LAW enforcement agencies are tracking the
movements of one of the nation's most
notorious bikies, who has fled across three
states since Tuesday.
Within hours of his release from Western
Australia's Casuarina jail on Tuesday, Troy
Mercanti, 43, flew to Adelaide and was greeted
by members of the Finks motorcycle club at the
Crime Gangs Taskforce police stopped the bikies
as they left the airport, making it clear
Mercanti's movements would be monitored.
Adelaide late yesterday and is believed to have
flown to Victoria or NSW.
Police have warned
that the release of Mercanti -- one of the most
notorious and divisive bikie figures in the west
over the past decade -- could result in
reprisals from his former gang, the Coffin
Cheaters, and "extreme violence".
criminologist Paul Wilson said Mercanti's
tri-state movements showed the failure of law
enforcement officials to deal with organised
"The attempt by
the states to get different laws has clearly
failed and is just one of the many weaknesses in
the organised crime laws of the states,"
Professor Wilson said. "Unless there are
national laws then any attempt to control
members of bikie gangs will fail."
His views echoed
those of NSW Gangs Squad commander Arthur
Katsogiannis, who said last week the traditional
state-based approach of dealing with organised
crime was not working.
"There are no
barriers in organised crime so there shouldn't
be any barriers in policing," he said.
"The key thing we
are looking at is being able to work in
multi-jurisdiction operations as the way forward
into the future."
Over the past 10
years, Mercanti has been involved in several
violent crimes, involving knife fights,
shootings and bashings.
He served a
28-month sentence for grievous bodily harm after
breaking a man's jaw in Northbridge's Geisha
Bar, in May 2007. The original sentence was
extended after he refused to answer Australian
Crime Commission questions about the theft of
more than $50,000 from trust funds set up for
the daughters of two murdered Coffin Cheaters.
Police last year
imposed a five-year prohibition order on
Mercanti entering licensed premises in the
state. WA Attorney-General Christian Porter said
tough anti-bikie legislation would be introduced
in coming weeks.