Tattoo parlour shooting linked to Hawi execution
AN execution attempt on a Comanchero bikie at a tattoo parlour in Melbourne is believed to be linked to the gangland murder of Mick Hawi.
Robert Ale, regarded as the right-hand man of Melbourne gang boss Mick Murray, remains in hospital after the ambush at Nitro Ink in Hampton Park in Melbourne's southeast.
Ale, who is on bail facing charges laid by the anti-bikie Echo taskforce, was shot nine times during the attack last Thursday, and remains in intensive care in hospital.
Police believe his shooting could be linked to events in NSW where former Comanchero boss Mahmoud "Mick" Hawi was murdered on February 15.
Hawi was gunned down outside a gym in Rockdale. His killers are still on the loose.
The shooting of Ale happened at a tattoo parlour that has been linked to Murray, who is in jail for reasons which cannot be reported.
The attack has come at a time of instability within the gang which has been linked to a succession of shootings.
Police are considering the prospect that figures from rival gangs the Rebels or Bandidos could be behind the attempt on Ale's life. But the News Corp understands it is believed the most likely scenario is a dispute within the Comancheros.
Melbourne Magistrates' Court heard in June last year that Ale was a key player in a bikie crime syndicate which trafficked drugs and planned arson attacks on a strip club.
Ale was arrested during huge crackdown last March, he was charged with more than 30 offences, including making threats to kill, conspiring with others to commit arson, drug trafficking, and possession of an unregistered handgun.
The court was told Ale ran a health supplements business and had marketed his products at Murray's Nitro Gym in Hallam. He became friends with Murray and joined the gang in 2016.
The Nitro Ink shooting had all the hallmarks of a professional hit.
The gunmen marched into the Fordholm Rd parlour wearing balaclavas and shot Ale before he had any chance of escape.
They drove their getaway car to a nearby street, quickly torched it then jumped into another vehicle.
The shooting could further destabilise an already fragile bikie gang environment. The Comancheros are known for brutal revenge attacks.
Sources say the attempted execution of Ale was also a direct attack on Murray, whose incarceration has created a power vacuum in the club.
Sources say some of the internal volatility can be traced to the shooting of two WA Comanchero associates in Melbourne 18 months ago.
They had come for talks with a senior Victorian gang member but were ambushed and shot at a park in the northern suburb of Attwood.
Police - alerted to the shooting - confiscated a large amount of cash from the visitors' accommodation.
The gang lost a significant ally earlier this year when he was arrested. The Middle Eastern organised crime identity has been one of the gang's key enforcers and is a suspect in numerous shootings.
The internal animosity surfaced during the gang's national run in August, when members brawled in a Canberra bar.