For a highly intelligent super villain, drug king pin and ‘man on the run’, Mark Buddle seems to draw an awful lot of unwanted attention to himself.
From being videoed fighting with tourists at a pool side in Dubai, to winding up on the front page of a Cyprus newspaper, Buddle has somehow managed to stay in the limelight, despite apparently trying to disappear from public view.
Buddle left Australia in 2016, not long after he was released from prison for a brawl in a Sydney nightclub that left three men unconscious.
After taking his shirt off to engage in the fight, Buddle was identified by CCTV… because his surname is tattooed across his chest (presumably so that he doesn’t forget it). Which very strongly suggests that Mr Buddle is not the sharpest tool in the shed, but nor, it seems, is his international travelling companion and partner, Mel Terwisscha, who posted this pic on her Facebook page last month… because, you know, nothing says ‘we need to keep a low profile’ like a social media account.
Bonus act of stupidity: that pic is posted above a meme which reads, ‘A private life is a happy life’.
Long story short, we’re not talking about master criminals here, although you could be mistaken for believing Buddle is Al Capone re-incarnated if you’ve followed the breathless, fawning coverage of him in the Australian media over the past few years.
Buddle is once again dominating headlines this week after apparently being arrested at the Turkish border… or possibly the Cyprus border… or maybe the Greek border… or… no-one actually knows. Indeed, it’s not even certain if he’s been arrested.
A few days ago, The Daily Telegraph was claiming “FBI reported to have snared Australia’s most wanted man”… in this case, ‘reported’ being journalist code for ‘we don’t know if this is true or not but another media outlet thinks it might be so f*ck it, let’s just run with it’.
Today, the story has morphed into ‘Extortion twist in bikie boss Buddle’s Cypriot shakedown’… ‘twist’ being code for ‘we got the story completely wrong yesterday, so we’re having another crack today’.
The fact is, no-one appears to have any idea what has happened to Buddle, or where he is. At least no-one whose prepared to share it in a credible way with Australian media. Whether or not it all turns out to be complete crap, it’s worth (a) getting a few facts straight, and (b) remembering who and what Buddle actually is.
So first, some facts: Mark Buddle is not ‘Australia’s Most Wanted’ criminal. Apart from the fact that the Australian Federal Police doesn’t even have a ‘Most Wanted’ list – that’s the FBI in America – they also don’t have a warrant out for Buddle’s arrest, at least not yet. Which means Buddle isn’t even ‘Wanted’, let alone ‘Most Wanted’. That’s spectacularly inconvenient from a media perspective, but why let those facts get in the way of a rollicking good yarn.
NSW does have a ‘Most Wanted List’ but so ‘Not Australia’s Most Wanted’ is Buddle that he isn’t even on it. As if to undermine Buddle’s ‘gangster credentials’ even further, this man, Mohamad Maksoud, is on it: Police want to speak to him for “knowingly facilitating an organised car re-birthing activity”, and “knowingly dealing with proceeds of crime, receiving and disposing of stolen property”.
And now to who Buddle really is: he’s a two-bit thug who grew up in Housing Commission in Maroubra, one of the grittier parts of Sydney’s eastern suburbs. As a young man, Buddle joined the Comancheros bikie gang, because while most kids join a gang in primary school, some are never quite able to move past it. He eventually became the Australian president of the club, before declaring himself ‘Commander of the World’. So yeah… Buddle’s basically the Dr Evil of bikies. And yes, he’s bald.
It’s also probably worth remembering why police would like to speak to him.
In Sussex Street, Sydney on June 7, 2010, shortly after 6am, security guard Gary Allibon, aged 59, was executed during a heist on an armoured car. Despite complying entirely with the thieves, Mr Allibon’s work-issued firearm was stolen, and he was shot in the back from point blank range. He died a short time later at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. In total, at least four men were involved in the robbery, and NSW Police have a reasonably strong suspicion Buddle can help shed light on who they were.
Mr Allibon left behind a widow, Monica, who a decade after his murder was still struggling to make sense of her loss.
“There are no words to describe the grief I felt the day Gary died; the grief of losing him and the grief of the loss of our future together,” Monica said in a written statement from NSW Police.
“That gut wrenching feeling has yet to subside, and I don’t think it can while his killers continue to live their lives without facing the consequences of their actions.
“Gary was just months away from retirement and, in addition to our plans for relaxation and holidays, we had the simple dream of growing old together; that was ripped from us with a single bullet fired in greed.
“Those men robbed the van and took my husband’s life, and the people who know them and what they did are robbing me of answers and justice for Gary.”
The NSW Government is now offering a $1 million reward for information on Mr Allibon’s murder. If you know where Mark Buddle is, or you have information that can assist police, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.
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