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Fink flies coop to be tracked from coast to coast

Finks Motorcycle Gang

Troy Mercanti, second from left, after being met at Adelaide airport on Tuesday by fellow members of the Finks motorcycle club.

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 airport.

South Australian Crime Gangs Taskforce police stopped the bikies as they left the airport, making it clear Mercanti's movements would be monitored.

Mercanti left 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".

Bond University criminologist Paul Wilson said Mercanti's tri-state movements showed the failure of law enforcement officials to deal with organised crime.

"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.




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