Police in Sydney this morning arrested Damien Cossu, 30, in connection with the murder of Mark Mallia, 30, a small-time criminal and close associate of standover man Nik Radev, on August 18, 2003.
This is an interesting development. We here @ MUI had pencilled in Ol' Andrew "Benji" Veniamin for that job, but with a trial coming for Cossu, we'll have to tkae notes and see what's goin' on...
Victoria Police had previously named Mr Cossu as a person of interest in their investigation into Radev's death.
Underworld identity Mick Gatto, at his trial over the killing of gangster Andrew "Benji" Veniamin, said he believed Veniamin was responsible for the murders of both Mallia and Radev.
Heavily armed police from NSW's homicide squad, working with Victoria Police's Purana taskforce, stopped a car and arrested Mr Cossu in the south-west Sydney suburb of Liverpool area about 7.30am today.
Interesting all round. Police had merely named him as a "person of interest". While many folk would jump to the conclusion that a "person of interest" translates roughly as "perpetrator", the truth is the cops often just think a person of interest knows someone who knows something. Several degrees of seperation. Take Graeme Kinniburgh- while he didn't pop Alphonse's clogs, he sure as hell saw Mark Moran do it. Therefore the cops would rate Graeme as a "person of interest" and not a perp.
Though it would appear that Cossu is definately more interesting than most...
The Age- Cossu's arrest in Sydney
ABC news website- Gangland Killing arrest
**UPDATE** He'll shortly be extradited to Melbourne:
Superintendent Grant said he expected police would make more arrests in relation to the Mallia murder in coming weeks. "We will be visiting several people over the next couple of weeks," he said..
Commander of the NSW Police homicide squad, Linda Howlett, said police said NSW Police had been working with Victoria Police since January on the case and today's arrest followed "a fair amount of assistance from the public''