The death of a prominent bikie has prompted the Canberra Liberals to renew their call for anti-consorting laws to be introduced in the ACT.
Comanchero bikie boss Pitasoni Tali Ulavalu was killed in a brawl at a popular nightspot in Civic. Police are yet to formally identify Mr Ulavalu, known as Soni, as the 48-year-old man who died, and do not have anyone in custody.
Detective Inspector Matt Reynolds said officers had been called to Kokomo’s on the corner of Bunda and Genge streets at 12.05am on Sunday.
It is believed the altercation began inside the venue, and Mr Ulavalu died after it spilled outside.
Canberra Comancheros bikie boss Pitasoni Tali Ulavalu, who was killed out the front of Kokomo’s. Picture: Facebook
Canberra Liberals shadow attorney-general Jeremy Hanson said the incident showed why the ACT needed to introduce anti-consorting laws.
“We have long been clear that Canberra needs anti-gang laws to disrupt violent bikie crime and help prevent the avoidable loss of life and the risk to families and innocent bystanders,” he said in a statement.
“The fact is that since the ACT government failed to introduce anti-consorting laws more than a decade ago, we have seen a four-fold increase in bikie gangs and as a result a bikie war has unfolded across Canberra.
“Anti-gang laws have been backed by the High Court, police and other experts on the frontline of law enforcement.”+11
Canberra was previously a one-gang town, but the Comancheros, Nomads and Satudarah have established themselves in the capital in recent times, joining the Rebels. The Finks also briefly set up a local chapter, which ultimately failed.
It is understood that the number of bikies in the ACT reached about 70 two years ago, but the most recent intelligence suggests that number has since halved to now sit somewhere in the 30s.
The ACT government has steadfastly refused to introduce anti-consorting laws, saying evidence from other jurisdictions showed they were ineffective and they had been used to marginalise unintended targets.
Detective Inspector Reynolds would not rule out outlaw motorcycle gang violence as the cause of the death.
“That will form part of the investigation,” he said.
“We’re certainly investigating all aspects of this incident and should we see that there is involvement from OMCG [outlaw motorcycle gangs] we will direct Taskforce Nemesis to assist.”