Man arrested over bikie boss killing a ‘humanitarian’
The man police are questioning over the death of Rebels bikie chief Nick Martin is a former special forces soldier who sources say is involved with the international mercenary charity Shadows of Hope.
On Monday night police put a ring of steel around the police station where he was being interviewed as part of a deep security operation to protect him.
Detectives were expected to spend Monday night grilling him about the most high-profile assassination in Western Australia in two decades. No charges have been laid.
Local detectives and officers from the Australian Federal Police spent Monday swarming over a host of properties in Perth, including two in the southern suburbs.
A house in Waikiki where the man lived with his girlfriend was raided. Police carted evidence bags out of the home and towed away cars and a boat.
Bushland in nearby Warnbro was searched using ground probes.
Police did not issue a statement about the arrest but the presence of the AFP, the vast number of raids and the precise way they were executed suggests yesterday's action was the result of a co-ordinated and long-running surveillance operation.
At least a dozen AFP officers remained on alert at the Waikiki home late on Monday night.
Nearby residents were shocked to learn that their "brilliant" neighbour of 10 years was being questioned in relation to Martin.
"He's brilliant, a nice young bloke … ask the whole street, nobody has ever had a problem with him," one said.
The neighbour - who did not want to be identified - said the man was open about spending "a few years in the forces" and claimed to have spent recent years employed as a fly-in fly-out worker on the mines.
Shadows of Hope bills itself as "the world's most fearless charity".
It is staffed by former soldiers from around the world who are self-styled guns-for-hire capable of bringing swift justice and order to war-torn areas.
"From opening medical clinics in Middle Eastern war zones, conducting anti-human trafficking raids in South-East Asia and performing full combat duty in Africa to training emergency medicine in the United States, Shadows of Hope has earned its reputation as the world's most fearless and unique charity operating where no other organisation can go," the website states.
"Our answer and ethos are simple - no one else can and no one else will. As conflict globally becomes more and more complex, charities worldwide grow more sophisticated. Yet there remain communities and places that no one will touch, situations too dangerous or hopeless that are forbidden to outsiders."
Shadows of Hope brags that it is "the world's only charity slated for full combat duty".
"We defend hospitals, refugees and the innocent, while advising local forces on their best course of action," the website says.
It is understood the man had served with the organisation in Iraq.
Martin was shot dead at Perth Motorplex on December 12.
The 51-year-old was gunned down at the Kwinana race ring about 8.30pm.
He died at the scene and 31-year-old former Gold Coast bikie Ricky Chapman was injured. A five-year-old boy was also hurt.
The gangland execution came three weeks after Martin was bashed at a Scarborough bar by a Hells Angels enforcer.
More than 100 police, including homicide and gang crime officers, worked on Operation Ravello.
Originally published as Man arrested over bikie boss killing a 'humanitarian'