AN ex-police detective and his business partner are the unlikely new owners of a bikie’s former sports supplements shop on the site of the old Whiskey Au Go Go in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.
Grigori Kossian was the previous owner of the supplements store. Source: News Corp Australia
Lou Manulat and Ian Wilson only learned the former owner was a Bandidos gang member after he was charged with riot last month over a bikie brawl in Broadbeach.
Grigori “Greg” Kossian was the 42nd person arrested over the brawl last September that sparked a massive government backlash against gangs.
Under Kossian’s ownership, the Supplement Lounge in Fortitude Valley was a regular haunt for the likes of Bandidos Centro president and convicted cocaine trafficker George Bejat.
This in turn drew visits from gang squad detectives, Kossian complaining at the time to The Courier-Mail that “my friends are always having their IDs checked by police”.
Just over two months after the Broadbeach brawl and the subsequent government crackdown, Kossian unloaded the store to Mr Manulat, a one-time Juvenile Aid Bureau detective and Mr Wilson, a former company receiver.
“We have nothing to do with bike gangs and we’re not delegates of Greg,” Mr Wilson said.
“When we bought it from Greg, we understood that he knew people but we didn’t know he was a member.
“We hardly had anything to do with him. We were just busy arranging the lease and paying Greg out for all the stock that he left behind. We didn’t really care what he was doing — he was out.”
The supplements industry has not been without controversy in recent years, with the Australian Crime Commission last year warning of criminal group involvement.
Bikie gang squad detectives also investigated links between a Bandidos bikie and accused drug trafficker, and the firebombing of a Lutwyche supplements store earlier last year.
The Armenian-born Kossian, 25, has owned three other supplement stores, including one at Mt Gravatt with Bejat.
Mr Wilson said he and his partner bought the store in December after 15 years of running their own personal training studios