Fugitive bikie boss Mark Buddle claims he paid bribes to officials in Northern Cyprus to remain there, but was still arrested in a dramatic raid.
The Comanchero commander was residing in the Mediterranean island on a tourist visa since July 7, 2021 and claims through his defence lawyer that local politicians were squeezing him for money.
The underworld kingpin has been a fugitive since he fled Australia in 2016, wanted by police in connection to inquiries into a number of murders and drug importation cases.
He stayed in several countries before arriving in Girne, Northern Cyprus.
Mark Buddle was expelled from Northern Cyprus last weekend and taken to a jail in Turkey from where he might soon be deported to Australia or a third country. He left Australia in 2016 and has spent time in Dubai, Iraq and Lebanon. Buddle is pictured with wife Mel Ter Wisscha
His attorney alleges middle men were demanding money on behalf of politicians to allow him to remain free on the island, report the Daily Telegraph.
He added his client was paying the bribes because he wanted to remain close to his new wife Ozge – a Northern Cypriot woman who he recently married in a quiet ceremony despite his long term relationship with Mel Ter Wisscha.
After his arrest on July 9 he was transported the following day to the Turkish capital of Ankara where he is detained.
Turkey is one of the few countries which recognises the area’s independence from Cyprus, officially calling it the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyrpus.
But before he left he is understood to have spoken to a journalist from a local Northern Cypriot paper and revealed details of the raid.
‘Seven police came through the window and took me to the police station.’ the paper quoted Buddle.
‘I asked them what it was, and they said it was a deport decision about me. They didn’t show any papers. I said I wanted to go to court but I was told that the order came from internal affairs.’
The bikie boss had been hiding out in the picturesque town of Girne (pictured) on the Northern Cypriot coast before his arrest
The official line released by Northern Cyprus officials was that the bikie boss was declared ‘inconvenient for the peace and security of our people’.
Buddle is the subject of an Interpol Blue Notice issued by Australian police put out when a country that seeks to locate, identify, or obtain information on a person of interest.
His arrest raid involved Interpol officials, local cops, and vessels from the Turkish coast guard monitoring for anyway getaway boats.
Buddle had allegedly still been able to run his criminal empire while living in Girne, according to a gazette published by Northern Cyprus ministers on Friday.
There are also unsubstantiated allegations he was money laundering and hiding guns of the island – though he claimed he was in the restaurant and petrol business.
Buddle had begun to put down roots on the island, investing in local businesses and real estate in addition to tying the knot with the mysterious Ozge.
Meanwhile, his longtime wife Wisscha appears to be living it up abroad and posted photos of herself in Bodrum, Turkey, more than 500km away.
In one photo she was wearing a pink bikini while posing on an outdoor lounge at a luxury resort.
Buddle grew up in public housing at beachside Maroubra in Sydney’s south-east and spent time in juvenile detention. He had played representative rugby league but that career was ended by injury. He is pictured when he was commander of the Comanchero in NSW
Exiled Comanchero boss Mark Buddle secretly wedded a Northern Cyprus woman after fleeing Australia and hiding out overseas (pictured, Buddle with longtime partner Mel Ter Wisscha)
Meanwhile his longtime partner Mel Ter Wisscha appeared to be living it up abroad and regularly posted photos of herself in Bodrum, in Turkey, more than 500km away
It is understood he would have been able to gain citizenship in Northern Cyprus if he remained married to the mystery woman for a year, the Daily Telegraph reported.
She is understood to be well-liked in the community and is being looked after by locals since Buddle’s arrest.
Buddle is believed to have partnered with a businessman connected to the mafia while living on the island.
Sources claimed the businessman vouched for Buddle so he could extend his one-month tourist visa by another three months.
Official sources claimed Buddle organised to meet ‘with a gang member of his who came from Germany’ before he was arrested at gunpoint.
While Buddle has long been suspected of involvement in international drug smuggling, it was an investigation into security guard Gary Allibon’s murder that appears to have led him to flee overseas.
The execution of Allibon was a senseless crime as brutal as it was unnecessary.
On the day he was killed Allibon had been dropping off cash at a Commonwealth Bank ATM when just after 6am on June 7, 2010, a trio of armed men wearing balaclavas ambushed his crew of three at Sussex Street in Sydney.
The bandits snatched a cash box containing $300,000 and should have immediately made their getaway in a stolen silver Audi S8 driven by a fourth accomplice.
Gary Allibon (out of picture) had his back turned and his arms raised when one of three armed robbers shot him with a .45 calibre handgun. The shooter then stole the guard’s weapon
Instead, one of the gunman shot Allibon in the back while the guard had his hands raised, then stole his work-issued firearm in one last indignity.
Allibon, who had done as he was ordered and presented no threat to the robbers, died a short time later at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
The gang escaped with the cash in the Audi, which was captured on CCTV two days later driving in convoy with a black Mercedes C63 on Henry Lawson Drive at Milperra about 10pm.
The Audi was found dumped and incinerated a couple of hours later near Deepwater Park at Milperra, not far from the clubhouse of the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gang.
Security guard Gary Allibon was shot dead while delivering cash to an ATM in Sydney’s central business district in June 2010. Three men wearing balaclavas escaped with $300,000. Police want to interview Comanchero boss Mark Buddle about the robbery and murder
A stolen Audi S8 used in the armed robbery in which Gary Allibon was killed was found burnt out two days later near Deepwater Park at Milperra, not far from the Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gang’s clubhouse. The incinerated vehicle is pictured
Everything about the cash grab – except Allibon’s shooting – looked like the work of experienced armed robbers, down to the use of stolen high-performance vehicles.
The Mercedes C63 was never located and neither was a white BMW X6 four-wheel drive which was also linked to the robbery.
Ballistics examinations matched the firearm used to kill Allibon to a drive-by shooting of a house at Vaucluse in the city’s eastern suburbs in November 2007.
The same .45 calibre handgun was also likely used in the shooting of two members from the Notorious gang at Merrylands in western Sydney in March 2010.
Bullet casings found in the burnt-out Audi matched another weapon used in the western suburbs shooting of drug cook Roy Yaghi at Wentworthville in April 2010.
[Yaghi and his friend Jamie Grover, both Lone Wolf associates, were shot dead in August 2012 in a dispute over drugs].
On the fifth anniversary of Allibon’s murder police released CCTV footage taken two days after the crime. The footage showed two men in a Mercedes C63 which was driven behind the Audi getaway car. A month later Mark Buddle tried to fly to Noumea with $60,000 undeclared cash
Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting Mark Buddle was involved in any of those crimes, only that he is a person of interest in the Allibon investigation.
Buddle grew up in public housing at beachside Maroubra in Sydney’s south-east and spent time in juvenile detention. He had played representative rugby league but that career was ended by injury.
Joining the Comanchero when he was 21, he took control of the club after national president Mahmoud ‘Mick’ Hawi was jailed over the death of Hells Angels associate Anthony Zervas at Sydney Airport in March 2009.
Zervas was bludgeoned to death when 12 Comanchero confronted five Hells Angels and Hawi was eventually convicted of manslaughter.
In Hawi’s absence the gang was taken over by Duax Hohepa Ngakuru until he left Australia in 2010 when the crown was seized by the fiercely ambitious Buddle.
In the following years Buddle spent time in prison for offences including assault, affray and intentionally causing injury but how and why police became interested in his knowledge – if any – of Allibon’s murder is unclear.
A coronial inquest held into the shooting in September 2015 recommended the investigation be referred to the unsolved homicide unit of NSW Police.
Detectives first said they were close to making an arrest over Allibon’s shooting in June 2014 when they stated publicly they knew who had killed him.
On the eve of the fourth anniversary of Allibon’s death, Detective Superintendent Luke Moore of the Robbery and Serious Crime Squad said Strike Force Lorimer had made a number of significant breakthroughs.
‘We believe we know who is responsible for this offence and we are very close to being able to charge those people with the offence,’ Moore said at the time.
It was then police revealed the links they had made between the Audi and Yaghi’s first shooting, as well as releasing details of the missing BMW X6 and a silver BMW 5-Series sedan, which was stolen during a car-jacking at Maroubra in July 2009.
Detective Superintendent Moore said detectives still needed ‘little pieces of information’ before they could arrest the suspects and asked the public for help.
He called those involved in the murder ‘well-organised’ and ‘cold-blooded’ and said they were suspected of having links to known organised crime groups.
A year later in June 2015, ahead of another anniversary, police released CCTV footage showing two men in the Mercedes C63 which was driven behind the getaway Audi two days after the crime.
Both men were likely identifiable to those who know them.
Detective Acting Superintendent Mick Sheehy issued a reminder there was a $100,000 reward for information that led to the conviction of Allibon’s killers.
Gary and Monica Allibon were married for 25 years and lived at Kirrawee in Sydney’s south. He regularly left love notes around the couple’s home and was just eight months away from retiring
‘We believe the men in the Mercedes as depicted in the CCTV could assist us greatly with our inquiries into the occupants of the silver Audi, so we are asking anyone who can identify them to come forward,’ he said.
The next month Buddle was pulled off a plane at Newcastle Airport after chartering a flight to Noumea. He was carrying $60,000 in undeclared cash and spent eight weeks in prison.
Buddle legally flew out of the country in 2016 – first to Dubai, then Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and Cyprus – and has not returned.
In 2017 he was still asserting authority over the Comanchero in his absence, texting associates: ‘I’m the f***ing commander of the world… no one is to touch another member or set up another chapter without my permission.’
Buddle did not come back to Australia for his father’s funeral that year or his mother’s in 2018.
Buddle did not return to Australia for his father’s funeral in 2017 or his mother’s in 2018. Comanchero sergeant-at-arms Tarek Zahed is pictured in club colours carrying Buddle’s mother’s coffin. Zahed was shot ten times in May in an ambush that killed his brother Omar
Hawi, who was released from prison in 2015 and left the Comanchero, was shot dead outside a Rockdale gym in Sydney’s south in February 2018.
Two Lone Wolf members were acquitted of that murder in 2020. One of those men, Yusuf Nazlioglu, was shot dead at Rhodes in the city’s inner-west in June.
Detectives are interested in what Buddle might know about Hawi’s murder, as well as the execution of gangster Mejid Hamzy at Condell Park in the city’s south-west in October 2020.
Underworld rumour has it that there is a $7million contract on Buddle’s head.
Less profitable but slightly less risky would be providing information that leads to the conviction of Allibon’s killer and claiming the $1million reward.
That sum was increased from $100,000 in April 2020 when police announced they were reinvestigating the murder and again asked for the public’s help.
Buddle took control of the Comanchero in 2010 while national president Mahmoud ‘Mick’ Hawi (above, with wife Carolina Gonzalez) was in jail. Hawi was shot dead while sitting in his Mercedes outside a Sydney gym in 2018
Monica Allibon said she hoped the increased reward would bring new leads to investigators and finally provide justice for her late husband.
‘There are no words to describe the grief I felt the day Gary died – the grief of losing him and the grief of the loss of our future together,’ she said.
‘That gut-wrenching feeling has yet to subside, and I don’t think it can while his killers continue to live their lives without facing the consequences of their actions.
‘Gary was just months away from retirement and, in addition to our plans for relaxation and holidays, we had the simple dream of growing old together. That was ripped from us with a single bullet fired in greed.
‘Those men robbed the van and took my husband’s life, and the people who know them and what they did are robbing me of answers and justice for Gary.’
Monica Allibon has made regular public appeals for information that could lead to the arrest of those responsible for murdering her husband. She is pictured in 2020 when the reward for such information was increased to $1million
Detective Acting Superintendent Grant Taylor of the Robbery and Serious Crime Squad said the re-investigation was following well-established lines of inquiry.
‘The original Strike Force Lorimer investigators established links between this case and other organised criminal activity, including three shootings, which we are continuing to explore,’ he said.
‘We believe we have a clear picture of the events of the day, and a fair idea of the identities under the balaclavas, but we need the community’s help to bring our case beyond reasonable doubt.
‘Make no mistake, this wasn’t a robbery gone wrong; Gary Allibon had complied with their demands and was executed in cold blood.’
The newly appointed national president of the Comanchero is Sydneysider Allan Meehan (right), who was mentored by Buddle (left). Meehan took over after Mark Murray was locked up in Victoria on a murder charge
‘The persons of interest to our investigation vary from those we believe know what happened or who was involved through to those who were there and the man who pulled the trigger.
‘The time for any – or all – of these people to come forward is now. Strike Force Lorimer will get the pieces of information they need, so either way, you’ll be seeing us soon.’
Asked directly about police interest in Buddle, Taylor said: ‘Rest assured that individual you’re talking about is right up there at the top of our equation and our thoughts.’
Anyone with information that may assist Strike Force Lorimer detectives is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.
Anyone with information about the murder of Gary Allibon is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Mark Buddle is pictured with wife Mel Ter Wisscha
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