Bikie brothel owners awarded $500k after fire
insurance claim rejected
Two Canberra brothel owners
with bikie links have been awarded half a million dollars, after the NSW
Court of Appeal found their insurer should have expected bikies to be
involved in the sex industry.
The Mitchell-based brothel, named The
Gentlemen's Club, was insured under a special policy marketed by Calliden
Insurance as specifically for the adult industry.
The club was owned by Stealth Enterprises,
which is controlled by Baris and Fidel Tukel — both members of the
When the club was damaged by fire in 2012,
Calliden refused to pay out, on the basis that the brothers had not
disclosed their links to the bikie gang.
However, the NSW Court of Appeal held that
as a specialist insurer of the adult industry, Calliden should have known of
the possibility bikies could be involved.
"A reasonable person would take into
account that Calliden specifically targeted so-called 'adult industries'
including brothels," Justice Anthony Meagher wrote.
Acting Justice Ronald Sackville agreed,
writing: "Calliden appreciated that the business of conducting a brothel was
likely to attract people of dubious repute, who might have an association
with bikie groups or other 'outlaw' organisations."
"Yet despite this knowledge Calliden did
not ask Stealth or other proponents any questions about their affiliation
with disreputable or illegal organisations."
The court ordered Calliden to pay the
brothers $500,000 plus costs, and ordered the parties to negotiate on
whether interest was payable.