Ex-bikie boss at centre of new global assassin probe
Exclusive: Bombed bikie Jay Malkoun was suspected to have been targeted by international assassins in the same way Sydney underworld figure John Macris was gunned down in Greece.
Police in Athens have sought help from their Australian counterparts to find out why former Melbourne Comancheros boss Malkoun was blown up outside the Mega Gym in Glyfada.
That was the same gym Macris, a Sydney underworld identity, also regularly went to in the up-market Mediterranean seaside suburb.
No arrests have been made over the bungled bombing which destroyed Malkoun's white Mercedes Benz in March 2019.
Malkoun, who has now returned to Australia and was believed to be spending time in NSW, managed to escape because the assassins put the bomb in the wrong place, a source claimed.
Photographs of the car showed extensive damage to the engine of the Mercedes, but the frame remained intact.
However, Malkoun, 57, suffered serious burns that took months to heal and also left him unable to walk without crutches.
A source in Greece said police there had asked the Australian Federal Police for help in finding a motive for the attack, with Malkoun having no criminal record during his time in Athens.
They were looking at whether the attempted hit involved contract killers flown in for the job.
Bulgarian brothers Yuliyanov J Raychev Serafim and Milen Raychev were found guilty of Macris' murder in a Greek court in September 2020.
The hired killers had flown into Greece for the hit and had followed Macris, 46, for weeks before Serafim shot him outside his hilltop home.
Serafim was sentenced to 18 years' jail, while Raychev, the getaway driver, was given 10 years but could be out in three.
Macris' killing has been blamed on Canadian bikie gangs, with tattoos on Serafim's arm showing the Outlaws motorcycle club insignia.
There has been no evidence of a direct link between Macris' killing in October 2018 and the attack on Malkoun, who was born in Lebanon.
However, a source linked to Mega Gym, a modern outfit popular with models, celebrities and the business elite on the side of a busy road in Athens, confirmed the crime figures did cross paths there.
"Malkoun was a low-profile, poker face, no-talkative customer," the source said.
"He went to the gym, worked out and left."
Malkoun's luxury Mercedes, which stood out in Greece with its struggling economy, was often parked in the car park.
His near daily gym-going habit made it an easy target for a hit, but there were claims that the would-be killers detonated the bomb too soon.
Malkoun lived in a plush apartment block overlooking a golf course in Athens before the attack.
But he did not return to the secure building, which was monitored by police following the bombing.
He was rushed to Asklipieio General Hospital in the moments after the attack where he was kept under police guard.
Private bodyguards were also employed when he was moved to the Mediterraneo Boutique Hospital, a private hospital in Glyfada, for security reasons.
Malkoun then spent several months recovering outside Greece before returning to Australia in March 2020.
He was spotted back in Melbourne in May where he spent a week in a city apartment.
But he had maintained an interest in Comancheros affairs in Melbourne from overseas.
There were reports in June that Malkoun, who was based in Dubai before his move to Greece, was considering switching allegiance to the Mongols.
Comancheros in Russia, where Malkoun had contacts, had swapped to the Mongols, raising suggestions that the same might happen in Australia.
Malkoun had been a key figure in Australian crime circles for decades.
He was a convicted heroin trafficker and was picked up when he was running a bar in Perth.
Following a stint in jail he moved to Victoria where he became influential.
Court documents in the Lawyer X inquiry revealed that he had supplied drug precursor chemicals to Melbourne underworld kingpin Tony Mokbel.
Mokbel fled to Greece in 2006 during his cocaine trial, spending time in Bonnie Doon before getting a yacht and sailing to the Mediterranean.
He was arrested at a cafe in Glyfada in 2007 following a joint operation between Australian and Greek police.
Alexander Lykourezos, who defended Macris' killers in September, appeared for Mokbel in court following his arrest in Greece.
Athens police said in a statement that it was still investigating the "acts of attempted murder and explosion that took place on 01/03/2019 on Vouliagmeni Ave 126-128 in Glyfada against MALKOUN AMAD or AHMAD of ANTONIOUS, born 1963."
"In particular, at 10:05 (Greek time) of 01/03/2019 upon boarding in his car, which was parked in an outdoor parking lot on L.Vouliagmenis 126-128 in Glyfada, an explosion was caused, resulting in his severe injury and the complete destruction of his vehicle as well as three adjacent vehicles from the fire caused.
"From the investigation so far the perpetrators remain unknown while the investigation is still in progress."
The Australian Federal Police said in a statement: "International co-operation is an essential part of the AFP's ability to combat the pervasive and borderless nature of transnational crime impacting Australia.
"The exchange of law enforcement information is a regular and routine part of this international co-operation."
Originally published as Ex-bikie boss at centre of new global assassin probe