Monday September 9 2013
– A senior member of the Finks motorcycle gang wants police to return his guns after they were seized in a fiery raid.
Frank Dieni, the sergeant-at-arms of the club’s South Melbourne chapter, says Victoria Police does not have the right to keep the weapons.
He will take his fight to the Victorian Firearms Appeal Committee to have the four guns returned.
Last year’s seizure of Mr Dieni’s guns at his Melton home came as police confiscated more than 100 weapons in a major blitz on bikies. They were taken from gun owners deemed not to be fit and proper people because of their links to motorcycle gangs.
But Mr Dieni clashed with police, resulting in him facing 19 charges.
Mr Dieni, an invalid pensioner, was last week found guilty of six charges, including four of non-physical assault against the police.
He was fined $3000 in Sunshine Magistrates Court but no conviction was recorded.
At a bail application soon after his arrest, Echo Taskforce Detective Senior Constable Ray Tillekeratne described Mr Dieni as an enforcer with the Finks.
It was alleged Mr Dieni told police he had authority to “hold the boys back, but I also control them. I’m going to unleash them and tell them to smash every copper dog…” But Mr Dieni’s lawyer, Alan Swanwick, told the same hearing he had no convictions and was singled out because he was a member of a motorcycle club.
Mr Dieni’s supporters suggest the raid was heavy-handed and removing the weapons could have been accomplished without acrimony.
Both he and Victoria Police declined to comment on the situation when contacted by the Herald Sun.
Members of the Wangaratta-based Tramps motorcycle club lost a bid to have their guns and licences returned after a hearing in the Victorian Firearms Appeal Committee.
The committee ruled in favour of one applicant, former Tramp and adventure store operator Craig Norton.
Another Tramp withdrew his application because he was banned from having a firearms licence.
The Tramps who failed in their bids will try to get their weapons back through the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
– Mark Buttler