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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 Comancheros.

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.