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Maltese bikie gang president Alex Vella has Australian visa cancelled

The Australian reports that motorcyle gang boss Alex Vella, who is holidaying in Malta, has had his visa cancelled.

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella
16 June 2014, 2:53pm
Rebels bikie club president Alex Vella has had his visa cancelled while holidaying in native Malta, according to the Australian press.
Rebels bikie club president Alex Vella has had his visa cancelled while holidaying in native Malta, according to the Australian press.
The national president of Australia’s biggest bikie gang, the Rebels, has had his visa cancelled while on an overseas trip to his native Malta.

The Australian reports that immigration minister Scott Morrison personally made the decision not to allow the 60-year-old gang president Alex Vella, also known as the Maltese Falcon, to re-enter Australia.

The decision is likely to represent a significant check to the activities of the gang, which have been one of the key targets of law-enforcement authorities, who established a national taskforce to target the gang.

Vella was due to appear in the New South Wales Supreme Court later this month, after police sought a court order earlier this year challenging the alleged use of his western Sydney property as a bikie clubhouse.

Scott Morrison has confirmed he cancelled Vella’s visa, while he was out of the country on Friday, and that the cancellation was done “using the character provisions of the Migration Act’’.

Alessio-Emmanuel 'Alex' Vella, better known as 'The Maltese Falcon' is a Maltese-Australian businessman, former boxer and Australia's national president of the Rebels Motorcycle Club.

Despite having lived in Australia since the 1960s, he was never made a citizen of the country.

Vella is one of eleven children. He and his family then moved to Australia in the 1960s and established a strawberry farm near Horsley Park, New South Wales.

In his 20s, he joined the Rebels Motorcycle Club while pursuing a promising career as a boxer.

After a serious road accident, he received AU$225,000 in compensation and used this money to set up a business importing and selling motorcycles. In 1990, police found a $15,000 stash of marijuana while searching his home, which they believed to be a methamphetamine factory.

He received a fairly light sentence, however; 18 months of two-nights-a-week prison, and two-days-a-week community service. He has also been arrested, but not convicted, of a number of other crimes including stabbing two men and assaulting a woman. He was freed on appeal after being given six months in jail for the latter.

On May 28, 2008, Vella won a court case against the ANZ Bank. He sued them for AU$2.7 million after his former business partner, Tony Caradonna, re-mortgaged three properties, including the Rebels' club house, for AU$2.4 million by falsifying Vella's signature. He also claimed AU$300,000 was fraudulently withdrawn from their joint bank account.

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.