Accused drug supremo barred from casino

03MOKBELTony Mokbel

Police Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon has banned from Crown Casino a Melbourne man accused of heading a $2 billion drug trafficking business.

Ms Nixon has decided to exercise her powers to indefinitely exclude Antonios “Tony” Mokbel, 39, from the casino.

She also widened the ban to include Mokbel’s brothers, Kabalan, Milad and Horty.

The move follows similar action last month against Carl Williams, who faces serious drug trafficking charges, and Mick Gatto, charged with one of Melbourne’s underworld murders.

Tony Mokbel, of Pascoe Vale, is on $1 million bail after being arrested in 2001 as a result of a joint state and federal police operation. He was released on bail after delays caused by corruption allegations in the former police drug squad delayed his committal hearing.

A hearing on a Commonwealth charge against him of knowingly being concerned in the importation of cocaine is set for October and a committal hearing on Victorian charges is expected to be held next year.

Victoria Police confirmed yesterday that four people had been excluded from the casino.

Crown spokesman Gary O’Neill would not identify the Mokbels, but said the casino had received exclusion orders against four people issued by Ms Nixon under section 74 of the Casino Control Act. Under the section, Ms Nixon can prohibit a person by written order from entering or remaining in the casino.

If practicable, she can also provide to the casino a photograph of the person subject to her order, but must notify all interstate chief commissioners of her decision.

Jim Valos, solicitor for Tony and Kabalan Mokbel, 42, said he was aware that the police casino squad had moved to issue an exclusion order against Tony Mokbel.

Charges against Milad, 35, of Brunswick, over possessing $70,000 of drug money were struck out last November; trafficking charges against Kabalan and others were adjourned in February; Horty does not face any charges.

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