Aussie Comanchero bikies ‘behind NZ execution’
AUSTRALIA'S Comanchero bikie gang was behind an ordered execution hit on rivals in New Zealand, in what authorities in both countries fear could lead to outright warfare.
According to authorities, Australia's deportation of New Zealanders - dubbed 501s under the section of immigration law - has contributed to trans-Tasman bikie conflict.
A police intelligence report estimates there are 200 members of Australia's bikie gangs now in New Zealand, including members of the Comanchero, Finks, Mongols and Lone Wolf, with the threat levels of turf violence from the men branded "extreme".
The Comanchero were aligning with local Mongrel Mob and Filthy Few gangs and were the largest Aussie presence, it said.
The High Court in Auckland this week jailed for life Viliami Taani after the execution-style slaying of a rival and the shooting of his wife last year after the pair were lured to a meeting in south Auckland for a drugs deal.
Epalahame Tu'uheava, 28, was shot seven times at close range, with three .22 calibre semi automatic blasts to the head, and died almost immediately. His wife Yolanda was shot twice in the head with a revolver but survived and played dead. A bullet remains lodged in her brain.
Three men were charged with the murder, all cousins, including ringleader Taani, a member of the Comanchero, who pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder.
The court heard Taani and his cousins may have been ordered to carry out the hit by "leaders" of the Comanchero in Australia, which has been violently smashing its way into the New Zealand drugs trafficking market, notably with methamphetamine 'ice'.
Tu'uheava was a patched member of the Nomads Outlaw Motorcycle gang in Australia, which has also been muscling into New Zealand.
Taani told his cousins the Aussie Comanchero had given them the "green light" as the rival Nomad was "bad blood".
"What's the go with the Nomads?" Taani asked a Comanchero member with an Australian accent via his mobile Snapchat account.
"That's the guy that's making money off the [Comanchero] name and we're going to put him to sleep," the court heard Taani had told his cousin accomplices.
Yolanda told the court said she and her partner had moved to Sydney in 2014 where he would work as a truck driver, but he had become "really, really close" with one of the leaders of the Nomads gang, which formed originally as a splinter group from the Kiwi Black Power group.
"I don't know if he was like officially patched, he was just around them a lot," she said. Contact with the Sydney gang members continued over social media when they moved back to South Auckland in 2017.
But Tu'uheava admired the Comanchero gang more as they supported his beloved Tongan rugby team and seemed to be flash with cash, so he reached out to them also and began working in the drugs trade with them before the relationship soured.
The cousins, Mesui Tufui and Fisilau 'Fish' Tapaevalu, a Comanchero 'prospect' or junior member, were found guilty for their part in the attack and are to be sentenced in coming days.
It is known the Australian Federal Police have been working closely with their Kiwi counterparts and intelligence sharing after an alarming rise in transnational bikie movements and transactions.
"The Aussie gangs have been coming here for months now, particularly around Auckland, and it is leading to all sorts of trouble," a New Zealand police officer told News Corp Australia. "Meth is already an issue here, so we don't need the export from Australia and the problems it is causing."
At least 14 patched members of the Comanchero have been deported to New Zealand in recent times, among the almost 1000 deportees.
"You made this possible #LOL" the deportees have stated on social media, going on to reference Peter Dutton as they posed by their gold-plated bikes.
Australian gangsters from rivals Bandidos and Rebels have also been seen to set up Kiwi chapters.