Australian bikie boss Felix Lyle facing deportation to New Zealand
One of Australia's most notorious crime figures, Kiwi-born bikie boss Felix Lyle, is fighting an order that he be deported to New Zealand.
The former boss of the Hells Angels has been in New South Wales' Villawood detention centre, near Sydney, since February 8 after serving a four-year prison term for fraud, supplying a large commercial quantity of drugs and dealing with the proceeds of crime.
Lyle, or "Big F" as he is known, became head of a Sydney chapter of the Hells Angels after his predecessor was jailed for killing a rival during a brawl at Sydney airport.
Big F's elevation to the top job at the Hells Angels followed his expulsion from rival outlaw bikie gang, the Bandidos, for not being of good character.
Not that Lyle was often seen on a bike. Before he went to prison, his preferred mode of transport was being chauffeured around in his bright red Bentley.
According to police sources, Lyle, who had lost his licence and was a bankrupt, used the boot of his Bentley as a portable ATM machine, dispensing substantial amounts of cash from it.
Born in Wellington in 1957, Lyle arrived in Sydney via Ireland when he was in primary school. He later worked as a bouncer at The Bourbon and Beefsteak in Kings Cross, where his nickname was "Buffalo".
In 2002, Lyle was ousted as the head of the Sydney's most powerful branch of the Bandidos. He was expelled four years later by his successor Rodney "Hooks" Monk for "not being of good character".
A feud with Lyle and his son Dallas Fitzgerald related to the theft of millions of dollars worth of drugs from Milad Sande, who was later found murdered.
This created a major headache for Monk as Sande had his own high-powered connections in the Bandidos.
Police sources claimed Monk was behind the subsequent kidnapping and torture of Fitzgerald over his role in stealing Sande's drugs. Lyle and his son were also forced to hand over a substantial amount of money.
In 2006, not long after the kidnapping, Monk was murdered by one of Lyle's proteges, Russell Oldham.
In March 2013, only a month after he was jailed for fraud and drug offences, Lyle was arrested over his role in attempting to supply 50 black-market Glock pistols but the charges were later dropped.
Another of those arrested with Lyle was high-ranking Comanchero Kemel "Blackie" Barakat. Police alleged the rival bikie gangs had gone into the drug business together.
Barakat, who remained on good terms with Lyle, was shot multiple times in his Mortlake apartment last week.
It is understood that a notable absence on the visitor's register at Villawood is Lyle's son Fitzgerald.
Sources told The Sydney Morning Herald that Fitzgerald, who was jailed over his role in the audacious Ocean's11-style attempted theft of $150 million from JP Morgan, is on the run over other drug rip offs he was involved in with the recently murdered mafia figure Pasquale Barbaro.
Although Fitzgerald was rumoured to have been promoted to national sergeant-at-arms, or the enforcer, of the Hells Angels, one of his former associates quipped that "Malvern Star is the only bike outfit which currently would have him".
A spokesman from Australia's Department of Immigration and Border Protection refused to comment on Lyle's prospective deportation but said: "We remain committed to protecting the Australian community from those involved in serious and significant criminal activity, including Outlaw Motor Cycle Gangs.
"The Department is an active contributor to Operation Morpheus, a national taskforce that was established as part of the National Anti-Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Strategy."
Under section 501 of the Migration Act 1958, a non-citizen's visa will be cancelled if they have been sentenced to a jail term of 12 months or more. The visa cancellation leaves the person open to deportation.
Through his solicitor Martin Ricci, Lyle declined to comment.
- Sydney Morning Herald
Originally published as Fake site fuels bad blood in bikie feud