Exiled bikie controlling criminal encryption empire
A senior Sydney Comanchero has bought the Australasian distribution rights to an encrypted messaging company used by criminals to organise drug deals and murders.
Marco Coffen, who is a person of interest in the shooting murder of security guard Gary Allibon in Sydney's CBD in 2009, has joined the enigmatic businessmen among Australia's underworld figures who have fled overseas to live.
"Coffen is a very smart operator and a bit of a techno whiz,'' said a senior Australian law enforcement officer.
A former bikie told The Daily Telegraph that all business is conducted on the encrypted service called Ciphr.
"Drug deals, murders and bashings. everything is done on them,'' he said.
"There will be a lot of guys worried that by a Comanchero owning the rights they will be able to get hold of what they are up to."
Police and underworld sources say Coffen is behind the huge money being made by Comanchero Mark Buddle, the self-proclaimed Commander of the bikie gang, who police also want to question over the death of Mr Allibon.
There are no warrants out for either Coffen or Buddle but police said they know the pair have information about the murder of the 59-year-old shot to death during a armed holdup of a cash-in-transit van.
"Coffen is a well educated guy from the eastern suburbs from a good family. Buddle is a street wise guy brought up in a housing commission home in Maroubra,'' said a NSW police officer.
"How they got together is a bit of a mystery, but they are very close."
After leaving Australia soon after soon after his release from jail 2013 Coffen, who speaks three languages, now lives in Dubai on the exclusive Palm Jumeirah island with wife Stephanie, the daughter of a wealthy Italian property developer.
Ciphr phones effectively replaced Phantom Secure as the go-to method of clandestine communication for Australian criminals running international drug shipments into the country. Users pay a subscription of $2500 per three months for specially modified Blackberrys which allows you to communicate with others who have the same system. Senior intelligence sources say the only reason you would need one is to commit a crime.
Coffen's business interests include a legitimate VIP car company in Dubai which rents out exotic cars with drivers. Coffen is listed as a managing partner along with Steve Elmir.
Elmir was arrested in Dubai in 2017 with Michael Ibrahim and others over conspiracy to import drugs into Australia and was extradited to Sydney late last year and is awaiting trial.
On the car company's website, Coffen and Elmir are named with photographs which are not of them.
A commonwealth law officer believes they have grabbed images of random people to use on the site.
"No one has seen an image of Coffen on social media. He is a phantom in many ways," he said.
"Coffen has a number of companies all associated with internet technology."
Dubai, once considered a relatively safe place for Aussie to live if they wanted to evade NSW Police is fast becoming a hot spot for expats being busted and deported after the high profile arrests of Ibrahim in 2017.
The investigation was unrelated to Coffen or his business interests.
NSW Police are currently getting ready to travel to the Emirates state to extradite two Sydney men after a seven-year investigation into an international crime syndicate involved in the large-scale importation and supply of illegal drugs. They have no connection to mark buddle or Marco Coffen.
"The Dubai police are 100 per cent behind Australian law enforcement in their efforts to arrests and extradite expats who we want to bring back,'' said a senior NSW police officer.
Originally published as Exiled bikie controlling criminal encryption empire