel is the latest in a long line of inmates to be ‘shanked’ inside the maximum security prison in Lara.
Last year, Jill Meagher’s killer Adrian Bayley was was stabbed by another inmate with a fork.
He had been in the Hoya unit, a protection unit for prisoners at high risk of being attacked, when he was set upon.
Child killer Arthur Freeman, who threw his daughter Darcey to her death from the West Gate Bridge, was also in the Hoya unit when he reportedly started a wild brawl in 2011 because of taunting from other inmates.
He is also known to have caused chaos after he began playing an electronic keyboard badly.
Like Mokbel, Williams was attacked after he appeared on the front page of a newspaper article labelling him a rat.
Mokbel, 53, was serving 30 years for drug trafficking when he was stabbed.
The once tubby gangster was in the best shape of his life after finding exercise.
He had also changed his diet and was reportedly living on tinned fish, brown rice, fresh vegetables and white egg omelettes.
Like many long-serving inmates, Mokbel has found peace in preparing food in an environment when you need to be clever to cook.
Killer Adrian Bayley was stabbed with a fork last year. He is despised in Barwon for murdering Jill Meagher and having parole laws tightened
Peverted food lover John Xydias outlined his love of Barwon jail food in a series of letters
Old-school inmates are known to be able to create everything from apple pies to fried rice with recycled vegetables.
John Xydias, one of Australia’s worst sex offenders who was jailed for 28 years for drugging women and graphically filmed his sexual attacks on them, has become a ‘foodie’ inside prison.
He once bragged about his love of prison food in a series of pie stained letters sent to his ex-girlfriend Josie Francoli.
‘”I would never have thought prison would be so f—-n nice,” he wrote in 2009.
‘If only the media knew that crims eat ‘prawns, scallops, lobster’, prime cuts of steak.
‘The media would have a hard time digesting that.’
WHO’S WHO IN THE BARWON ZOO
ADRIAN BAYLEY: Raped and murdered Gillian Meagher in 2012 – sentenced to 35 years in prison
SEAN PRICE: Murdered teenager Masa Vukotic then raped a woman two days later – sentenced to 40 years in prison
JULIAN KNIGHT: Shot dead 7 people and injured 19 others in Hoddle Street massacre – sentenced to 7 life sentences.
CRAIG MINOGUE: Killed a female officer in the Russell Street police headquarters bombing – sentenced to minimum 27 years in prison
ARTHUR FREEMAN: child killer who threw four-year-old Darcey Freeman off the West Gate Bridge – sentenced to a minimum 32 years prison