Tuesday, May 27, 2014

WANTED: Rogerson link to killing

The state's most notorious crooked police officer, Roger Rogerson, was on the run on Monday night as detectives sought to question him over the alleged murder of a Sydney university student during a botched drug deal.
Twenty-four hours after he indicated he would return from Brisbane to Sydney to answer questions, police were on Monday night unsure if the 73-year-old was still in Queensland where he was on a speaking tour.
Detectives want to speak to the disgraced former officer in relation to the murder of 20-year-old Jamie Gao at Padstow, in Sydney's south-west, last Tuesday.
A former Kings Cross detective turned author, Glen McNamara, 55, on Monday faced Kogarah Local Court where he was charged with the promising business student's murder, and large-scale drug supply.
Only hours earlier a body wrapped in a blue tarpaulin was found by a fisherman, floating off the coast at Cronulla. It is believed to be that of the missing Hurstville man.
Police will allege that Mr Gao was killed after a multimillion-dollar drug deal went wrong inside a rented storage shed last Tuesday afternoon.
Rogerson's friend, colourful business identity ''Big'' Jim Byrnes, said he was worried his mate might do something silly.
"I beg him to come forward and give himself up," said Mr Byrnes from Los Angeles. But he had "an awful feeling" Rogerson would do anything to avoid arrest.
Mr Rogerson's wife, Anne Melocco, told Fairfax Media she knew nothing about her husband's reported links to the alleged murder. ''I know nothing about it. Nothing at all,'' she said.
Police will allege that Mr Gao and two unknown associates went to Padstow at 1.30pm last Tuesday with three kilograms of the drug ice, worth a potential $3 million on the street, to meet with Mr McNamara and a second man, believed to be Mr Rogerson.
Mr Gao, Mr McNamara and the man believed to be Mr Rogerson got into a car and drove a short distance of only a few hundred metres to a nearby storage facility.
Police will allege that three men walked into the storage shed but an hour later security footage shows only the two former police officers walking out. Mr Gao was reported missing to police the next day.
The head of the Robbery and Serious Crime Squad, Detective Superintendent Luke Moore, said detectives were still trying to determine what had transpired during that alleged drug deal for it to turn deadly. He said Mr Gao had gone to the meeting voluntarily.
Mr McNamara's arrest on Sunday evening came only hours after Superintendent Moore appealed for information about the disappearance of the University of Technology, Sydney student, saying the circumstances suggested foul play. Mr McNamara, who was pulled over during a traffic stop at Kyeemagh in Sydney's south, was questioned overnight before being charged with murder and drug offences. His Cronulla home has been searched by police and a blue Ford Falcon XR6 was seized from his premises.
Mr Rogerson's Padstow Heights home was also searched and a car, a silver Ford Falcon, was taken away. Police also searched a storage unit at Caringbah where a boat was taken away for forensic testing.
A third car, a silver Ford Falcon, was found at another location in Cronulla. It is this car detectives believe Mr Gao got into on Arab Road last Tuesday.
Mr Byrnes said that Mr Rogerson had introduced him to Mr McNamara about 18 months ago.
Mr Byrnes said he hired the pair to find evidence to clear his name following his 1983 jailing for possession of heroin.
"He and Roger were both on the case," said Mr Byrnes, who has paid Mr McNamara between $20,000 and $30,000 for his work as a private detective on the case.
27 May, 2014 03:00 AM

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