A notorious crime boss who was once Australia’ s most wanted man has been stabbed in prison, reports said Monday , months after revelations his lawyer was a police informant cast doubt on his criminal convictions. Tony Mokbel , who masterminded a drug trafficking empire, was a central figure in Melbourne ’ s gangland war which began in the late 1990 s.
The violence claimed dozens of lives and was later immortalised in the hugely popular Australian TV series “ Underbelly” .
Police said a man aged in his 50s — widely reported to be Mokbel by Australian media — was flown from the maximum security Barwon Prison southwest of Melbourne in a serious condition after a stabbing on Monday afternoon.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman would not confirm the victim ’ s identity to
A second man aged in his 30 s was also taken to hospital , police added .
Mokbel skipped bail in Melbourne in early 2006 just before being sentenced for drug trafficking .
He was later arrested while on the run in Greece and extradited to Australia.
Monday ’ s attack came several years after one of Mokbel ’ s associates , mobster Carl Williams , was killed in the same prison .
It followed the release in December of previously suppressed court documents that revealed one of the biggest legal scandals to hit Australia in years.
The documents disclosed that a high – profile Melbourne barrister had for years been giving information to Victoria Police , while representing Mokbel and six of his associates .
More than 600 cases could be tainted as a result, according to Australian media, meaning that the criminals might be able to appeal their convictions.